As 2020 comes to an end, the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center is proud of the work we’ve been able to accomplish during a challenging and unparalleled year.
Your support, engagement, and passion for our mission enabled us to find new ways to ensure the lessons of the Holocaust inspire action today. This year, HHC hosted more than 70 digital programs, launched its first-ever virtual version of the Roma & Sam Kaltman Holocaust Studies for Educators, and reached tens of thousands of constituents from more than 30 states and 20 countries.
Here are 10 ways HHC impacted the community this year:
1.We marked our first year at Union Terminal in January 2020.
In HHC’s first year at Union Terminal, more than 35,000 people visited the museum — an increase of more than 200 percent year-over-year in visitation. HHC marked the occasion with a weekend of events, including Prayer Interrupted, a first-time collaboration with the Cincinnati Song Initiative. The concert explored the lives of Jews in and around the Holocaust. Songs by Jewish composers were punctuated by liturgical music found in Cincinnati Hebrew Union College’s famed Birnbaum collection of music manuscripts. This concert commemorated the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
CEO Sarah L. Weiss also wrote an op-ed in the Cincinnati Enquirer about the dangers of unchecked hate, which was shared more than 20,000 times on social media.
2. We trained future leaders.
In March, HHC worked with dozens of students in grades seven and eight during the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Bystander to Upstander Youth Leadership Day. The daylong workshop allows students to gain leadership skills and learn how to affect positive change. Students participated in hands-on activities promoting problem solving and teamwork, while encouraging dialogue with students from across the Tri-State. In 2021, Youth Leadership Day will be hosted in a digital format.
3. We hosted more than 70 digital programs since mid-March.
Tuning in from places like Vancouver to Israel and Cincinnati, more than 10,000 of you attended our programs that educated about the Holocaust, modern-day social issues, antisemitism, and more. In a year when we saw a rise in antisemitic attacks both in Ohio and across the country and our nation reckons with deep racial injustice, we were encouraged by the response we received from our programs.
Approximately 90 percent of surveyed attendees said they learned something new about the Holocaust, while 80 percent said they felt a responsibility to stand up to hate and antisemitism after attending one of the programs.
We know that our programs combated Holocaust denial, changed hearts and minds, and educated people of all ages and backgrounds. Sign up for upcoming digital events.
4. We confronted issues like antisemitism and racism.
In partnership with the JCRC, HHC hosted a two-part panel series that explored a rise in antisemitism, xenophobia, and racism during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 400 people attended the series, and it sparked learning opportunities for our community and beyond. HHC also hosted a digital discussion about the powerful documentary film 13th, written and directed by Ava DuVernay. The film examines the criminalization of African Americans throughout U.S. history, including through modern mass incarceration. Tyra Patterson, Community Outreach Director for the Ohio Justice & Policy Center, joined Jodi Elowitz, HHC’s Director of Education & Engagement, and Justin Kirschner, Associate Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, for a compelling conversation.
5. We found new ways to gather and remember the six million victims of the Holocaust.
In April for Yom HaShoah, HHC hosted a week of moving Holocaust remembrance programs to remember the six million victims of the Holocaust and honor the survivors. While the community was unable to gather in person, more than 1,000 people engaged with the powerful events hosted by the center.
6. We welcomed legislators for socially distanced museum tours.
Local and state officials visited the museum at Union Terminal to learn more about supporting the mission of ensuring the lessons of the Holocaust inspire action today. Learn how to visit the museum today.
7. We reopened the museum after a temporary four-month closure due to the pandemic.
The museum at Union Terminal reopened in mid-July after a nearly four-month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The museum implemented several precautions to ensure the safety of guests and employees. Signage is posted to encourage social distancing and explain the symptoms of COVID-19. Floor “cling” markers will provide visual references for the recommended spacing between guests. Seating arrangements in HHC’s theaters have also been reconfigured to ensure guests maintain distances of six feet from each other. Complimentary stylus pens will be given to HHC visitors, which will enable them to press buttons and make selections on exhibit touchscreens. You can learn more about safety precautions and visiting here.
8. We trained more than two dozen educators during a five-week digital educational series.
HHC hosted its six-week digital Roma & Sam Kaltman Studies for Educators over the summer. The educational series featured leading experts in the field of Holocaust Studies, testimony from local Holocaust survivors and their descendants, and discussion about best practices and resources to teach the Holocaust in the classroom. Learn more about the 2021 HSE.
9. We reached hundreds through virtual tour offerings.
The Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center has expanded its offerings to reach visitors wherever they are. Engage with HHC’s mission of ensuring the lessons of the Holocaust inspire action today without leaving the comfort and safety of your home, classroom, or office. With a focus on compelling content, you can learn about the history of the Holocaust, along with modern-day social issues, through virtual tours and well-curated digital programs.
10. We launched the Cincy Upstander Project.
We know this work has never been as important as it is right now, and we’re able to continue doing it because of the support of people like you. When you donate to the Holocaust & Humanity Center, your support makes it possible for us to:
- Continue creating multiple digital programs and other virtual offerings every month
- Give educators the tools and resources they need to effectively teach about the Holocaust
- Provide funding so all students, regardless of economic circumstances, can visit HHC’s museum
- Send traveling exhibits to isolated communities
- Create innovative programming to engage the community in the history of the Holocaust