Films in Schools Program

Our carefully trained presenters bring films into public and religious schools (7th - 12th grade) to help teach the sensitive topic of the Holocaust. Film as a medium allows young people to learn on a different level; characters, legends and stories that may seem difficult to understand come alive on the screen. This is especially important when trying to convey the magnitude of the Holocaust. Since the school program began over 10 years ago, we have shared our films with over 3,500 secular and religious school students.

“Irena Sendler: Life In a Jar” is one of the films we will be showing in the schools this year. It is a documentary about a Polish Christian woman who helped save 2,500 Jewish children from death in the Warsaw Ghetto. Behind Irena Sendler's story is an important lesson: tikkun olam - one person can make a difference.

Educators wishing to participate in the program need not only teach history - film studies, social studies, language arts, even character development courses can gain much from the program. The Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival provides to all interested schools: the film at no charge, study guides if requested, a flexible program that fits class schedules, and a student essay contest with gift card award.

The Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival has met some extraordinary educators over the last few years -- teachers who take the study guides provided by the state and school district and make their subjects come alive, taking education to a higher and more personal level with their students. With Arizona schools now implementing Common Core Standards, a deeper way of teaching and one that focuses on understanding rather than rote memorization, the Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival's Films In the Schools program is more integral and relevant than ever.

This program truly is a worthy endeavor; brought to the entire community to promote brotherhood, cultivate understanding and making our kids aware of the dangers of prejudice and bigotry. The success of our Film In the Schools program can be measured by the questions students ask, and the essays and thank you letters that the Festival receives. Our goal this year is to reach out to even more schools, helping to teach an even greater number of young students of all races, nationalities and religions about acceptance and diversity.

For more information on Irena Sendler, please go to www.irenasendler.org.