Museum Visit

Teaching the Holocaust & Telling Our Family Stories

February 25, 2007 We went on a guided tour of The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust (MJH). The group was big so we split up. One tour was led by Lori Kass, and the other by Dan Brooks, and as we all walked through the exhibits, everyone shared parts of their family stories. Afterwards, we discussed our impressions of the museum. We talked about the differences of message between MJH and Yad Vashem and the museum in DC. We observed that MJH is geared more toward a younger audience, and maybe leaves one with a message of hope, while the other two are much larger and more similar to each other than to MJH.

We discussed how we, as a group mostly of non-educators, can make a lasting impact on Holocaust education. Some felt that if we talk about our connection to the Holocaust to younger people, the impression we make may be more enduring. We discussed state-mandated Holocaust education: how it’s taught, its importance and the influence individual teachers can have.

 

The Museum of Jewish Heritage

July 27, 2005 picture-3Thanks to all those who made it out to the museum Wednesday, July 27. It was great to see so many new faces. For those unable to attend, we went on a guided tour of the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.

Meeting Summary:

  • Before the tour started, we all met and introduced ourselves in the lobby. We were greeted by our guide Inge Oppenheimer. Inge grew up in Cologne, Germany and survived Theresienstadt and Auschwitz.
  • The tour spanned three floors. The first held beautiful relics of Jewish cultural and religious life from last century. One that struck me was an ornate wedding dress, made in Bombay, that a recent emigre to Palestine had ordered for her wedding. There were also photos of old synagogues from such diverse locales as Turkey, Afghanistan and Cologne (the same shul Inge attended as a child). There was also a section devoted to the influence and inspiration Jews brought to political movements such as Socialism and Liberalism.
  • The second floor was devoted to the Holocaust. There were sections, or panels, focusing on lesser known themes such as the war against children, the pattern of deception the Nazis used and the difficulty that many faced in trying to escape before the war. Throughout this section, tv monitors played survivor testimony. The impact of seeing and hearing lived evidence throughout the floor is tremendous. This is what truly makes this museum a "living memorial".
  • The third floor was a helpful reminder of the hope and optimism that exist in a post-Holocaust world. A large part was devoted to the founding of Israel, the fight to save Soviet Jewry and the contributions that Jews have made to the modern world.