Greater Cincinnati’s Holocaust education center has landed a donor to ensure that every freshman from Cincinnati Public Schools will get Holocaust education for the next five years through interactive field trips to the museum.
The partnership enables every CPS freshman to visit the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center at Union Terminal, with an intention to reach 15,000 students.
Both CPS and HHC are working together to provide lessons and activities for pre- and post-visit, to ensure the students have time to reflect and be inspired from the experience.
“This partnership allows us to reach a wider array of students within Cincinnati Public Schools in way that was not possible before,” said Sarah L. Weiss, chief executive officer of the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center. “Holocaust education is effective and young people believe it is important. It is up to all of us to ensure the next generation learns from the lessons of the past.”
The initiative is funded by Roger and Julie Heldman, who are passionate about Holocaust education and committed to getting as many students as possible to the museum. They have provided a visionary gift that not only funds the CPS partnership but will help several other districts as well.
“We are proud to fund educational experiences that will influence hearts and minds,” the couple wrote. “We know that through this experience, students are learning about the dangers of prejudice, discrimination and dehumanization, and their responsibility to take action against intolerance and injustice today.”
A survey published by Echoes & Reflections found that college students who learned about the Holocaust in high school reported a greater willingness to challenge intolerant behavior in others and showed higher critical thinking skills and a greater sense of social responsibility and civic efficacy.
The Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center was designed with students in mind and added a virtual intelligence exhibit in 2020 to connect with younger digital natives. Dimensions in Testimony allows visitors to ask two-dimensional displays of Holocaust survivors questions and receive responses in real time.
More than 2,200 freshmen from across the Cincinnati Public Schools visited the museum in the past three months. David Traubert, the social studies curriculum manager for CPS, said teachers and students have already expressed the profound effect the field trips have had on students’ perspectives.
“Students left the museum with new knowledge about the Holocaust, in addition to feeling inspired about the action they can take to make a difference in the community now. The Humanity Gallery within the museum poses the question, ‘What can you do now?’” Traubert said. “We’re creating a new generation of upstanders.”