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Students to study ethics through Shoa lens
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Students to study ethics through Shoa lens

Salina Bakshi of Lawrenceville and Jordan Loewen of Princeton are among the 48 fellows chosen by Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics to participate in a two-week program this summer in New York, Germany, and Poland.

Bakshi, a medical student, and Loewen, a divinity student, will tour Auschwitz and travel through Germany and Poland, where FASPE fellows study the past and consider how to apply the lessons of history as they confront today’s ethical challenges in their profession.

Now in its fifth year, FASPE explores the history of the Holocaust as a way to engage graduate students from four specific fields (journalism, law, medicine, and religion) in an intensive study of contemporary ethics in their discipline. 

Run in conjunction with the Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York, FASPE fellowships examine the roles played by professionals in medicine, law, clergy, and journalism in Nazi Germany.

Bakshi, who grew up in Lawrenceville and attended the Lawrenceville School, is now completing her third year at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She is an aspiring primary care physician and public-health policy maker. She said she has come to realize that becoming a physician is “as much about understanding our professional and moral duty” as it is about learning the science of medicine.

Through FASPE, she hopes to “develop a nuanced understanding of how the field of medical ethics has evolved” and to “gain tools with which to think about moral reasoning and decision-making in my future career.”

Loewen, now in his second year of the master of divinity program at Princeton Theological Seminary, hopes FASPE will strengthen his own ethical compass, one that will ultimately guide him in his own ministry.

“By developing the practical skills and language learned from this fellowship, I will not only be able to live my own life more ethically, but might ultimately be able to help others do so as well,” he said.

Loewen said he looks forward to joining the group because “it is vitally important that we do our best to bring history to life through the types of inclusive, worldview-changing programs like FASPE in order to use the experiences to foster dialogue in our local communities and beyond.”

FASPE fellows represent a broad range of religious, ethnic, and racial backgrounds; they are chosen through a competitive process that this year drew close to 900 applicants from around the world. FASPE covers all expenses.

FASPE has worked with over 200 students using curricula designed in partnership with faculty from Yale Medical School, Yale Law School, Columbia School of Journalism, and Georgetown University. 

In addition to working under the auspices of the Museum of Jewish Heritage, FASPE operates in cooperation with Jagiellonian University in Cracow, the Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz in Berlin, and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland. 

Lead support for FASPE is provided by C. David Goldman, Frederick and Margaret Marino, and the Eder Family Foundation. FASPE is also supported by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and other donors.

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