I felt compelled as an educator to have someone teach students about the Holocaust,” said Samantha Baskind, a Cleveland State University professor of art history.
This was the idea that led Baskind to become the only professor at CSU to solely teach about the Holocaust.
For Baskind to have the proper knowledge necessary to teach the course, she spent four weeks at seminars that covered how to teach the Holocaust.
Her semester-long seminar regarding art and the Holocaust allows students an opportunity to explore Jewish culture, including a tour of the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood as well as experiencing Yom Hashoah.
The interesting aspect to the course is that Baskind has not had a Jew take the class. She has shared the cultural-rich Jewish community with students from an abundance of different backgrounds.
While going through these tours and experiences, the students have the chance to hear from a Holocaust survivor. For all of the students thus far, that survivor is the first Holocaust survivor he or she has met.
Baskind also finds time to volunteer and provide a nationwide book tour on her text, “Jewish Artists and the Bible in Twentieth Century America.” She spent much of the past year traveling to explain the ideas behind her book, while continuing her teaching career full time.
She also finds time to lecture about the Jewish cultural contributions and Judaism at area synagogues, Playhouse Square, Cleveland Museum of Art and the Maltz Museum.
At a Glance
College: Cleveland State University
Spouse: Larry Baum
Children: Asher, 8; Naomi, 6
Synagogue: Park Synagogue
In the community: Cleveland Israel Arts Connection, Yom Hashoah, Creative Arts for Yom Hashoah juror
Noteworthy: Samantha is the author of the Encyclopedia of Jewish American Artists.