by George J Elbaum
The Institute for Holocaust Education (IHE) of Omaha, NE, was established in 2001 with the mission to provide educational resources, workshops, survivor testimony, and integrated arts programming to middle and high school students. IHE’s annual Week of Understanding is in its 11th year and brings testimony of Holocaust survivors to over 7,000 students in Nebraska and Iowa each year. This year there are 6 survivor speakers and 27 schools participating. Two of these schools to whose students I spoke are St. Mary’s Catholic School of Omaha on March 24 and Fremont High School of Fremont, NE, on March 25.
Fremont High School is located in Fremont, NE, a 30-minute drive west of Omaha, and has an enrollment of approximately 2,000 students in grades 9 thru 12. This is the first year Fremont has participated in the Week of Understanding, facilitated by using Zoom, and I spoke to their entire student body and many of the staff. Fremont’s participation was organized by Ashley Bignell, English Teacher and Multicultural Club Sponsor.
My participation in Week of Understanding was arranged by Scott Littky, IHE’s Executive Director, and assisted by Kael Sagheer, IHE’s Education Coordinator.