Esther Cohen Hexter, a consultant to the Jewish Community Board of Akron, has made a difference through one word: educate. Hexter has worked as a Jewish educator for years, and continues to consult in order to educate even after her “retirement.”
As a Jewish educator, Hexter was awarded with chairing the 20th annual Holocaust teacher seminar. She chaired this esteemed event in which the focus was to examine Holocaust survivors’ stories, and teach the attendees on the overall experience for Jews during this time period.
Hexter has not let the walls of a classroom limit her teaching about the Holocaust and Jewish culture. As a docent for two very different museums, Hexter educates the community by using exhibits to introduce conversations to the public.
“I try to broaden horizons for customers at either museum,” said Hexter. “I also try, through teaching and being a docent, to ensure that Judaism goes forward.”
Hexter has not restricted herself as a Jewish educator to Jews only. As a member of the Holocaust commemoration committee, Hexter makes sure to emphasize that events regarding the Holocaust are for the entire community. To ensure the expansion of Judaism, the entire community must become involved through a variety of opportunities such as planned lectures or even a museum visit.
Hexter also spends time educating senior citizens at the Shaw JCC.
The students, ranging between 60 and 90 years old, focus on Jewish culture, as well as Holocaust stories. Hexter tries to touch on every aspect of Judaism, to best understand the religion and culture as a whole.
At a Glance
Name: Esther Cohen Hexter
As a professional: Consultant to the Jewish Community Board of Akron
Synagogue: Beth El Congregation
In the community: Beth El Congregation, chairperson of Shaw JCC Yom Hashoah committee, City of Akron Holocaust Commemoration Committee, Ohio Council of Holocaust and Genocide Education
Noteworthy: Esther is a consultant to a Massillon museum with Holocaust survivors’ painting.