The Port

Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies-Muskegon

A weekend retreat for students entering Grade 6

September 9, 10, 11 2016  aboard the LST in Muskegon                                                                   

thePort_2What is a port? Interesting question.

Today the term frequently means: (n.) (1) An interface on a computer to which you can connect a devicePersonal computers have various types of ports. Internally, there are several ports for connecting disk drivesdisplay screens, and keyboards. Externally, personal computers have ports for connecting modemsprintersmice, and other peripheral devices.

In the past it was frequently referred to as a town or city by the sea or by a river that has a harbor, or the harbor itself: a naval/fishing/container port. For example in the late 1800’s until the 1960’s Muskegon was known as the Port City because it was a regular stop for ships sailing to and from Chicago, Milwaukee, the Eastern Great Lakes and Lake Superior.

A port was where people embarked for a journey by water. All of our ancestors – save for those who are American Indians – traveled from ports in Europe, Asia, Africa to come through ports like New York, Boston, Toronto, Miami, Galveston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego.

The places through which immigrants entered into this country were known as a port of call; that is ports where ships made regular pick-ups and deliveries.

The Port is a new program sponsored by the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies to introduce 6th graders to look at how we live in the human community and look at what prevents people from being with one another and working together and explore what they would do to build bridges.

thePort_1The Saint Louis was a ship which left Hamburg Germany in 1938 for Cuba but the passengers were not allowed to embark because they were Jewish. The ship journeyed off the Florida coast while people pleaded with the government to let the passengers disembark. But they were refused. Eventually the ship returned to Europe. Some of the passengers went to England but the majority of the men and women and children stayed in continental Europe and were engulfed in the atrocities of the Nazis and their allies. They were refused entry because they were Jewish. Children understand what it means to be shut out of participating in groups and communities for many reasons.

The Port will help them to see and understand how persons are identified as “different” and “not one of us” and then excluded. But the program will also attempt children to identify their own strengths to see and act differently in the world.

To get the pamphlet and application click here:

 The Port