Harris Center participates in Holocaust Education Inservice

Photo Credit: Inservice event
Wed, 06/05/2024 - 17:35

At the Samuel Bak Museum in Aksarben Village in Omaha, the Norman and Bernice Harris Center for Judaic Studies held its first Holocaust Education Inservice, a professional development event for middle school and high school teachers from across the state. It was many years in the making and it was incredibly successful, with some 70 educators in attendance from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Teachers were provided breakfast and lunch, along with a stipend or professional development credit. A few teachers drove a long distance to attend, and complementary accomodations were provided.

The event was planned by faculty from the center, along with the staff at the Bak Museum at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), faculty at College of Saint Mary, the staff of the Institute for Holocaust Education, History Nebraska, the Nebraska Department of Education, and the Blixt Arts Lab. The center secured grant funding from a number of sources, including a new Library of Congress grant that will allow for another event in Lincoln in the fall.

Teachers heard presentations about the resources that are available from the center, the Bak Museum, and History Nebraska to teach about the Holocaust. In addition to sharing about the upcoming Sommerhauser Symposium, the center also walked teachers through the Stories of Humanity web project, developed by Professor Beth Dotan.

In the afternoon, they were guided through the Anne Frank traveling exhibition hosted by the Institute for Holocaust Education and the College of Saint Mary. They were also treated to a special production of “Not Too Far Distant," a new play by Becky Boesen, co-founder of Blixt, based on the letters of Clarence Williams, a Nebraska WWII veteran who liberated Dachau. Those letters are part of the collection in the Stories of Humanity website, and the play begins and ends with the work of Dr. Dotan and the center students who collected and transcribed those letters.

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