The American Service Academies Program (ASAP) is a two-week educational initiative for a select group of cadets and midshipmen from the U.S. Military, Naval Academy, Coast Guard, and Air Force academies. Launched in June 2004 with six students, the program has more than doubled in size to fourteen participants.
Focusing on the Holocaust and related contemporary moral and ethical dilemmas, this in situ program not only educates students about the past, but also stimulates dialogue about its relationship to the present and the future. Throughout the program, the group works to gain a better understanding of pre-war Jewish life and its subsequent devastation.
The program begins in the US, where the cadets and midshipmen learn about Jewish life, the Holocaust, and modern genocide from scholars, survivors, and exhibitions at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. and the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City.
Throughout their time in Poland, the cadets and midshipmen tour sites of Jewish heritage, visit museums and memorials, meet with a Polish Righteous among the Nations (rescuer), hear lectures on Holocaust history, and visit the sites of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Belzec.
Upon their return to the States, participants complete reflection essays and work within their school communities to teach about their experiences and the importance of Holocaust remembrance and ethical leadership.
The application for 2019 is open and the link can be found here: https://mjhnyc.wufoo.com/forms/american-service-academies-program-2019/. Deadlines differ by academy, please see the application for details.
Selected reflection pieces from the ASAP and other AJC education programs are published in our annual journal, Reflections. Read it here.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Yael Friedman at AJC@mjhnyc.org.