TAMPA, FL – January 23, 2023 – A year after confronting antisemitic graffiti, students at Tampa Preparatory School continue to take action against bigotry on this International Holocaust Remembrance Day (IHRD).
Students have spent the past year forming a diverse array of cultural clubs to engage in meaningful dialogue, culminating in an assembly next week focused on standing up to hate.
The assembly will take place on January 27th at Tampa Prep (727 W. Cass St. Tampa, FL), beginning at 9:50am, and will feature an exhibit from the Florida Holocaust Museum entitled Witness to History, which examines how individual choices influenced the Holocaust and explores the experiences of Survivors who settled in Florida. Press is encouraged to attend.
Nearly one year ago, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2022, antisemitic graffiti was found inside a locker room at Tampa Prep. Following the incident, Tampa Prep alumnus Mike Igel, who serves as Board Chair of the Florida Holocaust Museum and Chair of the Commissioner’s Task Force on Holocaust Education, addressed students at an all-school assembly. He spoke about how his grandparents were saved from the Nazis by strangers who died rather than give them up, illustrating the importance of standing up for others.
“While I was speaking, I could tell these kids just got it,” Igel said. “They were engaged throughout, but I knew the message had resonated when non-Jewish students from diverse backgrounds approached me to say they felt supported and seen. If anyone wonders why Holocaust education in schools is important, they need look no further.”
Students turned Igel’s lessons into action, forming new clubs including the Jewish Student Union and Indian Culture Club, and are collaborating to organize events like the IHRD assembly.
“We didn’t just feel that we had a safe space to form these clubs – they were actually celebrated,” remarked Seth Black-Diamond, President of the Jewish Student Union. “So many students were interested in joining that we had to hold our first meeting in the auditorium!”
Head of School Kevin Plummer has seen the impact firsthand. “A few months into the school year, I asked a recent transfer about her experience here. The student, who had been teased and singled out for her hijab at her former school, said, ‘At Tampa Prep, there are kids like me – and the ones who aren’t like me, still like me.’”
“I could not be prouder of our students for their focus and follow-through,” Plummer continued. “Mike helped remind us that when life presents us with hate and division, we can overcome it with understanding and respect.”
“Seeing the students’ response makes me so hopeful for the future,” said Igel. “We live in a world full of hate and ignorance, but Upstander responses like this remind us that good will always overpower evil if we are brave enough to take action.”
To attend the assembly or request more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
About The Florida Holocaust Museum
One of the largest Holocaust Museums in the country, and one of three nationally accredited Holocaust museums, The Florida Holocaust Museum honors the memory of millions of men, women, and children who suffered or died in the Holocaust. The FHM is dedicated to teaching
members of all races and cultures the inherent worth and dignity of human life in order to prevent future genocides. For additional information, please visit www.TheFHM.org.
About Tampa Prep
Tampa Preparatory School is a private, independent 6 – 12 school, established in 1974, located along the riverfront in downtown Tampa. Tampa Prep defines “Prep” as a dynamic preparation for life with a higher purpose than self and the school’s mission is to inspire students to think, create, be yourself, aspire to excellence and go beyond.