The Power of Partnerships
Yesterday, Baltimore Hebrew Institute had the privilege of hosting the final day of the Summer Teachers Institute for Holocaust Education. I felt like a proud mother, welcoming guests into our new home. Many of the educators who attended the Institute were graduates of Towson University. They marveled at the beauty and state of the art technological features of the new College of Liberal Arts building. You could see their pride as they shared their opinions about Towson’s growth, both academically and physically.
The Summer Teachers Institute is an annual event, presented through a partnership between the Baltimore Jewish Council, the Jewish Museum of Maryland, and the Maryland State Department of Education. The Summer Institute has been in place for seven years.
Every year, the Institute has a theme, and this year, the title was: “The Holocaust: Persecution to Nuremberg.” The Keynote speaker of the morning was Professor Harry Reicher, of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Scholar-in-Residence at the Touro Law Center. He focused his lecture on the factors that set the stage for, and ultimately led to the Nuremberg Trials, as well as their abiding impact on the 21st Century. He was engaging, passionate and knowledgeable.
In the afternoon, we had the opportunity to showcase two of Towson’s other jewels: our library and our faculty. The group made a pilgrimage to the Cook Library, where they enjoyed lunch and an afternoon program in the lovely Towson Room. Three members of Towson’s faculty, Dr. Nicole Dombrowski, from the History department, Elaine Mael, one of our fabulous librarians and Dr. Hana Bor, Program Director of the Graduate Programs in Jewish Education, and Jewish Communal Service presented. Elaine Mael gave the teachers a tutorial on accessing the library’s extensive collection of Survivor Testimonials.
Teachers are always a great audience, but this group was exceptional. It is gratifying to know that there are so many incredible educators out there who are interested in studying the Holocaust. While many of them plan to use what they learned yesterday in the classroom, several others were there solely because of their interest in learning more about it for themselves.
Working together with the staff of the JMM and the BJC, as well as everyone who supported us at Towson was one of the day’s highlights. Everyone pitched in to insure that the day was successful and meaningful for the educators. From schlepping the food to arranging the furniture, and even a last minute ride to Penn Station for our speaker, the power of partnerships was evident throughout the day. As we bid farewell to our guests, I was overwhelmed by their kind expressions of gratitude. I am already looking forward to doing it again next year!