• HMTC in the Community: Lila Alexander

    H.H. Wells Middle School, Brewster, NY

    On Friday, February 15, 2019, HMTC docent and educator, Lila Alexander, spoke at H.H. Wells Middle School in Brewster, NY, to two groups of eighth grade students along with their teachers. Lila was invited to speak by English teacher Cathy Dima after Ms. Dima was approached by Lila’s granddaughter, Alexandra Schajer, a student in Ms. Dima’s class, who told her teacher that her grandmother was an educator and docent at the Center and would be willing to speak to the class. The class was reading Night by Elie Wiesel and Ms. Dima thought it would be appropriate for the students to hear from someone who could give them additional information about the Holocaust.

    Lila was quite surprised when she discovered that instead of the 30 or so students in Alexandra’s class she thought she would be speaking to, she would instead be speaking to nearly 200 students, two “teams” of the eighth grade. Since she was given free reign of what aspect of the Holocaust to speak about, Lila chose to discuss the Lvov ghetto where her grandmother died and from which her aunt escaped.

    The students were engaged and attentive as Lila described what life in a ghetto was like as well as the particular circumstances in the Lvov Ghetto which led to her grandmother urging her daughter, Lila’s Aunt Gina, to sneak out of the ghetto and make her way to Russia where she joined a partisan group and lived in the woods with them for two years. Lila also described the terrible conditions in the ghetto which caused her grandmother’s death from starvation.

    The audience was respectful and appreciative of the information Lila shared with them, evidenced by the many wonderful questions that were asked by both students and teachers.

    Lila Alexander is a retired teacher and an HMTC docent and volunteer.  She is also one of the recipients of the 2018 Bruce Morrell Education Award.


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