A 21st Century Resource Center

The Mercer County Holocaust-Genocide Resource Center is located on the West Windsor, NJ, campus of Mercer County Community College. We are dedicated to providing the most current resources on Holocaust and genocide education for the 21st Century classroom. Learn more about us at

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

MCHGRC in the News!

Holocaust survivor and MCHGRC Advisory Commission member Vera Goodkin was recently featured on the front page of the Trenton Times in honor of the 100th Anniversary of Raoul Wallenberg's birth. Read the entire article here.  One photograph on the front page of the paper features Dr. Goodkin speaking to MCCC students at the MCHGRC.

Advisory Commission member Steve Besserman and his father, Holocaust survivor Joseph Besserman, were recently featured in the Trenton Times in anticipation of the premiere of Only A Number on channel 13.

A big thank you goes out to our survivors and their families for ensuring that a new generation of students learns that we must never forget or back down in the face of hatred, Holocaust, or genocide.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cantor David Wisnia Commemorates the 67th Liberation of Auschwitz

Check out the video of MCHGRC Advisory Commission Member, Holocaust survivor Cantor David Wisnia singing the memorial prayer commemorating the 67th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on January 27, 2012.  Wisnia escaped one of the infamous death marches out of Auschwitz, only to become a member of the 101st Airborne during the last months of the war.

The New Jersey Jewish News interviewed Cantor Wisnia and his son, Michael, who accompianied him to the event in Poland earlier this year.  To learn more about our amazing Cantor, read the article here.

For more information on the liberation of Auschwitz, visit the USHMM online.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Upcoming Events @ MCHGRC!

Check out the following pages for more details on our upcoming events:

Wednesday, October 3 @ 4:30 - Learn about the Bangladeshi Genocide from survivor and Mercer County resident, Dr. Nuran Nabi.  The Bangladesh liberation war was bloody. Three million people were killed, thousands of women were raped, and ten million people were forced to become refugees. And yet, the war criminals responsible for these atrocities have never been brought to justice.

Thursday, October 11 @ 4:30 - Participate in OUCH: Your Silence Hurts! and learn how to go from being a bystander to being an upstander in the face of everyday bias, prejudice and hatred.  This is a great session for students and teachers.

Wednesday, October 17 @ 4:30 - Join us for the grand opening of BESA: Muslim Albanian Rescuers of the Holocaust.  This international exhibit features the photographs and biographies of the brave men and women who valued honor in the face of adversity, hiding their Jewish neighbors from Nazi invaders during World War II.  We are proud to partner with the Muslim Student Association of Mercer County Community College for this event.

Tuesday, November 13 @ 4:30 - Commemorate Kristallnacht with A Day to Remember: Survivors and Recipes.  Mercer County Community College Culinary Arts Professor Frank Benowitz will cook up traditional Ashkenazi dishes as we review recipes and survivor stories from The Holocaust Survivor Cookbook
As always, all events are free and open to the public.  For more information, contact the Mercer County Holocaust-Genocide Resource Center at  We look forward to seeing you at the MCHGRC!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Local Holocaust Survivor's Story to Debut on PBS THIRTEEN!

Over 200 were in attendance at our Yom HaShoah screening of this documentary last year.  Now, we're proud to share in the announcement that Only A Number will debut on public television this month!

THIRTEEN/WNET Presents Broadcast Premiere of Only A Number Award-winning documentary to air for the first time on public television

TRENTON, N.J.--AriJoe Productions, LLC announced today that the award-winning documentary, Only A Number, will have its broadcast premiere on public television station THIRTEEN/WNET on Sunday, September 23 from 7-8PM (ET).

Only A Number is a one-hour documentary about the experiences of Aranka, a Holocaust survivor with dementia.

Many years before the disease began to eat away at her memory, she documented the horrors she endured at the hands of the Nazis and how she met her husband Josef in a concentration camp. Their story is told through a journey of rediscovery by their son, Steven, transporting the viewer to the ghettos, concentration camps and slave-labor factories as they are today and unearthing the horrendous occurrences long-since buried there. It is a true story of the struggle to survive, to love and to remember.

"We are very proud that THIRTEEN/WNET will be airing the premiere broadcast of Only A Number. It's especially meaningful at this time of year," said Executive Producer/Director Steven Besserman, referring to the Jewish high holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. He added that, "as students begin another school year, Only A Number tells an important story that demonstrates what hatred and intolerance can do to people when taken to the extreme. It has relevance to what we're still seeing in the world today, and to the bullying that occurs in schools and communities in our country."

When asked about Only A Number, Ana Ramos, Programmer at THIRTEEN said, "This film is quite evocative and haunting, with a strong narrative that unfolds against the backdrop of present-day locales of Steven's parents' extraordinary journey. The result is not a film about death, but about survival and about hope."

Only A Number premiered on the film festival circuit at the Garden State Film Festival 2011, where it was awarded Best Music Composition. The film went on to receive the special Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature at the Jersey Shore Film Festival 2011, and had screenings at the Santa Rosa International Film Festival's Cinema of Conscience. Only A Number was nominated Best Documentary by the Orlando Film Festival 2011 and received the special Jury Award for Best Documentary at the New Hope Film Festival in 2012. A special edition DVD of the documentary and an accompanying Study Guide have been distributed to educators in New Jersey and recommended by Dr. Paul Winkler and the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education for use in the curriculum with students in grades 7-12.

For more information about Only A Number, visit

About AriJoe Productions, LLC: AriJoe Productions was formed in 2010 for the purpose of realizing Steven Besserman's life-long ambition of bringing his parents' Holocaust survival and love story to the screen. The resulting documentary, Only A Number, is based on his mother Aranka's memoir. The company takes its name from Aranka's nickname "Ari" and her husband's nickname "Joe."

Saturday, September 1, 2012

9/6 @ 12 noon - Travel to Poland @ the MCHGRC!

Mercer County Community College will be hosting a study abroad opportunity in Spring 2013. 
Our 10-day trip begins in Warsaw where we will learn what life was like in Nazi-occupied Poland, particularly for the Jews who were exiled to the over-crowded ghetto. To understand their plight, we will walk along the Path of Jewish Remembrance to the Monument to the Heroes of the Ghetto and visit the Museum of the Jewish Historical institute and the Pawiak Prison – the infamous detention center where Jews and Poles were held during the Nazi occupation. We will directly confront the Holocaust by touring two of the most infamous labor and death camps: Treblinka and Auschwitz-Birkenau. We will learn not only how the Nazis murdered on an industrial scale but also how societies choose to memorialize and remember genocide. In Krakow, we will walk through the Jewish Quarter and tour Oscar Schindler’s factory. In addition to our study of the Holocaust, participants will learn about Jewish and Polish culture – both past and present. We will visit a number of important cultural sites including the Nozyk Synagogue and the Museum of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw as well as the Isaac Synagogue and Jewish Quarter in Krakow. In the evenings, our group will partake in traditional eastern-European music and cuisine.
To learn more about this exciting opportunity, visit the Mercer County Holocaust-Genocide Resource Center on Thursday, September 6 at 12 noon.