Examining our Shared Humanity: Holocaust Education and Social Responsibility

Date: July 17-22, 2023
Location: Amherst, Massachusetts

Applications for the 2023 seminar are now open!

Examining Our Shared Humanity brings together teachers from across New England who are looking to deepen their practice of teaching about the Holocaust, human rights, and helping their students consider the role of social responsibility. Participants will take an inquiry-based, multi-disciplinary approach to their study of the Holocaust and more recent genocides. They will use writing as both a reflective practice and a vehicle for engaging with texts and film in order to understand how stories can inspire resistance, remembrance, and reflection on tragic historical events. As a learning community, teachers will collaborate to analyze and reflect on questions of morality, ethics, and social responsibility. In addition to teacher-facilitators, local scholars and authors who use writing to explore and understand atrocities, their causes, and their impact will present to the group. Teachers will return to their classrooms with the tools they need to engage students in meaningful study of these difficult issues, and to help them develop critical thinking skills, deepen their writing, and consider their own responsibility and ways they might positively impact the world around them.

Further details:

  • Participant stipends: $100 commuters; $200 dorm residents
  • Books, materials and museum fees provided
  • Meals: Breakfasts and Lunches provided
  • Professional development credit: 3 graduate credits/$510 total or 67.5 PDPs at no cost
  • Field experiences: Yiddish Book Center; Jewish Community of Amherst
  • Out-of-town participants: Low-cost on-campus housing available

Click here to apply!

Click here to view our 2023 flyer.

Thank you to the Western Massachusetts Writing Project for sponsoring the 2023 Massachusetts Satellite Seminar.



  • Cara Crandall

    Cara Crandall, an English Language Arts teacher in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, has been an educator for 30 years. She has taught about the Holocaust and social justice throughout her career, which includes her leadership work through the Holocaust Educators Network. She attended the Summer Seminar in New York City in 2013 and has co-led the seminar in Amherst since 2015. In March 2016, Cara participated in TOLI’s bi-national seminar on Holocaust education in Innsbruck, Austria. She received her EdD in Language, Literacy, and Culture at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in the spring of 2016. Cara recently published two articles that examine adolescent literacy practices and critical pedagogy.

  • Momodou Sarr

    Momodou Sarr is a Special Education teacher who taught at Amherst Regional High school, Amherst, MA for eighteen years. He developed and implemented a specialized curriculum based on social justice and community service goals relevant to the life experiences of his students. He used culturally responsive teaching practices to challenge his students to understand their relations to their community and supported them to interrogate and solve school and community issues through self-exploration and service learning projects. As co-founder of the school’s Sene-Gambian Scholars Exchange Program, Momodou lead a group of students to Senegal and The Gambia, each of whom completed a research project and community presentation upon return.

    Currently, Momodou is a teacher-consultant and former Co-Director of the Language, Culture, and Diversity Program of the Western Massachusetts Writing Project at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Momodou co-designs and facilitates two Writing Project courses and serves on a leadership team which develops and promotes accessible, relevant, and diverse curricula for professional development with a social justice and equity lens.


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)