War and emerging refugee crisis in Ukraine paints a backdrop for educators’ seminar on human rights and genocide in Krakow and Warsaw

The Ambassador of Israel to Poland, H.E. Yacov Livne, joins 30 educators from across Poland in Krakow and Warsaw from July 4-8 for a seminar designed to develop awareness of historical and current dialectical discussions concerning the Holocaust, and further teachers’ understanding of the impact of stereotypes and societal discrimination. Livne spoke about the importance of seeking the truth in historical accounts, and about the privilege and responsibility teachers have to shape the next generation. The seminar is hosted by The Olga Lengyel Institute (, which was established to provide professional development for teachers on Holocaust education and, through that lens, address issues of human rights and social justice. It comes at a time when the Polish people have welcomed around 700,000 refugees from the Russian war in Ukraine since it began, sparking some anxiety over social resources and safety. To connect atrocities of the Holocaust to the current wartime situation in Europe, workshops explore how to talk to children about war and intergenerational transmission of trauma.

“It is our responsibility, as citizens of the 21st century, to have an honest look at the past and to resist any form of Holocaust denial. Our teachers are committed to supporting their students to become active citizens and in order to do that they need to be able to understand how the past is connected to the present. Our interdisciplinary approach to teaching about the Holocaust and human rights equips teachers with the competences to engage their students in meaningful learning processes that develop their critical thinking, their empathy and their respect for diversity and human rights.” – Oana Nestian-Sandu, TOLI International Program Director

Participants learn about Jewish culture and history in Poland with guided tours of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and memorial sites, including the Warsaw ghetto and Łódź ghetto. The seminar also includes visits to Kazimierz in Krakow, a traditional kosher dinner, and presentations from local and international experts on how to educate the public and students about these complex issues. Holocaust survivor Assia Raberman will also speak at the seminar, which is held in collaboration with Big Picture Association and POLIN. Other speakers include Mark Berez, President of TOLI, Rosanna Gatens, TOLI Board Member, Lucja Koch, TOLI Head of Education, Katarzyna Laziuk, POLIN’s Poland National Coordinator, Oana Nestian-Sandu, TOLI International Program Director.



For further information contact:

Oana Nestian-Sandu:

Stephanie Stark:


The Olga Lengyel Institute was established to educate teachers in the United States, Europe, and other parts of the world about human rights and social justice through the lens of the Holocaust and other genocides so that such atrocities may never again take place.


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)