by George J Elbaum
The Hastings Museum is housed in a building funded by the Works Progress Administration and dedicated on June 15, 1939. The museum exhibits include Kool-Aid, natural history dioramas, local history, weapons, life of pioneers on the plains, rocks, minerals, and dozens of animal species set in their natural habitats, allowing viewers to get an up-close look at many amazing creatures. The museum features a theater with a 65-foot wide screen and a large domed planetarium.
The museum also organizes special exhibitions and events, and for April 28, the anniversary of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, its Curator of Education Russanne Hoff organized a showing of the documentary film about that uprising, Who Will Write Our History, followed by a presentation by a Holocaust survivor (invitation below). She contacted Omaha’s Institute of Education Kael Sagheer, who in turn recommended me, and I was very pleased to give my talk to an audience of approximately 200 (photo below) who listened attentively and afterwards asked many insightful questions.
Although my talk was by Zoom, as have been all my talks since Covid started in March 2020, when viewing the whole audience in the auditorium arrayed across my computer screen, I felt almost as if I was actually there. I suddenly realized how much I missed giving talks to live audiences and interacting with them, especially with students who often approach me after my talk and share with me how parts of my story relate to situations in their life. I look forward to giving my talks in person once again.