Young Leaders Program
Imagine what life must have been like for people your age who were trapped in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943. They faced certain death. Yet despite the odds, they fought in the largest Jewish uprising in Nazi-controlled Europe.
You have a special opportunity to learn about them and to share their story with your generation. Their struggle in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising still speaks to us today.
POLIN Museum invites students from around the world, ages 12 to 18, to commemorate the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising by participating in POLIN Museum’s Young Leaders Program. POLIN Museum would like you to join the campaign. If you are interested in leadership opportunities and interested in Holocaust education, here is your chance.
- Join our Campaign as a Young Leader for your class.
- Ask a teacher to work with you.
- Plan a simple way to commemorate (see below for ideas) for at least one of your classes between now and the week of 19 April 2021.
- To be considered for the program, submit the required documents, with the plan of your program. For more details, read the information below.
Hear from our 2020 Young Leader Ambassador:
"Hello, my name is Ben Michaeli. I am 16 years old, and I live in Omer in southern Israel. Every year, Israel commemorates Holocaust Remembrance Day on the 27th of Nissan. This is the Hebrew date on which the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising broke out. This commemoration has become over the years a central symbol and a core ethos in Israeli society. I, like many Jews, am also a member of a family of Holocaust survivors from Lithuania, Ukraine, and Poland.
In 2018 I visited Warsaw with my family, and for the first time, I saw the places I had explored and read about. As part of my vacation there, we visited POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, and we saw and learned about the magnificent past of the Jews there, until the destruction of the Holocaust. Visiting the museum left a strong impression on me, and I felt the need to convey my feelings and the information and knowledge I had acquired there. The best way for me to do this was through the stage given during education lessons where each student could give a lecture to the class on a subject that interested him.
Last year, prior to Holocaust Remembrance Day, I delivered workshops for seventh and eighth graders. I dedicated some time to commemorate the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising through the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Campaign. I became aware of this through the Museum's Instagram and Facebook pages. During each workshop, the students heard the story of the Uprising, and posed with the daffodils.
For me, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising is a symbol of heroism: the fighters knew their chances of success were slim, but they did not give up. Even though they knew they were going to die, they clung to the shattered hope that they could make a change, correct an existing injustice, and not go like sheep to the slaughter – to retain dignity, respect and courage...
I think that teenagers from all over the world can learn from the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. That they have the power to resist, that they don't have to "go with the flow" to a place they don't want to reach. That even if they are in a minority position, they can take responsibility for their destiny, and change the world and the reality in which they live. These are values that I think fit the Young Leaders Program."
How to commemorate the anniversary of the Uprising?
There are many easy ways to let your friends know about what happened on 19 April, 1943, and to inspire them. Be creative and come up with something simple that can clearly be shared with your community about the Warsaw ghetto uprising. Here are some ideas that you could do for your participation in the program.
- Download instructions for making POLIN Museum’s paper daffodils. Invite your friends to help you make them, and pass them out to others.
- Take a photo of yourself and your friends wearing the daffodils in your hometown or at your school.
- Take a class photo online using Zoom or other online video conferencing applications. Have the participants wear the daffodil or hold the campaign poster. Post the photos on social media on 19 April, 2021 with the campaign hashtag: #WarsawGhettoUprising.
- Please note: The student and teacher must ask all students in group photos for permission to post photographs online before taking and submitting the photo.
- Ask a teacher to help you develop a presentation about the Warsaw ghetto uprising that you can share online with your class, or other online community groups.
- Organize an online screening and discussion of "There Was No Hope" with students and teachers. (Recommend for high school students).
- Make a video on your Facebook and social media pages, sharing why it is important for students today to commemorate this piece of Holocaust history.
- Must be 12-18 years of age.
- Must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
- Only one student per class or group can apply to the program.
- Must have an interest in Holocaust education.
- Must have teacher and parent/guardian approval to join the program.
- Must have a teacher who is willing to assist student during the program.
- Must submit your work with a short description of your work and photos as proof of participation to the International Coordinator by 25 April, 2021.
- Must communicate with the coordinator if unable to supply the necessary items on time for participation.
How to apply
- Please provide your basic information (name, age, location, school, name of teacher), and ask a parent or guardian to sign the consent and application forms. Email the signed documents to the International Coordinator, Mary Seidler: [email protected] no later than 1st April 2021.
Please be advised that students who participate in the Young Leaders Program will be featured on our Young Leaders Program website, and Friends of POLIN Facebook page, in accordance with the signed parent/guardian consent form submitted as part of the application process.
- Choose a program from the ideas listed above, and let the International Coordinator know what your plan for participating in the program will be.
- Get started! Put your plan into motion, and then send your work via email to the International Coordinator by this deadline: APRIL 25, 2021. For larger files such as videos, please use WeTransfer.
- Your work will be reviewed by the Young Leaders Board, and you will be notified if you have successfully completed the program by the end of April 2021.
When submitting your work
- Please do not alter photos or include emojis.
- Please avoid profanity or other inappropriate content.
- Students who fail to comply with the standards of the Young Leaders Program will be disqualified.
- Each Young Leader will receive a small gift for their participation at the end of the school year
The Young Leader Ambassador for 2022
- Each 2021 Young Leader may be considered for the honor of 2022 Young Leader Ambassador. This is based upon if the student successfully completed the program, and what level of participation they were able to do. Watch for the announcement in the summer of 2021.
Why do I need parental permission to participate?
Since Young Leaders are required to post photos and video on social media and because these images will also appear on POLIN Museum’s website and social media platforms, many countries require institutions such as POLIN Museum to provide consent forms in compliance with Polish, and international legal requirements when involving students.
Why do I need to work with a teacher?
Each student must work with at least one teacher and must get permission to participate in various activities.
- Hanging posters on the school campus
- Giving speeches to student bodies
- Showing a film
- Making paper daffodils and handing them out
- Delivering speeches in classrooms or other school spaces
- Holding moments of silence
What if I want to do something creative that’s not listed?
Please contact our International Coordinator [email protected] with your ideas and with any other questions you might have.
How many students per class can sign up?
We request that only one student per class can sign up for the program.
We look forward to your participation in the 2021 Young Leaders Program. You can make a difference!