Chapter Two is an educational program of the Associated, designed for women. Participants learn about themselves, are educated about the Associated and its agencies, and take part in experiential learning and hands-on social action. Today our group visited the Jewish Museum of Maryland. We had the opportunity to participate in an educational program (usually offered to school groups) based on the JMM’s past exhibit, Lives Lost, Lives Found.
We examined reproductions of photographs that had been on display in the exhibit. We were asked to use critical thinking skills to make educated guesses based on what was observed. We had time to observe a photo and answer questions regarding it which included the setting, the individuals and the story. We concluded by writing a caption.
In total, five photos were presented. We were told that there were no wrong answers, to be open minded, and look carefully at the images. Clearly, we made some wrong guesses but the exercise was stimulating and enjoyed by all.
We met the Weil Family of Freiberg, Germany in 1925. We observed a photo from the US Holocaust Museum that showed Jews being forced to scrub the street in Vienna while crowds watched in 1938. We saw relatives saying goodbye to members of the Cohen family as they departed by ship from Holland in 1939. There was a picture of Herta Griffel, a child whose mother sent her to America by herself at the age of 7, with her foster family. Lastly, we witnessed Max Knisbacher, a survivor of the Holocaust, who became an American soldier, and while in Paris in 1945 he was reunited with his half sister and niece.
One of our group members’ mother was featured in the DVD that we viewed following the exercise and the mother of a friend of some members was also featured. Someone else was known to others as a fellow synagogue congregant. We learned not only of individual stories of the Holocaust but were reminded of how far reaching, personal and local the survivor’s stories really are.
A blog post by Volunteer Coordinator Ilene Cohen.