YIR: Students Visit German Extermination Camps in Poland
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YIR: Students Visit German Extermination Camps in Poland

Group with Emory University’s Meor program toured several Holocaust sites.

The Meor students stand at the entrance to Auschwitz.
The Meor students stand at the entrance to Auschwitz.

Earlier this year, the Emory University group, Meor, organized an enrichment trip to Poland for a group of college students hailing from several campuses.

Rabbi Yaakov Fleshel, one of Emory’s Jewish chaplains and director of Meor, the Jewish leadership training program, led the group. Fleshel had led groups of students to Poland eight times with Meor, which is Hebrew for “enlightenment.”

This year’s tour group included students from Emory, the University of Pennsylvania, and Boston University.

Along with the historical/educational aspect of the trip, students emotionally felt the reality and consequences of unchecked antisemitism, and they continued to process their experiences during the trip.

Meor works in partnership with the Atlanta Scholars Kollel, and the trip was also heavily subsidized by a number of Jewish philanthropists and past participants, many whose lives have been impacted by a Meor Poland trip. The group always traveled with full security.

Launched in 2005, Meor’s unique brand of Jewish leadership training, sophisticated text-based study, and experiential education programming highlight the importance of Jewish values, identity, and participation in community. In more than 15 years, Meor has impacted more than 18,000 undergraduate students, encouraging them to connect with Judaism on their own terms and in their own time.

In 2016, Meor established post-university programming to ensure that its alumni would have a sustained Jewish framework for continued growth as young Jewish professionals. Now, in its second decade, Meor continues to relate to young Jewish leaders who seek community and continuity.

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