As anti-Semitism increases throughout the U.S. and knowledge of the Holocaust declines, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood and the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center in Cincinnati have established a statewide campaign to increase Holocaust education throughout Ohio.
Through a dual partnership, called Stop the Hate Ohio, the museums will offer joint programming and workshops to reach thousands of Ohioans throughout the year.
“There are lessons to be learned from the Holocaust,” Dahlia Fisher, director of external relations for the Maltz Museum, stated in a news release. “This is not just a Jewish story, but a human story.”
Driven by a mutual belief that Ohioans care about learning from the lessons of the Holocaust, staff members at both museums are working together to provide digital programming for the public, training opportunities for educators, and in-person experiences through interactive exhibits.
The partnership comes as lawmakers in Ohio introduce a Senate bill, which would create the Holocaust and Genocide Memorial and Education Commission.
“We know that simply pledging to never forget is not enough as sadly, genocide continues to this day,” Sarah Weiss, chief executive officer of the Holocaust & Humanity Center, stated in the release. “With reports of anti-Semitism and hate crimes on the rise in our state and knowledge of the Holocaust in decline, we must prioritize Holocaust education and remembrance in Ohio now.”
The following joint programs and workshops are being offered, with the expectation to increase offerings as well as expand organizational partnerships in the future:
• Holocaust speaker series at 11 a.m. Wednesdays. Free and open to the public, the online series introduces audiences to first-generation and second-generation Holocaust survivors.
• Global response to the Holocaust is a three-part series with writer and educator Irene Shaland, who will explore how and why nations around the world respond to Holocaust remembrance. The series will continue at 7 p.m. Nov. 11 and Dec. 9. The series kicked off Oct. 14 with “The Ring of Fire: Austria, Germany, Hungary, Soviet,” and will be followed Nov. 11 with “From Europe to Asia: Norway, Sweden, China, India” and wrapping up Dec. 9 with “The Islands and the Boot: Cuba, Calabria/Italy, Malta, Corsica.”
• Trauma, Ethics and Witness in Women’s Holocaust Diaries will be at 11 a.m. Wednesdays Oct. 28 to Nov. 18. The course will examine Renata Lacqueur’s unpublished and Hanna Levy-Hass’ published diaries from Bergen-Belsen. Presented in collaboration with Case Western Reserve University’s Siegal Lifelong Learning program.
• Uncomfortable Truths will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Oct. 28. How do we show up for our students? How do we do good and not harm? Participants will explore 24 character strengths and social and emotional competency to help create safe learning environments for both teachers and students. It will be presented by the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center, Mayerson Academy and Youth at the Center.
• Diaries During Crisis, War and Genocide with Alexandra Zapruder will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Dec. 2. “Salvaged Pages” is a collection of diaries written by young people during the Holocaust. The workshop will focus on how to use “Salvaged Pages” and the accompanying documentary, “I’m Still Here,” with students. It will be presented in partnership with the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.
• Stop the Hate Digital Tour is designed for use in the classroom, where participants will be given opportunities to reflect on intolerance and oppression in the world and in one’s life by studying historical documents and artifacts and engaging in meaningful activities; examining how destructive forces can affect a group of people socially, economically, and politically; and, identifying possible solutions for advancing inclusivity. Free and open to the public.
• Stop the Hate Classroom Workshops is new this year. The Maltz Museum has launched two free online workshops as part of its Stop the Hate program. This anti-bias learning tool teaches history, literacy, and the arts. Teachers can choose to offer their classrooms either a songwriting or essay writing workshop at zero cost for middle and high schools, or home school groups of 15 or more, within Cuyahoga, Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull and Wayne counties.
• Stop the Hate Youth Speak Out & Youth Sing Out Contests will be part of the Stop the Hate contest’s 13th year. Both celebrate Northeast Ohio students in sixth to 12th grade who are committed to creating a more accepting, inclusive society by standing up and speaking out against bias and bigotry as they compete for the chance to win prestigious awards totaling $100,000. The deadline to enter is an undertermined date in March 2021. It is open to Northeast Ohio students and schools in Cuyahoga, Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull and Wayne counties.
• 2020-2021 Writing Contest presented by the Holocaust & Humanity Center is for students in grades seven to 12 in the tri-state region of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Students are asked to explore primary and secondary source documents about the Holocaust and write an essay or poem about carrying forward Holocaust survivors’ stories.
• Jacob G. Schmidlapp Bystander to Upstander Youth Leadership Day is for students in grades seven and eight who will participate in a daylong workshop to gain leadership skills, empowering students to affect positive change.
Organizations that wish to collaborate should contact either museum for information at StopTheHateOhio.org.