Calvert teacher learns of Judaism in Washington

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Calvert Catholic High School teacher attended a summit over the summer in order to help students understand more about antisemitism and inter-faith relations.

Maddie Routson, a high school social studies teacher in her second year at Calvert, attended the Elieen Ludwig Greenland National Bearing Witness Summer Institute in Washington, D.C. The conference is sponsored through the Anti-Defamation League — a civil rights/ human relations organization founded in 1913.

Routson had seen other faculty and staff attend conferences and wanted to attend a conference of her own.

She said she chose to attend this conference in particular because she wanted to show in her classroom how the Holocaust still resonates today.

Routson attended the conference for a week in July. There, she learned the history of Judaism, its history as a religion and the tension between religions. She also took a synagogue tour and toured the Israeli Embassy, where she heard from representatives on the the issues of today.

In addition, she obtained resources to bring back to her classroom.

One such aspect she would like to address in her classroom, Routson said, is empathy for others.

“Hearing directly from survivors brings the issue more home to the students,” she said.

The resources Routson brought back, she said she plans to share with other teachers to reach more students.

‘We teach in the big picture of things and this summit has helped me relate the issues more directly,” she said. “I want students to know to not be afraid to stand up and speak out.”