Spiro GEAR UP juniors visit the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art in Tulsa


WILBURTON, OK (March, 9 2016) – Twenty Spiro GEAR UP juniors recently visited the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Museum is dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and to teaching the moral and ethical response to prejudice, hatred and indifference for the benefit of all humanity. As students toured the Museum, they viewed pictures, maps and artifacts from the time of the Holocaust—September 14, 1930–November 22, 1945. Students were split into two groups to tour which were led by docents Sandi Tilkin and Stan Shapiro, both volunteers at the museum.

Students heard stories about different victims and heroes who lived during the era. The Kaiser Holocaust Exhibition encourages visitors to remember the six million Jews murdered in the Shaoh by the six candles resembling the smokestacks of the crematorium on the sculpture you see as you enter the exhibition. The origin of the work “Holocaust” is Greek meaning “sacrifice totally consumed by fire.” The docent wanted the students to get the understanding that discrimination is still present today, and it is the responsibility of each one of them to stand up for what is right. The students were also educated on segregation, racism, the world’s reaction to Hitler, the Ghettos, the Camps, rescues, Jewish religion and so much more.

“Seeing all of the pictures of the small children, women and families being murdered, I really didn’t realize this many people lost their life. This breaks my heart,” said Spiro junior Samantha Gillion.
Shapiro discussed the Torah and how it is read from right to left. The Torah is written in Hebrew and one passage is read each Sabbath. That is the same reading all over the world for that date. The students were amazed that the Torah was written by hand.

Spiro junior Josh Cole said, “You would have to write really neat and nice to have this job so I wouldn’t be able to work as a Torah writer.”

Most of the items in this Jewish museum are donated and behind covered glass cabinets to keep the items preserved. Students also learned that there are 613 commandments to go by not just the ten.
“There was so much information to take in, I need to go back and look through it all again,” said Jimmie Pool.

GEAR UP students also had the opportunity to experience a special exhibition from Washington D.C. while touring the museum called “State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda.” The exhibit is designed to teach visitors the meaning of propaganda, how it was used by the Nazi army to gain power, and how it is still used today. Propaganda is biased information spread to shape public opinion and behavior. Students were able to see the different uses of propaganda techniques used to control the society and help Hitler gain control.

Museum docent Stan Shapiro introducing himself and the Museum to Spiro students at The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art.

The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art Docent Stan Shapiro discusses the stages of life in the Jewish religion with Spiro juniors. Pictured are: Tyler Goldsborough, Nathan Lovejoy, Trey Rodgers, Dylan Green, Richard LeFlore, Tristin Ayala, Tarik Romero, Wyatt Milliken Nathaniel Sebo and GEAR UP Education Coordinator Dara Self.

Spiro juniors stand in front of the Holocaust Exhibition as Museum Docent Stan Shapiro explains the Yizkor. Yizkor means “may (God) remember” in Hebrew and stands for the six million Jews that were murdered.

Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art Docent Stan Shapiro explains the State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda, to Spiro juniors touring the Museum.

Spiro juniors watched short film clips of survivors’ stories while they learned about the State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda.

Several Spiro juniors pause as they tour The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art. Left to Right: Dylan Green, Wyatt Milliken, Josh Cole, Richard LeFlore, Tristin Ayala, Trey Rodgers, Nathan Lovejoy, Tarik Romero, Leighton Morris and Tyler Goldsborough.

Waiting to eat lunch at Incredible Pizza after the tour of The Sherwin Miller Museum are Spiro juniors: Jimmie Pool, Samantha Gillion, Jami West, Tiara Whitfield, Madison Pendergrass, Madison Aary, Madelyn Sebo, Aunika Anderson, Dylan Green, Wyatt Milliken, Nathaniel Sebo, Tyler Goldsborough, Nathan Lovejoy, Tarik Romero, Richard LeFlore, Tristin Ayala, Keegan Caldwell, Trey Rodgers, Josh Cole and Leighton Morris.

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