TOLI European Program 2020


A total of nine seminars for teachers were planned to take place in Europe in 2020, one in each of the following countries: Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Ukraine.

Of these, only the seminar in Portugal was organized face to face at the end of February 2020, for a group of 32 teachers. The face to face seminars in Bulgaria, Latvia, Poland and Romania were cancelled, as they had been planned to take place during Spring and Summer months, due to the physical distancing regulations. The seminars in Italy, Greece, Lithuania and Ukraine planned for the Fall are hopefully going to take place as planned.

But education knows no limits of physical distancing and TOLI’s commitment to supporting teachers in teaching about the Holocaust and human rights is as strong as ever. Therefore, we opted to move part of our programs online, while also adding new and innovative professional development opportunities for teachers. 

A 10-week online seminar for teachers from several European countries will be offered to 40 European teachers. This will be TOLI’s first transnational seminar for European teachers, bringing together teachers from various countries. For teachers in Poland, an 8-week online seminar will be offered, starting September 2020.

The Romanian seminar will move partly online. A blended learning program will be offered to teachers, starting in September and consisting of a 6-weeks online learning component, followed by a 2-day face to face meeting (to be organized when gatherings will be allowed by law). This is also the alternative plan for the seminars in Ukraine and Italy, if by August 2020 public gatherings will still not be an option.

The online and blended-learning seminars are designed to keep as much as possible the usual structure of TOLI European seminars, offering not only information and educational resources, but also space for reflection, discussion and for planning how to put into action the newly acquired knowledge and competences. 

A novelty in TOLI European Program is the focus on our alumni, the teachers who graduated one of TOLI’s seminars. We carried out a survey to identify the professional development needs of Romanian teachers, who represent the largest group of TOLI alumni in Europe so far, (8 seminars have been organized in Romania until now). The needs analysis revealed that teachers are interested in receiving further support in order to be able to offer meaningful educational activities to their students and want to engage in collaborative processes with other colleagues from Romania and from other countries. Based on the specific needs mentioned by the teachers a series of 8 online meetings with TOLI Romanian alumni will be organized, approximately one every 6 weeks, during the course of one year, on topics such as Prejudices, Roma Genocide, Antisemitism, Righteous Among the Nations, Human Rights, Approaches and Methods in Teaching about the Holocaust. In each meeting a few teachers will also present their best practice educational activities, to inspire their fellow alumni. The first meeting, on the topic of Teaching with testimony for combating prejudice, already took place at the end of May 2020 and was very warmly received by the Romanian Alumni.

There are over 100 mini-grant projects in Europe this year and teachers are doing an amazing job at adapting to the online environment the parts of their projects which allow it, while also finding ways to keep their students interested in this subject until it will be possible to meet the people and visit the sites which were not possible to visit virtually.


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)