By Kayla Barnwell

Being a High School Apprentice at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust means I get to be an eyewitness to what the Museum does for its visitors—both adults and children, the local community, and for students in the High School Apprenticeship Program. Leading tours for groups of children has been a particularly inspiring and amazing experience for me.

Most of the children whose tours I lead don’t really know about Jewish heritage and Jewish life before they come to the Museum, and I am able to inform them about it. After each piece of information I relay, I ask them questions about Jewish culture. They are usually surprised at how similar Jewish life is to their life, like how the synagogue is similar to their church, or how the Torah is similar to their Bible.

Doing this makes me feel like I’m actively participating in Tikkun Olam (repairing the world). By teaching children at a young age about the similarities, differences, and connections between their heritage and the next person’s, I feel like I’m helping children understand how important it is to acknowledge and embrace one another’s culture.

Kayla is a 2018 participant in the High School Apprenticeship Program.