by George J Elbaum
The Holocaust Center for Humanity (HCH) arranged my very first two talks to students in October 2010, and has continued to arrange many more for my subsequent visits to Seattle. Through the lens of the Holocaust, the Holocaust Center educates students to think critically and inspires them to become champions for positive change. The Center reaches 40,000 students a year in their schools and communities with educational resources and programs, and provides immersive learning experiences to thousands of additional students at their museum and education center.
The Holocaust Center’s impressive one-year-new facility provides not only space for offices but also for a small museum and, most importantly, for changing exhibitions and educational seminars. A wonderful example of the former is the March-May exhibit Anne Frank – A History for Today which drew audiences of up to 500 per day, while the seminars are exemplified by the talks I’ve given at HCH last summer and again today.
As last summer, today’s talk was also focused on student groups from summer camps, this time 45 students from the Stroum Jewish Community Center (Mercer Island), the Southwest Boys and Girls Club (Seattle), and several other students from schools where I’ve spoken in prior years. (It is always a pleasure to see these “repeat” students, and always a surprise that some have grown by a head and now tower over me!) In addition to these students, HCH emailed invitations to adults who have participated in related HCH events, and more than two dozen of them were in the audience, including several Holocaust survivors. I was also very pleasantly surprised to see David Chivo, Associate VP of American Technion Society, in which I am quite active.
The talk was organized by Julia Thompson, HCH’s Education Associate, and attended by Karen Chachkes, Strategic Director; Amanda Davis, Development Associate; Richard Greene, Museum Experience Director; and Dee Simon, HCH Executive Director, who introduced me to the audience.