NYC Summer Seminar Application

The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights (TOLI) welcomes applications from middle school, high school and college faculty across the United States who seek to deepen their teaching about the Holocaust and human rights.

Prior experience teaching about the Holocaust or focusing on social justice 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 8-day experience. Graduates of the seminar are expected to return to their classrooms with the commitment to teach about the Holocaust and/or human rights and to create opportunities for outreach to fellow teachers and community members. Our active listserv and impact grant program are designed to support graduates of our programs in ongoing participation in Holocaust and social justice education both locally and nationally. Applications must be submitted online using the form below.

Dates for 2023 Summer Seminar in NYC: June 21 — June 30 (inclusive of travel days).

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: March 1, 2023

Letter of reference deadline: March 15, 2023

Your application must include the following:

(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.)

  1. Completed application form (all fields below).
  2. A brief resume (no more than 3 single spaced pages).
  3. 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 class, a seminar, a program, or a unit at your school that focuses on the Holocaust or explores the issue of human rights. (If there are mitigating circumstances around what it is possible for you to teach regarding these topics, please do the best you can.) 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.
  4. A personal statement, no longer than 1500 words, in which you describe the following:
    1. Teaching context

    Please describe 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? 

    1. About you as an educator

    Please describe your own interest in the Holocaust, other genocides and/or social justice work. If it fits, address any efforts you have made to engage in antiracist work and/or teaching. Specifically, please address the following:

    – What draws you to this field? What is it about these subjects that engages you personally?

    – What texts (books, films, etc.) have been most influential on your thinking regarding the Holocaust and/or social justice? Please discuss at least one text or film in depth and describe the impact it has had on you or how it has affected your thinking. 

    – How have you addressed these issues in your teaching? Briefly describe a project or a lesson that gives us an idea of your approach to teaching and learning.  

    1. Relevance for today

    How do you see the lessons of the Holocaust as connected to contemporary issues of social justice and human rights, either locally or globally? 

    1. Attending the seminar in NYC

    What are your goals for yourself as a Holocaust or social justice educator, and what do you hope to accomplish as a result of having attended the seminar?



We don’t expect you to be an expert in any of the above topics or issues. 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 teachers able to challenge, inform, and inspire one another through their unique viewpoints and bases of knowledge.

Contact Jennifer Lemberg at with any questions.