A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. To reach those individuals and communities that might not otherwise have access to this education, the Museum has developed a number of outreach programs—among the most successful of which is Bringing the Lessons Home: Holocaust Education for the Community.
Launched in 1994, Bringing the Lessons Home provides Washington, DC–area youth the opportunity to become actively involved with the Museum. Through the program, the Museum has developed long-term partnerships with more than 30 middle and high schools, enabling more than 100,000 students, teachers, and parents to participate; more than 600 students to complete internships at the Museum and serve as docents for their peers; and more than 1,800 local educators to attend Museum workshops.
Bringing the Lessons Home is based upon two core principles:
- The history and lessons of the Holocaust are relevant to today’s world.
By encouraging young people to examine the implications of the Holocaust for their own lives, the program improves their ability to analyze current events that affect their neighborhoods, communities, and the larger world. Students also acquire a concrete basis for exploring the nature of indifference, racism, and genocide, as well as their roles as citizens of a democracy.
- Students should be actively engaged in their own education.
The program creates a learning environment in which the insights and opinions of young people are taken seriously. After completing a series of intensive classes, students lead their parents, peers, and other members of their communities on tours of the Museum. The program and the principles upon which it is based now serve as the model for several other partnerships the Museum has developed with new audiences.
Bringing the Lessons Home: Holocaust Education for the Community is made possible by a leadership grant from the Fannie Mae Foundation, with additional support from The Ryna and Melvin Cohen Family Foundation; Audrey and Marc Solomon; Deloitte LLP; The Goldsmith Family Foundation; Helena Rubinstein Foundation Endowment; PNC Financial Services Group; Seed The Dream Foundation; The Washington Post Company; The Ziegler Family Trust; Karen and Bruce Levenson; and others.