Israeli teens teach Holocaust survivors to surf the internet
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Israeli teens teach Holocaust survivors to surf the internet

Some 700 high school students now part of growing program that includes writing down survivors’ stories

Holocaust survivors light six torches representing the six million victims of the Nazi genocide during the opening ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem, as Israel marks the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 23, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Holocaust survivors light six torches representing the six million victims of the Nazi genocide during the opening ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem, as Israel marks the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 23, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Nearly 700 Israeli teens studying in science and technology schools in Israel are teaching Holocaust survivors to use computers and the internet.

The students meet weekly in pairs with survivors in 22 cities across Israel through a program called Mechubarim, “connected.”

Students have helped the survivors to search for family members lost during the Holocaust and research other aspects of their lives in Europe. Many of the students and survivors have typed the survivors’ stories into the program’s website as part of their work together.

The program, which will start with new pairings this month, has nearly doubled since last year, which organizers attribute to the students learning more about the importance of honoring elderly Holocaust survivors. Many of the students continue to visit their survivor partners even after they graduate from high school and go on to the army and higher education.

“I am writing my own story,” said Dov Zorni, a Holocaust survivor living in Ramat Gan. “And I’ve learned to read the newspaper and play games on the computer. The internet helps me to search for my family that was spread out during and following the Holocaust. My (student) friend Eldar has helped me learn how to do all of this.”

The program was established by the Israel Sci-Tech Schools, a network of 206 science and technology educational institutions in Israel educating 100,000 students.

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