They Were My Neighbors: Considering the Holocaust and Human Rights

Date: June 10-13, 2024
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

This seminar is currently in progress. Please check back for information on TOLI’s 2025 New Mexico seminar.

This seminar is designed for educators who are looking for meaningful ways to teach the Holocaust and other events that reflect intolerance and persecution.

This seminar builds participants’ understanding of the Holocaust as we investigate the roles played by ordinary people. Through exemplary lessons presented by seminar leaders and lectures by specialists in the field, we consider how to address the continuing spread of antisemitism and other forms of hate, even among neighbors. Participants have the opportunity to hear the first-person testimony of a Holocaust survivor, visit the New Mexico Holocaust & Intolerance Museum and Gellert Center for Education, and attend a Friday night service at a local synagogue. Throughout the four days, the program focuses on the development of meaningful lesson plans that enable teachers to meet common core requirements at the middle and high school levels.

Further details: 

  • Participant stipends: $100
  • Books and materials provided
  • Meals: Breakfasts, lunches, and one dinner provided
  • Field experiences: New Mexico Holocaust Museum
  • Out-of-town participants: Housing provided

Click here to view our flyer.

Thank you to an Anonymous donor for their generous support of our 2024 New Mexico Seminar.


  • Leslie Lawner

    Since 2003, Leslie Lawner has taught Language Arts and Social Studies to students in grades 6 through 8 at Sidney Gutierrez Middle School in Roswell, New Mexico, where she also offers an 8-week unit on the Holocaust to the 7th grade. She was a participant in the Belfer Conference at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and is a member of the Tecolote Group at St. John’s College in Santa Fe. A long-time teaching fellow in the High Plains Writing Project, Leslie attended the TOLI New York Summer Seminar in 2008. She received the New Mexico Charter School Teachers of the Year Award in 2010.

  • Susan Quintana

    Susan Quintana, a 29-year teaching veteran, teaches Humanities, Mock Trial, World History, and 20th Century Genocide History at Pojoaque Valley High School, in Pojoaque, New Mexico. She is a United States Holocaust Memorial Fellow and a Golden Apple recipient. Susan attended the TOLI New York Summer Seminar in 2012. She is passionate about social justice issues as they resonate today in classrooms and communities in New Mexico.

  • Michelle Thompson-Loyd

    Michelle Thompson-Loyd, a 2016 graduate of The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights, has taught AP US History and Constitutional Law for 13 years. She now teaches Great Books, Contemporary Issues, and Mentorship.  She is working with the New Mexico Council of English Teachers to resurrect and revive this important teacher resource.

  • Barb Lazar

    Barbara Lazar is a veteran middle school teacher and librarian. She has continually valued teaching the Holocaust and social justice through literature, writing, and art, and has been working with TOLI since 2015. A Belfer Conference alumnus, as well as part of the Educational Leadership Team for the NM Holocaust Museum, she maintains her passion for the importance of Holocaust education and working with educators.


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)