Community educates about genocide

By Bailey Parent, Reporter

A group of students has been serving as board members of a grassroots organization committed to growing the capacity of leaders to educate about genocide and partake in youth activism.
The Helen and Joe Farkas Center for the Study of the Holocaust in Catholic Schools “seeks to honor Holocaust survivors and bring them together with today’s students,” according to the organization.
“It is imperative that we continue to pass on the stories of Holocaust survivors and prevent the spread of hate,” senior Wolfie Tobiason, who is on the Farkas Center Board, said. “The resurgence of white supremacy and antisemitism highlights how important it is that we remain vigilant and active.”
Tobiason says being part of the organization has helped him serve his community.
“Working with the Farkas Center is a unique opportunity for me to experience how a board works together for the good of our community,” Tobiason said. “This is a transformative experience that I will always remember.”
Along with a handful of Bay Area students, educators and scholars, ethics teacher Elena LeGault is a member of the Farkas Center Board.
“I’ve been working with the Farkas Center for three years,” LeGault said. “I am on the planning committee for programs, and I work with students and other board members to plan events for schools.”
The center primarily focuses on teaching about the Holocaust at Bay Area Catholic schools, including Mercy Burlingame, Riordan and Convent & Stuart Hall.
“I think it’s really important,” Legault said about Holocaust education. “Catholic schools often do really have a focus on social justice and our school is definitely one of those.”
LeGault says she incorporates Holocaust education into her classes.
“One of the classes I’m teaching is Theory of Knowledge, and when we look at history as an area of knowledge, we look at the Holocaust,” LeGault said. “I also had a really great opportunity in the Gender, Power & Ethics class to have a guest speaker talk about the persecution of LGBTQ people in the Holocaust.”
Student board members say they will carry on the teachings of the Farkas Center so that they could educate the next generation and work toward stopping genocides.
“While my time at the Farkas Center is coming to a close, I will carry on the stories of survivors and hope to educate others,” Tobiason said. “I am committed to combating ignorance and Holocaust denial.”