by Sandra Lee Buxton
This year the Museum is celebrating the impact of its educational programs during the 15th Anniversary Triumph Awards on April 13th, at the Naples Yacht Club. The honorees will be F.E. and Jack Nortman selected for their loyalty and continued support in educating the community and students of all ages.
Triumph is defined as “a great victory or achievement” which clearly represents the Nortman family and their work.
Since 2008 when The Boxcar Project was introduced the student impact soared from 11,000 to over 24,000 a year. The boxcar itself is a 10 ton freight car, measuring 10 ft x 30 ft. It is typical of countless others that transported millions of victims
to concentration camps.
Each car contained from 90 to 130 men, women and children, all on a one way trip. The Museum educates children at three specific times in their K – 12 years.
In the 5th grade the focus is heroes, 8th grade a Holocaust Museum Field Trip and in the 10th grade, an investigation into genocide. In addition to educating students, quarterly workshops are held for educators as well.
The Boxcar is owned by the Nortman family and is on permanent loan to the museum. The importance of this work cannot be overstated and Jack wants to honor his parents who overcame so much as Holocaust survivors. It was felt that if the Museum had a artifact to capture the attention of the community that interest in its history would enhance learning.
Jack worked with Holocaust scholar Michael Berenbaum in locating an authentic WWII-era boxcar. It was a long and expensive process but when one was found in Austria in 2007 it was shipped to Miami, then onto Naples.
It underwent conservation and reconstruction so that it would maximize learning. It is now an integral part of the museum’s educational programs. Jack has served as a docent and on the Holocaust Museum’ s Board with faithful involvement of over 10 years.
Participating with the Holocaust Museum is a passion of Jack’s so that today’s children are educated and we never forget what
happened to millions of innocent people, Jews and Christians alike. As a society our battle with genocide is not over. To attend the Triumph Awards and celebrate with the Nortman’s contact Amy Snyder at email@example.com