Nick Kovacs Honoured for Holocaust Education Initiatives
Deputy Headmaster Nick Kovacs was recently honoured with an Excellence in Holocaust Education award from the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC). Mr. Kovacs was one of four educators who received the award for implementing outstanding Holocaust education programs and curricula.
Shortly after joining Crescent in 2014, Mr. Kovacs connected with the FSWC education department to discuss ways of integrating more diversity into the school’s curriculum. FSWC helped deliver programming that supported Crescent teachers by instilling lessons of the Holocaust into diversity training and providing tools to confront hatred and intolerance that could be used in classrooms. With Mr. Kovacs’s leadership, Crescent has hosted student workshops and survivor speakers, and brought the Tour for Humanity media presentation on campus.
In 2019, Mr. Kovacs joined FSWC’s Compassion to Action educational journey to Poland and Israel where he met and formed a close bond with survivor and Holocaust educator, Max Eisen. This ultimately led to Crescent producing a guided book club based on Max Eisen’s memoir, By Chance Alone. In conversations with Crescent students, the production captured Eisen’s first-person account of his experience during World War II and can be shared with future Crescent students.
In his acceptance speech, Mr. Kovacs alluded to the final words spoken to Max Eisen by his father while at Auchwitz-Berkenau, “If you survive, tell the world what happened here.”
“I have heeded those words when working with the amazing team of educators at Crescent School to teach our students about the Holocaust,” Mr. Kovacs said. “These are more than just the courageous words of a man who faced imminent death; they are an enduring call to action. They remind us of the importance of taking up the mantle from survivors like Max, who are no longer with us to tell their story; and of committing and recommitting to educating one another, especially our youth, about the Holocaust and about the dangers of hate and discrimination in all of its forms, including anti-Semitism.”