ADL Helps Educators Make Connections Between the Holocaust and Recent Acts of Genocide
Date: July 19, 2012
The 5th Annual Educators’ Conference on Echoes and Reflections ― Holocaust Education for 21st Century Classrooms was held in New York City during the week of July 16th - 20th, 2012.
Throughout the five day conference, participants examined the Jewish experience before, during and after the Holocaust to identify how material in the curriculum can be applied to relevant contemporary issues –while building connections in students’ lives. Through interactive activities and lessons, reviewing video testimonials and sharing of best practices, participants were able to examine various pedagogical approaches to teaching the Holocaust. Participants were also introduced to IWitness, a recently released online complement to Echoes and Reflections.
The conference participants heard from guest speakers, including Kenneth Jacobson, Deputy National Director of ADL, who gave an overview of the history of anti-Semitism, Scott Miller, co-author of Refuge Denied: The St. Louis Passengers and the Holocaust, and Bronia Brandman, a survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau and author of The Girl Who Survived. Gatsinzi Basaninyenzi, scholar and professor provided an historical overview of the genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda. Ed Lessing and Stefa Hasson, hidden children during the Holocaust (and part of the ADL’s Hidden Child Foundation) also shared their stories with the educators. The week came to a close when participants met with Dr. Leon Bass, author of Good Enough, a veteran of World War II and rescuer of the Buchenwald concentration camp, and Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League who was also a hidden child of the Holocaust in Poland.
Thanks to the generous support of Charlotte and Jacques Wolf for five wonderfully amazing years of hosting not only this conference but a reception for the educators involved. All participants, past and present, now have the knowledge and skills to better teach the complex issues of the Holocaust and how to make the connection to the lives we impact today.