Names, Not Numbers: An Intergenerational Multimedia Oral History Curriculum


Source: Names, Not Numbers 


Names, Not Numbers is a copyrighted oral history film project and curriculum, created by Tova Fish-Rosenberg in 2003. Unique features of the project include the academic, integrated, multidisciplinary curriculum, combining research through Internet web sites, video production, interviewing techniques, documentary film tools, and editing. Throughout the project, the students work with professional adults--a local newspaper editor, a filmmaker, and Jewish studies teachers. After the training and research, the students gain first - hand knowledge through being paired with and given the opportunity to interview and videotape Holocaust survivors, World War II veterans who liberated camps, survivors who later immigrated to pre-1948 Israel, and second generation, who are now living in the same communities as the students.


The crux of the curriculum is the one-hour videotaped interview that each group of students conduct with the survivor, veteran, or survivor and their child. These interviews are then edited down to 15-minute segments and combined into the documentary film, "Names, Not Numbers."


In addition to the student-created documentary, the documentary maker/film director and instructor films the students, teachers, and interviewees throughout the process in a mini-documentary entitled "Names, Not Numbers: A Movie in the Making." At a culminating event which honors the interviewees and showcases the students’ work, this mini documentary, including 3 minute samplers of each interview, is shown. This film has also been shown at Yom Hashoah and Tisha B’Av programs in various communities.


The project has become a cornerstone of the senior year experience at Y.U.’s boys’ and girls’ high schools in New York. Students in Baltimore; Houston; Memphis and Allentown, also participate in the program annually.


Since its inception more than 360 students and 160 survivors and World War II veterans throughout North America have participated in the program and thirteen documentary videos have been produced.


See "Names, Not Numbers 2009 video" .

Updated: Apr. 11, 2011