David Field, Chairman of TOLI, presenting certificates to teachers at the first seminar in Poland, held in July last year at POLIN, Museum of the History of Polish Jews. The program included visits to the Warsaw Ghetto memorial, Majdanek Concentration Camp site, and meetings with the Chief Rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich and Israel ambassador to Poland, Anna Azari.

In July 2019, TOLI held its second seminar for teachers in Warsaw in cooperation with POLIN – The Museum of the History of Polish Jews. The seminar will be start at the museum and will continue with a visit to Auschwitz, followed by a series of lectures and workshops in Krakow.

The first 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 on July 3-7, 2018. The seminar was made possible by a generous donation from the Mostysser family.

The aim of the seminar is to contribute to increasing the quality of education regarding the Holocaust and human rights in Poland. This 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.The objectives of the program are to:

  • Develop teachers’ awareness of historical and current dialectical discussions concerning the Holocaust and other instances of social injustice;
  • Develop teachers’ understanding of the impact of stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination at individual, group and society level;
  • Develop teachers’ understanding of the Jewish life before and after the Holocaust;
  • Raise awareness about the prevalence of online and offline hate speech and discuss ways to address it in school;
  • Increase appreciation for innovative, student-centered teaching methods, including extra-curricular activities and partnerships between school and other institutions and organizations;
  • Promote an intersectional approach to teaching about the Holocaust and Human Rights.

The teachers work together to unpack the meaning of identities, the role of stereotypes and think together about ways to overcome stereotypes and anti-Semitism. They visit the core exhibition at POLIN, as well as the temporary exhibition Estranged: March ’68 and Its Aftermath. A visit to Majdanek Memorial Site offer teachers the opportunity to be physically present in a location built for extermination purposes and learn about the people who died there and about the people who survived. The visit to the camp is followed by a live testimony of a Holocaust survivor, Assia Raberman, a hidden child in Poland during the war.

Participants also learned about the atrocities carried on by the Nazis and their collaborators in the neighboring countries from historian Radu Ioanid, who accompanied his presentation by images from the USHMM International Archive.

The seminar also focuses on present day anti-Semitism, radicalization and racism. Teachers have the opportunity to learn about several initiatives developed by NGOs and museums in Poland to educate the public and to offer support to teachers to work with their students on these issues and to empower them to become active citizens.

Please note that while we encourage teachers from all countries to apply for our European seminars, TOLI will be unable to cover travel expenses for those living outside of the country in which the seminar is held. Please contact Oana Nestian-Sandu with questions at onestian@tolinstitute.org.

Thank you to the Mostysser Family for their generous support of our Poland Seminar. 





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)