Holocaust & Humanity Center wins grant to enhance school outreach

The Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center has received a substantial federal grant to expand and enhance its partnerships with school districts across Greater Cincinnati.

In a statement, HHC leadership said the $237,500 in Congressionally Directed Spending funds will go toward expanding engagement efforts at dozens of schools in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. They’ll spend the money on things such as more student field trips and providing additional curricular support and professional development to more educators and school administrators.

“This funding will allow us to reach more students and teachers than ever before during a time of great need,” said Jackie Congedo, the center’s chief external relations and community engagement officer.

Children take part in HHC programming at the Cincinnati Museum Center.

Congressionally Directed Spending, also known as earmarks, provides one-time grant funding for community projects that will benefit Ohioans.  

Congedo extended appreciation to Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who she said showed “his commitment to our mission of ensuring the lessons of the Holocaust inspire action today” by championing the HHC request for funding. Brown also submitted the proposal to Congress.

The Center noted that the funding is needed now as antisemitic incidents are on the rise locally and across the globe. In 2023, Anti-Defamation League tabulated 8,873 antisemitic incidents across the United States. This represents a 140% increase from the 3,698 incidents recorded in 2022 and is the highest number on record since ADL began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979.

ADL tracked more incidents last than in the previous three years combined.

As a result, the Center noted receiving an influx of calls from school district administrators looking for resources and guidance on effectively addressing antisemitism and hate with their student body.

“I am proud to secure this critical support for the Nancy and David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center to educate Ohio students about the horrors of antisemitism,” Brown said. “When we pass on the knowledge of the Holocaust to future generations and tell these stories, we help ensure that it never happens again, and we recommit ourselves to fighting for a more just and peaceful world.”

Raising awareness, stopping hate

Located at Cincinnati’s historic Union Terminal, HHC impacts more than 2.5 million people every year through digital and in-person events, museum tours, educational experiences, social media and virtual content.

Recently, HHC developed a school district partnership program focused on engaging ninth-grade students in Holocaust and humanity education. The aim is to help the students build empathy and critical thinking skills.

The program began as a pilot within Cincinnati Public Schools.

“Through very intentional planning and collaboration with the Center, we have elevated the field trip into a comprehensive experience that connects students to the historical context of the Holocaust, but also connects them to our community and the ways upstanders can continue to make an impact on our world,” said David Traubert, CPS’ social studies curriculum manager.

With this new funding, HHC is working to solicit new partnerships with individual schools and school districts throughout the region. Expanded no-cost offerings include: 

  • School district partnerships that allow students to visit the museum
  • Funding for educators to attend professional development trainings
  • Student youth leadership days at the museum
  • Delivery of student programming and teacher professional development at school sites
  • Enhanced curricular resources available to schools across the region.  

Educators and school administrators interested in receiving funding for field trips, youth programming and teacher professional development for the 2024-2025 school year can contact HHC’s Lauren Karas at lkaras@cincyhhc.org.

“It is so exciting that this opportunity will grow to include students and schools across the region,” Traubert said.

Holocaust & Humanity Center Education

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