Letters From Teachers

Email Sidney at Sevek42@gmail.com to learn more about how he can assist you with Holocaust Education in your classroom.

Dear Mr. Finkel,
I want to thank you for the presentation you gave through Skype at Lake Land College in Mattoon, Illinois, today. I took my son (a Junior in high school) out of school to listen to you. Although there is no way to have any inkling of the feelings you had or what you went through, it helps us to put in perspective the small daily events that are really so meaningless which sometimes cause us stress when compared to such horrific events.
I want you to know that we won’t forget the holocaust, and other generations won’t forget because we won’t let them. You taught us, we will teach them. I hope you can figure out that God loves you, and that you survived for a purpose, and that evil won’t prevail in the end. Thank you again.
Christine Martin

I saw your video. It is professional, and you, Sidney, are so warm compassionate in the telling of your story. I imagine your audiences are spellbound. You engage well with the camera, and your audience. Switching between auditorium and your home makes your story more personal and invites the viewer into your life — past and present. You did a marvelous job and I feel very honored to have read your book and now to have seen your video. You are doing a great service in educating others.


Barbara Quade
Chairperson, Tucson Survivors Holocaust Group

OK. First let me say that I now have 175 kids per year reading your book and they absolutely love it and had even asked if we could do a video conference…So this DVD will be great. Thanks so much!!!

So glad to have visited with you today. As always our students were so very moved by being able to talk with you. I can not thank you enough for the gift you have given to my students. We immediately went back to class and began watching the DVD and WOW, the response I am getting!

I plan to send you the quotes the students wrote and read to you. I have to tell you that this year the young people chosen to speak included two young men that most of the year have been hooligans! They have continually made some bad choices and lost privileges. Both have been suspended numerous times. Your story has given them both purpose in building their character with their peers and with their teachers. Among the other students and as in years past included some of the quietest students in our classrooms and your story gave them a voice. How can I not mention the young lady that broke down and cried? This special teen has had quite an identity struggle this year and lacked confidence in who she wanted to be. She now has that confidence and beautiful grace that truly was expressed in her thoughts about your book. The applause that occurred following her reading and the respect that the student body showed her throughout the day was truly the highlight of her year. She told me how grateful she was to be able to share herself with all of us today.

Sidney, please know how deeply you touch the lives of my students. Your story as part of my curriculum is my proudest moment as a teacher. I want to share that on Monday one of my students will be honored at the Holocaust museum in St. Louis for his artistic work in their art and writing contest. I can not wait to see him be honored.

I just wanted to let you know that even though it’s only been a few days since my students received your books, they continue to talk about it nonstop. One student in particular (the one you walked with at the ceremony) who has never been a reader (she reads at a 2nd grade level) cannot put the book down. She told me yesterday that she read for three hours the previous night until she finally had to go to bed. She has NEVER reacted that way to books. Also, in her independent reading class, she gave the students a lecture about the holocaust to those hadn’t heard of it. She went on for 15 minutes non stop about you, your presentation, your book etc. I wanted to thank you again for your generosity. It has certainly sparked one student into becoming a reader and teacher of the holocaust.

Dear Sidney, Magen’s mother who works at Saint Xavier did indeed tell me about the impact you had on her and what it meant to her and the children at Holy Redeemer to have you there as a speaker. The lifework of these years of testimony and writing your memoir is and will have a lasting efforts on current and future generations who will never forget to always remember you and the millions. Many of my students said they were quite speechless and never imagined the lingering impact of meeting you would have on them. It was indeed the highlight of the semester. It’s a funny thing to say to you that such a story of horror would become a highlight, but, Sidney, your story is light and illumines not only history but a hope for the future about who we can be as humans with and for each other. I am honored to know you and claim you as a friend. I hope our paths cross again before you leave the area but know you hold a place in my heart and I hope to have you return to our school again.
Shalom, Avis