The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights

The Olga Lengyel Institute was established to educate students in the United States, Europe and other parts of the world about human rights and social justice through the lens of the Holocaust and other genocides so that such atrocities may never again take place.

To accomplish its mission, TOLI provides professional development seminars for educators in the US and abroad that link the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides to current world events, thereby working with teachers to promote a human rights and social justice agenda in their classrooms.

TOLI hosted its first New York summer seminar in 2006, bringing together educators from all over the US. Since then, TOLI has expanded to include Satellite Seminars, which are led by our graduates and take place in various regions in the US. In 2012, TOLI expanded to Europe where it has conducted seminars in several countries. To date, in the US and Europe, TOLI has supported over 1000 educators who, in turn, have taken the lessons of the Holocaust to their classrooms where they are applied to understand and act against social injustice, bigotry and hatred.

TOLI also established a US mini-grant program and an international mini-grant program for graduates of our seminars.  These grants, up to $1000, are intended to foster projects in classrooms, schools and the community.

The Institute is named after Olga Lengyel, a survivor of Auschwitz and author of Five Chimneys: A Woman Survivor’s True Story of Auschwitz. An American immigrant and philanthropist, Olga dedicated herself to remembering the martyrs and lessons  of the Holocaust so that such atrocities would never happen again. Those education programs were organized under the auspices of the Memorial Library and Art Collection of the Second World War. They have since been transferred to TOLI, incorporated as a 501c3 non-profit organization.

Watch a video about the history and work of TOLI.


For more information about The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights (TOLI), please contact

TOLI is located at 58 East 79th Street in Manhattan. (get directions)

The Memorial Library

The home of TOLI is at the Memorial Library building located on Manhattan's East side.