March 2017 – The Council for Holocaust Education Update

Holocaust survivor Eva Unterman was the featured speaker for 150 seventh-grade students who made the trip from Woodward, Oklahoma, to The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art for a day of in-depth Holocaust study on Wednesday, January 18. The students toured the SMMJA permanent exhibits, learning more about Jewish history and culture and the events that led to and transpired during the Shoah, as well as completed an artifact analysis lesson focusing on Jewish resistance during the Holocaust, before spending an hour with Eva in the Sylvan Auditorium asking her questions they had prepared from watching her testimony pre-visit and questions generated through their experience at the Museum that day. The students were grateful for the opportunity to interact with a survivor and learn the modern-day applicability of the lessons of the Holocaust. As one student said, “Our experience today made the four-hour drive worth it. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” The trip was arranged by English Language Arts teacher, Lori Zimmerman, who attends the Council for Holocaust Education’s annual Eva K. Unterman Summer Institute for Holocaust Education.

On January 27, 2017, the world marked the 11th anniversary of the UN-established International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this annual day of commemoration and anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, we are encouraged to honor the victims of the Nazi era and to dedicate ourselves to educating others to prevent future genocides from happening. In Tulsa, 123 people gathered in the lobby of The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art for a luncheon to honor local World War II veterans and Holocaust survivors. The program included a presentation by Mark Lobo about Liberators’ Park, Eva Unterman’s thoughts on being liberated, music by the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, songs of hope by Mizel’s kindergarten through fifth grade students, and a moving benediction by Rabbi Dan Kaiman about his beloved grandfather. In attendance were Tulsa-area WWII veterans and Holocaust survivors, members of the community, and students from Kellyville High School and their teacher Amanda Martin, who created research projects over International Holocaust Remembrance Day on display at the Museum during the event.

The Council for Holocaust Education is hosting the annual White Rose Essay Contest for area middle and high school students. The prompt this year focuses on the importance of speaking out when injustices are happening in the world, just as The White Rose German resistance group did during World War II. The prompt, guidelines, and entry forms can be found on the Council’s webpage at Submission deadline is March 31.

This year’s Yom HaShoah commemoration will take place on Thursday, April 20, at 7 p.m. at Congregation B’nai Emunah. The keynote speaker this year is Dr. Sigmund Tobias, child survivor of the Shanghai Ghetto and author of Strange Haven: A Jewish Childhood in Wartime Shanghai.

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