By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Students from around the Philadelphia region heard today from a Holocaust survivor who is now a world-renowned leader in the fight against bigotry and discrimination.
Project director Lisa Friedlander, who leads the Anti-Defamation League’s “No Place for Hate” initiative, says more than 40 schools sent 10th and 11th graders to the conference on the University of Pennsylvania campus.
“The conference is aimed at bringing students from diverse backgrounds together to learn about each other and learn from each other,” she said.
The students were hand-picked because of their demonstrated commitment to stand up against bullying and prejudice in their own communities.
“We teach the students through interactive workshops how to challenge stereotypes and bias,” she told KYW Newsradio.
The group heard from Abraham Foxman, who as an infant during World War II escaped the Holocaust as a “hidden child,” saved by his Polish Catholic nursemaid. Today he is the national director of the Anti-Defamation League.
The students also learned practical tips they can bring back to push for change in school culture.
Mark Ehrlich, a 17-year-old junior at St. Joseph’s Prep, had an example:
“Just saying no to some of the little bullying things, like if someone is making fun of someone,” he said.