History major Jacob Munro ‘17 uses the word “incredible” to describe the new Hartford Remembers the Holocaust exhibit at the University of Hartford’s Museum of Jewish Civilization. Munro, who is a docent at the museum, is one of eight students who helped create the interactive exhibit.
Featuring iPads with video interviews, written testimony, documents, photos, and artifacts such as a concentration camp uniform, the exhibit tells the unique and extraordinary stories of six local Holocaust survivors who overcame impossible odds to rebuild their lives in the Greater Hartford area after World War II.
Jacob is pouring through the survivors’ inspirational stories so he’s well-prepared to lead discussions with middle and high school students when they visit the museum. “It’s a huge honor in many ways and a great responsibility at the same time,” he says about giving the tours. “I feel it’s very important to get these stories right and impart just how real this history is.”
Professor of Modern Jewish History and Museum Director Avinoam Patt says the museum provides an educational experience for the community and career experience for the students who work there. “Our museum is very much a teaching museum,” he says. “It gives students the experience to see how a museum works and how to put an exhibit together.”
Putting this exhibit together included identifying which survivors to photograph and collecting background information on each of them. When school groups visit the museum, students show videos of survivor interviews, lead discussions, and teach lessons drawn from the exhibit.
Nicole Awad, ’17, another history major in the University’s College of Arts and Sciences, spoke with survivors in preparation for the exhibit. Nicole says the experience is going to help her when applying to graduate school, prepare her for a career in archaeology, and for work in a museum. “The museum is the best job I’ve ever had because it pertains to what I want to do in my field,” she says. “It helps me communicate more clearly and develop a concise method of giving a tour to groups.”
The Holocaust survivors featured in the Museum of Jewish Civilization’s Hartford Remembers the Holocaust exhibit are Leon Chameides, Ruth Fishman, Margot Jeremias, Ruth and Rabbi Philip Lazowski, and Abraham (Abby) Weiner.
Find out when you can visit the exhibit here.