February 5, 2021
by Varda Ratner, THRW Committee Chair
As part of the 2nd annual Texas Holocaust Remembrance Week in January, the Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio (HMMSA), Texas Holocaust Remembrance Week (THRW) Committee, and staff developed a robust educational program for use in schools across the state.Week, Originally planned as ten in-person presentations at various venues across the city and five live streamed events, quickly adapted to a virtual program due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Museum staff produced eleven prerecorded programs featuring volunteer and staff speakers. The programs ranged in topic from a son describing his father’s liberation of a camp to an expert telling of the resistance by the Bielski brothers and their partisan efforts.
Ten more presentations were livestreamed. These included second-generation survivors telling their parents’ survival experiences, a Rabbi teaching about the first female Rabbi, and an expert teaching about women in the Holocaust.
Senator José Menéndez, who cosponsored the Texas Holocaust Remembrance Week Senate bill with Representative Richard Raymond, provided a prerecorded introduction to THRW which preceded each livestreamed presentation, as well as being posted on hmmsa.org
JFSA Interim CEO, Nammie Ichilov, followed the Senator’s general introduction with an introduction of each speaker. Each presentation was designed to address this year’s theme, “the opposite of hate is not love, it’s indifference”
You can view recorded programs on the museum’s YouTube channel here.
The museum reached over 276,000 people through its website and social channels during the month of January. More than 1,000 students and viewers virtually attended the livestreamed presentations. All presentations, including those that were livestreamed, are available for viewing at hmmsa.org.
Two traveling exhibits and eight educational trunks were borrowed by schools during the month of January, serving more than 1,200 students. Teachers across the state got to practice what they had learned in museum educator workshops in their classrooms during THRW.
The THRW Committee was chaired by Varda Ratner with Lisa Barry, Sharon Greenwald, Dr. Linda Solis, Josh Sutin, Sandy Wartell, and Ginny Wind as its hard-working members. Key staff were Kate McCloud, the museum’s Assistant Dirctor, and Nicole Munoz, museum Program Associate.
The next Texas Holocaust Remembrance Week will be held January 24-28, 2022. The museum is already planning its programs.
This year’s THRW programming was generously sponsored through a grant from the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission. The museum and the THRW Committee are currently seeking sponsors for next year’s event.
The Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio is a program of the Jewish Federation of San Antonio. To learn more or to sponsor one of the museum’s programs, visit hmmsa.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org