Jenn Green (Toronto ’06, Staff ’14, ’17-’18), Holocaust Education Promoter
This week we are proud to feature Jenn Green (Toronto ’06, Staff ’14, ’17-’18), alumna from March of the Living Toronto, Canada, whose experience on the March of the Living has propelled her to become a champion of Holocaust education.
As a 16-year-old travelling on the March of the Living I did not know what to expect. My grandfather, Nate Leipciger, is a survivor so I grew up hearing stories of the Holocaust. I had also read a few books on the subject. Nothing had prepared me for what I was going to learn about my own history, the tragedy that occurred and the lessons of how hate can incite and embolden a population to commit unspeakable horrors against its fellow man.
Hearing from Holocaust survivors, including my grandfather – in the places they experienced these atrocious acts and where their families were murdered – stayed with me and shaped my life trajectory. My grandfather brilliantly simplifies the reason he and his family were ripped from normal life, became numbers, living on death row, suffering terrible hardships and living with constant fear of being murdered for no reason at all. It was an accident of birth – being born Jewish in Poland in 1928 – that condemned him to death.
In an effort to continue teaching and spreading the lessons I have learned on the March of the Living I travelled on the MOL again, twice as a chaperone and once as a survivor liaison, helping to ignite this fire in the next generation. As well, I co-founded the Mahj for the March to fundraise for the Young Adult March of the Living and was a co-chair of the March of the Living “Legacy Gala” in Toronto. To share my grandfather’s history and lessons with the next generation, I am now working with Carrying Testimony, where I present my grandfather’s story aided by recordings of his testimony as well as pictures and documents from the Holocaust.
The MOL has inspired the direction of my professional life. I am the Director of Affordable Housing and Corporate Social Responsibility at Greenwin Corp., a real estate development company in Toronto, Canada. I have been blessed with the responsibility to develop and build safe and affordable housing for those who cannot afford market rent. In this role, I also have the privilege to support at-risk youth, and provide them with meals, mentorship, education and empowerment through our company’s social outreach arm, Greenwin Cares.