The Holocaust Studies Service-Learning Project has begun its second decade of serving the Jewish community of Wrocłow and giving Albion College students the experience of a lifetime. Recently, we have been considering how we might develop HSSLP into a program that will flourish at Albion long after we are gone.
In order to do that, however, we must be able to articulate the program's outcomes. This is where you come in. By taking this short survey, you will help us to understand how the program has affected you. We can then explain its value as we communicate with College administrators, prospective students, granting agencies, and the like.
With thanks for your time and attention,
HSSLP Faculty and Staff:
Geoff Cocks (History)
Drew Dunham (Registrar)
Frank Kelemen (Counseling Services)
Patrick McLean (Ford Institute)
Jocelyn McWhirter (Religious Studies)
Carrie Booth Walling (Political Science)
Poland Trip Description
Albion College's Holocaust Studies Program Service-Learning Project in Poland took place from May 10 to May 19, 2015. The students, faculty, and staff members spent nine days in Poland working, learning, and visiting sites related to the Holocaust and Polish Jewry.
The group spent five days in Wroclaw, mostly doing hard physical work restoring a Jewish cemetery. In the evening, the group met to discuss readings and their experiences.
The group traveled to Krakow, where they visited Kazimierz, the city's historic Jewish quarter. The group visited Oskar Schindler's former factory at 4 Lipowa Street, where in 2001 Albion College students dedicated a large historical plaque which adorns the building. They Visited other historically and culturally important Jewish sites in Krakow as well.
Finally, the group made an excursion to nearby Auschwitz-Birkenau.
During the spring semester students going on the trip meet for a mandatory one-half-unit proseminar that covers the history of Poland, the Holocaust, Jews in Poland both before and after World War II, and the transformation of Poland since the fall of communism.
Holocaust Studies Service-Learning Project in Poland
Our most recent trip: May 2015 | Read the blog
The aim of this project is to help the Jewish community of Wrocław to tell its story.
At its peak, this community numbered in the thousands; today only a handful remain. The restoration of a large Jewish cemetery connects us with people who have preceded us in time, and engages us in recognizing their place in the "community of memory." This project honors the place of a people who have mostly vanished from Wrocław and Poland in the wake of the Holocaust, and helps the remaining community to reclaim an important cultural and historical artifact. As an act of historical recovery, this project stands as an active rebuke of ethnic violence anywhere in the world.
Next trip: May 2017
Interested in learning more? Email
to get your name on an interest list and receive notification of an upcoming information session.
The next HSSLP trip to Poland will be in May 2017 (estimated dates: May 13 – 25). We will leave for the airport immediately after commencement. The trip includes five days of service in a Jewish cemetery in Wrocław, followed by exploration of Kraków and a day trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau. For this next trip, we plan to add a couple days to go to Warsaw and visit the new Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
Full cost per student is currently estimated at $2,700. Please note that we will be able to issue scholarships (some need-based) that will significantly bring down this amount. We encourage students to also take initiative to fundraise. In the past, some students have received funding from churches and synagogues in exchange for giving a presentation after the trip.
Participation in the trip includes a 0.5 unit class during Spring Semester 2017.
Other Recent Trips
Read the 2013 Poland Trip Blog
Read the 2011 Poland Trip Blog
Check out the interview! Gordon Evans of WMUK radio in Kalamazoo interviewed trip participants Megan Connolly and Jocelyn McWhirter about their experience. The piece aired on May 19, 2011. Listen to the interview and read the article!
Read the 2009 Poland Trip Blog
Trip Application Form
The Holocaust Studies Service-Learning Project (HSSLP) will travel to Poland May 10 through May 19, 2015. Twenty students will accompany faculty and staff to help restore the New Jewish Cemetery in Wrocław and study at Holocaust sites in Kraków, and Oświęcim (Auschwitz/Auschwitz-Birkenau).
Holocaust Studies Trip Application
Interested students are strongly encouraged to attend one of the following information sessions: Thursday, October 16, 4:30 and 7:00 p.m. in the KC Living Room
All Albion College students are invited to apply. Application forms are due Wednesday, October 22, 2014. Notification of selection will be sent November 7, 2014. Accepted students will automatically be enrolled in the coordinating 0.5-credit course.
Each participant will take a half-unit seminar (IDY 198 Holocaust Studies) during the spring semester. This seminar will meet on six evenings in February, March, and April; a 10-page paper and travel journal are required, and two additional readings will be the subject of evening discussions during the trip to Poland in May.
Students who have already participated in the HSSLP are also invited to apply. These students will register for a half-unit independent study to be completed during the spring semester. The independent study will focus on a Holocaust-related topic to be negotiated with the instructor. Attendance at the seven seminar meetings and full participation in the Poland trip (including the travel journal) will also be required. In general, qualified students who have not already participated in the HSSLP, as well as those who have taken LA 101 Holocaust, will be given priority into the program, but all interested students should apply.
The cost per person at present is set at around $2,500, including all travel, lodging, and some meals. A deposit of $300 is due December 1, 2014, and the balance of fees is due February 16, 2015. Limited scholarships will be available.
Please contact us online or visit a member of the 2015 Holocaust Studies Services-Learning Project Staff:
- Carrie Booth-Walling, Political Science Department
- Geoffrey Cocks, History Department
- Frank Kelemen, Counseling Services
- Patrick McLean, Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service
- Jocelyn McWhirter, Religious Studies Department