During the last couple years while my students have learned about World War II and the Holocaust, I have had the opportunity to go to the Jewish Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Each time that I have visited I learn something new from the very knowledgeable docents and the informative displays.
The front entrance of the museum is adorned with friendly faces and symbolic artwork. The posters on the wall represent the core beliefs of Judaism and there is a video that plays the voices and views of Jewish people in the community.
The museum allows you to walk through the history of Jewish people in Milwaukee. The docents explain to the students, most of whom are immigrants themselves, how Jews immigrated to Milwaukee over the last 150 years. There are artifacts and stories of the different neighborhoods and businesses in the area that were created by the Jewish community in our city.
Also, famously Golda Meir, who later became a Prime Minister of Israel, spent some of her childhood growing up in Milwaukee.
Lastly, of course, we discuss the Holocaust. The students had a lesson about what it means to be a bystander and why it is important to speak up for human rights. We also have had the luxury to hear the story of a Holocaust survivor. This year we heard from the wife of a survivor since he is no longer with us. This is always a very powerful experience for all those in attendance.