2011, No. 4

Education Department: 713-942-8000, ext.105

September 2011


Holocaust Museum Houston is introducing a new scholarship for graduating seniors that honors the memory of those who perished during the Holocaust. The scholarship is being presented as a part of the Museum’s work to develop a citywide commemoration of Yom HaShoah (day of remembrance) for the victims of the Holocaust. Graduating seniors who have demonstrated leadership in stopping hatred, prejudice and apathy in their school or local community are eligible to be nominated by a school guidance counselor or teacher. The scholarship is open to students whose schooday, Dec. 12, 2011. Nominations will be reviewed by committee, with the announcement of the award being made by March 1, 2012. This scholarship is a one-time presentation of $500, to be used to support the student’s first year of college or university education, and is being presented with the generous support of the David Barg Endowment Fund and the Morgan Family Endowment Fund. To receive a nomination form or for more information, please contact the Education Department at 713-942-8000, ext. 105 or e-mail education@hmh.org.


On Sept. 29-30, 1941, a mobile killing squad murdered the Jewish population of Kiev at Babi Yar, a ravine northwest of the city. This was one of the largest mass murders at an individual location during World War II. According to reports by the Einsatzgruppe to headquarters, 33,771 Jews were massacred in two days. In the months following the massacre, German authorities stationed at Kiev killed thousands more Jews at Babi Yar, as well as non-Jews, including Roma (Gypsies), communists and Soviet prisoners of war. It is estimated that some 100,000 people were murdered at Babi Yar.

There are many resources teachers can use to commemorate this event. The Web site resource of the month, Centropa, has information about Kiev’s Jewish population. The following sites could also be used to locate information:


Holocaust Museum Houston’s Web site has information about the creation of the term “genocide” and one-page summaries of genocides of the 20th century. Each summary also includes textual and Internet-based resources educators could use supplement the information. These summaries have been updated to include the latest information regarding justice issues for each event. New summaries have been created to cover the atrocities that occurred in Guatemala and Argentina and that are occurring in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Holocaust Museum Houston has a curriculum trunk with resources for implementing instruction about genocide. Please see the education tab on the HMH Web site for a list of the trunk’s resources and information regarding ordering a trunk.


On Wednesday, Oct. 19, the Asia Society Texas Center and the Sikh coalition will host a teacher workshop from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the United Way, 50 Waugh Dr., in Houston focused on “Demystifying the Sikh Community: Understanding Sikhs’ Presence and Contributions to America.”

Sikhism, the fifth largest religion in the world, is growing rapidly. This faith, with roots in Punjab, has also recently gained greater political importance. Manmohan Singh, the current prime minister of India, is one of 26 million people that practice Sikhism. In spite of this, Sikhs continue to experience discrimination and are often misunderstood. The Asia Society Texas Center, in partnership with the Sikh Coalition, will present a two-hour workshop that will examine the history of Sikhism in America and give tips on how to teach the religion in the classroom. Sikhism has been added for the first time to the new Social Studies Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). The workshop is free of charge, but registration is required. E-mail ppass@asiasociety.org or call 713-439-0051, ext. 15 to RSVP.


Join the Education Department for a half-day teacher workshop March 3, 2012 that focuses on “Returning: The Art of Samuel Bak,” a planned exhibit to be on view at Holocaust Museum Houston Feb. 17, 2012 through Aug 12, 2012.

Bak has said of his work, “My paintings are meant to bear personal testimony to the trauma of surviving.” In “Returning: The Art of Samuel Bak,” viewers encounter familiar imagery used in unusual, somewhat surrealistic ways as they are led on an astoundingly complex, beautiful and richly colorful journey to, through and from the Holocaust.

During this Stefi Altman Seminar for Educators, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., educators will explore the history of Vilna, Lithuania from World War I through World War II, the implications of this history on the childhood of Bak and study the Holocaust as it occurred in Vilna. Time will be spent connecting Bak’s art to literature and history so that educators are prepared to implement the paintings in their existing lesson plans. The Museum suggests schools or districts send teachers from multiple disciplines to learn about the work of Bak, its ability to transmit and challenge knowledge about the Holocaust and how to develop cross-curricular lessons that support Holocaust pedagogy.

The cost for the one-day session – including materials – is $15. Lunch is not included. Visit www.hmh.org/RegisterEvent.aspx to register online. For more information, call 713-942-8000 or e-mail education@hmh.org.

The workshop is named in honor of Houston Holocaust survivor Stefi Altman, who was born in Lublin, Poland in 1926. The third of four children, she was just 13 years old when the Germans conquered her homeland in September 1939. She spent time in the concentration camps Jastkov, Treblinka and Majdanek before reaching Dorohucza, a Polish labor camp. She eventually was hidden by a sympathetic farmer until being liberated by the Russians, when she learned that her family — 35 members in all — were murdered in the Holocaust.


Join the Education Department on Wednesday, April 18, 2012, for a one-day teacher workshop with international best-selling author and consultant Barbara Coloroso.

Coloroso’s uniquely effective parenting and teaching strategies were developed through her years of training in sociology, special education and philosophy, as well as field-tested through her experiences as a classroom teacher, laboratory school instructor, university instructor, seminar leader, volunteer in Rwanda and mother of three grown children.

Coloroso is the author of four international best-sellers, including “The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander — From Pre-School to High School” and “Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide ... And Why It Matters."

In the afternoon, HMH Education Department staff will present their newest program: “All Behaviors Count: Humanity in Action.” This program provides information about the five behaviors of social cruelty and how schools can develop communities in which humanity is in action. Teasing, exclusion, bullying, rumoring and ganging up have all led to violence in the past few years; in a world of total connectedness, with no down time as in the past, these behaviors are causing greater damage.

This interactive afternoon will include presentations, visiting of relevant exhibition spaces and rich discussion. The cost for the one-day session – including materials and a copy of Coloroso’s book “Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide... And Why It Matters,” is $25. Lunch is not included. To register for the workshop, visit www.hmh.org/RegisterEvent.aspx.



Centropa is a Vienna and Budapest-based non-profit NGO that uses advanced technologies to preserve Jewish memory in Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, the Balkans and the Baltics, and then uses those same technologies to disseminate findings in creative and innovative ways. 

The site’s interactive database offers an oral history project that combines old family pictures with the stories that go with them. Centropa has interviewed almost 1,300 elderly Jews living in Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and the Sephardic communities of Greece, Turkey and the Balkans.


Presented with special thanks to



Holocaust Museum Houston will offer special guided tours of its permanent exhibition with an emphasis on the life and work of German Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer this October. The tours are being offered each Sunday in the month for the general public and for congregations who are commemorating the observance of Reformation Sunday.

Tours are scheduled for 3 to 4 p.m. each Sunday on Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 at the Museum’s Morgan Family Center, 5401 Caroline St., in Houston’s Museum District. Admission is free. The tours are open to the general public, but group tours for 10 or more can be arranged by calling 713-942-8000, ext. 102, or by e-mailing tours@hmh.org.

Bonhoeffer was a brave exception to the silent bystanders who watched during World War II as their neighbors and friends were taken to the concentration camps. He spoke out from the pulpit and called for the church to take a stand against the Nazis. He was a part of the Abwehr resistance circle which helped Jews escape to Switzerland. In 1939, Bonhoeffer left Germany for a teaching position in New York, but he returned after one month, despite knowing that his life would be in danger. On April 9, 1945, Bonhoeffer was hung at Flossenburg on the direct orders of Adolf Hitler.

The tour includes a look at the early influences on Bonhoeffer before the Holocaust, his organization of the Confessing Church to stand with the Jews and his imprisonment and execution.

The Museum is open 7 days
a week. General admission
is free.
Monday to Friday,
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday,
Noon to 5:00 p.m.

The Museum is a member
of the Houston Museum
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is located in Houston's Museum District.

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HMH's Corporate Circle Members provide invaluable support for the Museum's worldwide educational programming.  These companies have committed to helping teach the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy against the backdrop of the largest  genocide in history
- the Holocaust.

Morgan Family Foundation

Bank of Texas
BMC Software
Mach Industrial Group

Bridgeway Foundation
Weil, Gotshal and Manges LLP

Holocaust Museum Houston is dedicated to educating people about the Holocaust, remembering the 6 million Jews and other innocent victims and honoring the survivors' legacy. Using the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides, we teach the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy.

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