May 16, 2024
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May 16, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

This past week marked the opening of the Bruriah Holocaust Museum, an annual exhibit and cherished tradition at Bruriah spanning several decades. Curated entirely by Bruriah’s exceptional 10th-grade students, this monumental exhibit holds even greater significance this year as Jews confront a rising tide of antisemitism and seek ways to combat this scourge.

Throughout the week, visitors were expertly guided through the exhibit by student docents, each eloquently explaining different sections. Notable guests included Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage, who, alongside Hillside Mayor Dahlia Vertreese, was visibly moved by the museum’s message and impressed by the students’ abilities. At the close of the visit, Mayor Bollwage expressed gratitude, sharing “This museum has shown the commitment to Holocaust education and the effort to promote dialogue, reflection and insights into the profound impact of history.” Also among the visitors was Mr. Joel Glazer, former Bruriah history teacher who founded the Bruriah Holocaust Museum decades ago. Reflecting on the tradition’s continuity, he proudly noted his connection to one of the 10th-grade docents, saying, “I taught her mother here at Bruriah! I’m so proud to see you continue this legacy!”

The museum is set up chronologically, taking visitors on a journey from pre-war events such as the rise of the Nazi party, the1936 Olympics, and Kristallnacht, depicted poignantly with a student-produced art piece of shards of hand cut glass with a memorial candle in the center. The exhibit then transitions to the World War II era, the German invasion of Europe, and later the Pearl Harbor attack and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki depicted by a 3D model of a mushroom cloud. This set the stage for the next portion of the exhibit, the Holocaust, the most tragic era of Jewish history. Displays include models of the train to Auschwitz, accounts of the brutal experiments of Joseph Mengele, and the various methods used to systematically murder the Jews. A staggering bar graph illustrates the enormity of Jewish lives lost and the diminished population today. The exhibit culminates with a post-war exhibit, which highlights reactions to the Holocaust and the establishment of the State of Israel. Examples of modern-day antisemitism are underscored with recent news headlines, emblazoned with the words “Never Again is Now!,” emphasizing the eternal relevance of the message of the Holocaust. The museum ends on a note of resilience and hope, with a wall of family photos of the entire tenth grade, declaring, “This is our revenge!”

“Our students did a truly phenomenal job of researching, designing and curating an inspiring and thought-provoking museum dedicated to remembering the Holocaust in its details and lessons. Particularly poignant was the exhibit of Holocaust survivors who were victims of the October 7 tragedy, demonstrating the students’ deep and multifaceted understanding of the Holocaust within the greater story of Klal Yisrael,” reflected Bruriah Principal Dr. Bethany Strulowitz.

A huge yasher koach to the museum docents, Kayla Feigin, Samantha Flint, Daniella Gluck, Atara Milgraum, Leah Pollack, Abby Schwartz and Sharon Zapata, and to the museum curators Talia Ambinder, Esther Benarosh, Hadar Duman, Tehilla Goldberg, Kira Klein, Maya Shatkin, Aura Schwartz and Shayna Schwartz.

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