NYC Summer Seminar Application

The Olga Lengyel Institute (TOLI) welcomes applications from middle school, high school and college faculty across the United States who seek to deepen their teaching about the Holocaust, genocide, and social justice.

Prior experience teaching the Holocaust or focusing on social injustice in the classroom is required. Applicants should have at least five years’ classroom experience and need to be at least five years away from retirement.

The TOLI Summer Seminar in NYC is an intensive 11-day experience. Graduates of the seminar are expected to return to their classrooms with the commitment to teach about the Holocaust and to create opportunities for outreach to fellow teachers and community members. Our active listserv and mini-grant program are designed to support graduates of our programs in ongoing participation in Holocaust education both locally and nationally. Applications must be submitted online using the form below.

Dates for 2020 Summer Seminar in NYC:  June 20 – July 1

Once you submit your application, you will receive instructions to send to your recommenders whose letters will also need to be submitted electronically.

Please note: You will be able to save your application and return to it. Please see instructions at the bottom of the application form. However, we strongly recommend that you compose and save your personal statement and other answers in a separate document so that you have backup in case of potential problems with the site.

Submission deadline: February 22, 2020
Letter of reference deadline: March 1, 2020

Your application must include the following:

(Please note that unfortunately we cannot receive attachments via this website. We understand this may cause some formatting issues and appreciate your efforts to work within the constraints of the application form.)

A. Completed application form (all fields below).

B.  A brief resume (no more than 3 single spaced pages).

C.  Two letters of recommendation. The first should come from your chair, AP, or another administrator familiar with your work indicating support for your plans to develop and offer a Holocaust-related class, seminar, program, or unit at your school. Expressing support for faculty development at your school or within your community is also important. The second letter should come from an educator familiar with your work who can speak to your leadership skills, your ability to teach both students and adults, and your potential to create and sustain outreach efforts. Instructions for sending letters of recommendation will be sent to you in an email as soon as you submit your application.

D.  A personal statement, no longer than four double-spaced pages, in which you describe the following:

1. The context in which you teach and the issues, both large and small, that shape your teaching and/or your students’ lives both in and outside of school. What local social justice problem affects your students’ learning, if any? What do you see as the most critical lesson, theme, or idea in your teaching about the Holocaust, genocide, or social justice at your school, and why?

2. Your own interest in the Holocaust and/or other genocides. Specifically, please address the following:

– What draws you to this field? What is it about the subject that engages you personally?

– A book, film, or other work that has been integral to your thinking about the Holocaust. What speaks to you? What text has most shaped your thinking about the Holocaust? Please discuss one text in depth but if there are other books or films that are important to you, feel free to mention them.

– Specific questions you may have or areas of interest you would like to pursue, and/or any area in which you have already developed some expertise regarding Holocaust study.

– What you hope to accomplish as a result of having attended the seminar. What are your goals for yourself and for Holocaust education at your school? Could you envision doing some kind of outreach to your community (i.e., through an event or series of events)  that would help to extend the work of your classroom? If so, what would that look like? Please briefly sketch out one or two options. How might participation in this seminar help you address the area of critical need identified above?

We don’t expect you to be an expert in Holocaust scholarship or pedagogy prior to attending the seminar. However, we would like your essay to convey a sense of what it is that you hope to achieve, what knowledge, background, or perspective you will bring, and what it is that defines you as an educator. Knowing this about you will help us to select a varied and dynamic group of fellows able to challenge, inform, and inspire one another through their unique viewpoints and bases of knowledge.

Contact Jennifer Lemberg at with any questions.