The kindertransports


Cynthia Peterman has been a teacher in the Jewish history department at CESJDS since 1986, where she also served as department head from 1997 to 2009.    She teaches survey courses covering the periods from ancient Jewish history through the Holocaust, as well as elective courses in Jewish film, Jewish contemporary issues, Church-Jewish relations, and American Judaism.  Cynthia has also taught adult education in synagogues, Jewish community centers and other local institutions in the greater Washington, DC area.  


In addition to her teaching Cynthia has been involved with YIVO and Centropa.  In 2006 Cynthia became involved with YIVO’s Educational Program in Yiddish Culture (EPYC), for which she has led teacher training seminars.  For her work with EPYC she was nominated by YIVO in 2006 for a Covenant Award for outstanding work in Jewish education.  Cynthia has been working with Centropa since it first came to the United States in 2006 and under her leadership CESJDS became a pilot school.  Cynthia has been on two of the three Centropa summer institutes in Europe, she continues to use Centropa materials in many of her classes, and she is pleased to help bring Centropa exhibits to a wider school and community audience this year.


10,000 Jewish children from Austria, Germany and Czechoslovakia were sent by their parents to England in 1938-39.  Then the Second World War began and most of those parents were never heard from again.

This was a one-class lesson on the Kindertransport.  Following a group viewing of the Lilli Tauber film, students were self-directed by a PowerPoint presentation to explore the politics behind the Kindertransport. 

Students also viewed first hand accounts from the website “Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport.”