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Teachers from across US attend five-day Holocaust-education program

The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous brought together 28 middle- and high school instructors for an in-depth course.

The 2023 Alfred Lerner Fellows at the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous summer institute program. Credit: Courtesy.

Those selected as 2023 Alfred Lerner Fellows recently participated in a rigorous summer seminar to increase the depth of their Holocaust lessons. Three of them discussed the experience with JNS.

“I am pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous summer institute as they are renowned for providing extensive education and historiography of the Holocaust,” Kelly Warsaw of INSIGHT Through Education in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., told JNS about the experience that took place from June 24 through June 28.

Julie Vaughn, who teaches at Our Lady of Victory in Cincinnati, said “one of my key takeaways from the program would be the enthusiasm and excitement that I’m going to take back into my classroom to revamp things that I’ve done in the past with the new knowledge I have gained from this … the biggest key takeaway is the incorporation of rescuers and how to approach that and inspire my students from their testimony.”

The program introduced the fellows to the work of important Holocaust scholars such as Doris Bergen, Benjamin Hett, Rebecca Erbelding, Peter Hayes, Lawrence R. Douglas, Steven Field, Avinoam Patt, Edward B. Westermann and Robert Jan van Pelt.

Stanlee Stahl, JFR’s executive vice president, said “there are three main goals of JFR’s Summer Institute, including providing teachers with a graduate-level course on the Holocaust; pedagogical connections with other teachers and their curriculum so they learn what has worked and what has not; and to give them additional resources for the classroom.”  

Paul Sauberer, an instructor at Okeeheelee Middle School in West Palm Beach, Fla., told JNS that compared to other seminars he attended previously in the summer, “this is the only one that is not telling you how to teach; this is something different, this is something special. The JFR and Stanlee are treating you like you know what you are doing and they are giving you more tools to be prepared for it.”

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