Annual Report

Click here to read The Olga Lengyel Institute 2019 Review of Programs

Overview of TOLI programs in the United States,  2019

In 2019, TOLI continued its record of providing outstanding professional development and support to teachers across the United States.

Summer Seminar for Teachers in New York, NY 

In June, July, and August 2019, TOLI supported 9 Satellite Seminars across the United States. This year, TOLI seminars reached nearly 200 educators:

Our capstone 11-day seminar in New York City brought together 25 teachers for an intensive inquiry into Holocaust and social justice education. The group of teachers we convened in the summer of 2019 represented a wide variety of schools and backgrounds. They were Teacher Consultants from the National Writing Project, Teacher Fellows from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, past participants from the Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Teachers Program, the ADL Bearing Witness Program, and the Shoah Foundation Visual History Project. One educator from Romania also joined us.

Leadership Institute

Every three years, beginning in 2010, TOLI has held a Leadership Institute for selected teachers in order to work with them in developing satellite seminars in their home states. The 2019 program was held from July 8-14 at the Memorial Library. A total of 19 educators attended the seminar, which was led by Dr. Sondra Perl, Dr. Jennifer Lemberg and Dr. Wendy Warren.

Satellite Seminars in Nine States

Nine 5-day satellite seminars took place, with satellites in Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, and Wisconsin.

Conference at the USHMM

October 2019 brought to fruition plans to gather current TOLI Satellite Seminar leaders invited to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). This leadership program offered an opportunity for TOLI teachers to tour the permanent exhibits and learn about the new “Americans and the Holocaust” exhibit, to share ideas and strategies for best practices in leading their Satellites, and to build connections between TOLI and the USHMM.

Mini-grants

In 2019, TOLI continued its longstanding mini-grant program in the United States. These projects, which are ongoing across the 2019-2020 school year, include a wide range of activities, from co-sponsoring conferences organized by members of our program, to classroom and school-wide initiatives that will build student knowledge, to a student-created Holocaust museum and Holocaust-themed art installations.

TOLI Expands European Programs 2019/2020

TOLI has expanded its European programs to become an important resource for Holocaust education in the EU nations.  We have found that teachers receive little educational training in this area and are eager for professional development in response to concerns about extremism and intolerance. Since 2012 TOLI has held 19 seminars in Europe, training over 600 teachers.

All the seminars are tailored to the history and context of the host country. Each program has a local partner, an education or human rights organization, and sometimes government agency. Working with local Jewish communities, we include visits to nearby synagogue and opportunity to learn about Jewish life in that country.

With Europe continuing to be an important part of TOLI’s mission, seven seminars were held in 2019: Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Ukraine. In addition to these countries, in 2020 our reach will expand to Portugal and Latvia. These programs are designed to fit within the context of each country’s Holocaust history and contemporary issues of human rights and social justice.

BULGARIA

The 5th annual seminar organized by The Olga Lengyel Institute in partnership with the American University in Bulgaria took place in Blagoevgrad from July 7-11, 2019. Every year since 2015, groups of 35-45 teachers from across the country have had the opportunity to learn from internationally renowned lecturers, listen to survivor testimonies and think creatively and collaboratively about how to teach the Holocaust and social justice.

GREECE

This was the second yearly seminar held in Athens, with a group of 30 teachers who had the opportunity to learn from internationally renowned lecturers, to interact with survivors and to think creatively and collaboratively about how to teach the Holocaust and social justice.

This project, held in Athens from November 24-27, 2019, was developed by The Olga Lengyel Institute in partnership with the Jewish Museum of Greece and held under the auspices of the Ministry of Education in Greece. The aim of the project is to contribute to increasing the quality of education regarding the Holocaust and social justice in Greece. The program provides a rich opportunity to integrate national and international approaches in teaching about these topics and in understanding the contemporary relevance of this important part of modern history.

“For me it was my first time to attend a TOLI seminar. I learned things I didn’t know about in depth. The speakers were all excellent and the seminar was not tiring at all. I could follow it all day… I consider myself lucky that I was selected to participate.” –a participant at the seminar in Greece

ITALY

The 2nd annual seminar organized by TOLI in partnership with Fondazione CDEC – the Jewish Contemporary Documentation Center Foundation and the National Museum of the Italian Judaism and the Shoah took place in Ferrara from September 1-5, 2019. Every year, groups of 30-35 high school and middle school teachers from across Italy are trained on both the study of the anti-Semitic fascist segregation (persecution, discrimination) and the causes and effects of today’s hate speech in Italy, providing them with suitable tools for working with students. In teaching these topics, the program provided the opportunity to integrate national and international approaches and to grasp the current relevance of this crucial page of the Italian and European twentieth century history.  

LITHUANIA

This seminar was organized by TOLI, in partnership with The International Commission for Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania and Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum, and was held in Vilnius, October 27-31, 2019. The seminar promoted teaching the Holocaust and human rights through an inter-sectional approach. Teachers were taught to encourage students to apply their learning to present day realities in order to address discrimination, injustice, and unfair treatment, and to promote human rights. The project is of great importance in Lithuania, where the government has taken significant steps to recognize the Holocaust as a part of Lithuania’s history, as well as Europe’s history

POLAND

The second annual seminar for Polish teachers developed by The Olga Lengyel Institute (TOLI) in partnership with POLIN – Museum of the History of Polish Jews took place in Warsaw from June 25-29, 2019. The seminar was made possible by a generous donation from the Mostysser family. A group of 30 teachers had the opportunity to learn from internationally renowned lecturers, to interact with survivors and to think creatively and collaboratively about how to teach about the Holocaust and human rights. The program provided a rich opportunity to integrate national and international approaches in teaching about these topics and in understanding the contemporary relevance of this important part of modern history.

“Every point of the seminar was valuable, very inspirational.” – a participant at the seminar in Poland

ROMANIA

The 8th annual seminar for Romanian teachers was organized by The Olga Lengyel Institute in partnership with Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of Holocaust in Romania from July 29- August 1, 2019. The aim of the seminar was to contribute to increasing the quality of education regarding the Holocaust and social justice in Romania. The program provided a rich opportunity to integrate national and international approaches in teaching about these topics and in understanding the contemporary relevance of this important part of modern history.

“During this training course I lived history in a tangible way and I would repeat this experience anytime.” – a participant at the seminar in Romania

UKRAINE

This seminar was organized by TOLI, in partnership with the Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies, and held in Kyiv from November 1-5, 2019. Integrating national and international approaches to teaching the Holocaust and social justice, the seminar provided an opportunity for teachers to fully understand the contemporary relevance of this part of modern history. This inter-sectional approach to teaching these topics will ultimately improve the quality of Holocaust and social justice education in Ukraine.

Contact

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

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