The Steven & Anne Ausnit Romania Seminar began in 2012. TOLI organizes this annual Holocaust and human rights education seminar for Romanian teachers in partnership with the Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania and the Intercultural Institute of Timisoara.

TOLI’s first Romania Seminars in 2012 and 2013 brought together school superintendents to explore teaching methods, curricular and extra-curricular activities, and share best practices for teaching effectively about the Holocaust. In 2014, the Romania Seminar launched a nationwide Holocaust history contest for 84 middle school and high school students and 41 teachers. The following Seminar welcomed 36 researchers, teachers, and doctoral candidates to explore antisemitism, Jewish life in Romania, and the role of Holocaust memory in the post-Communism era. Today, the annual seminar gathers 30-35 middle school and high school teachers with the goal of increasing the quality of Holocaust and human rights education in Romania. Since 2020, the seminar has taken place in Cluj, the birthplace of TOLI’s namesake, Olga Lengyel. Highlights of the seminar include collaborative workshops, expert lectures, and guided tours of local synagogues, Cluj’s Jewish neighborhood, and the former Lengyel hospital.

The objective of the seminar is for participants to:

  • Increase their knowledge of antisemitism in the past and present
  • Investigate the responsibility of the Romanian administration during the Holocaust
  • Use primary sources, documentaries, and expert testimony to explore the deportation of Roma in Transnistria, the Lasi Pogrom, and the Odessa Pogrom
  • Reflect on ways in which the memory of the Holocaust has been preserved in Romanian national identity – and how it is represented in a post-communist society
  • Listen to testimony by Holocaust survivors, including Iancu Tucarman, Liviu Beris, and Vasile Szekely
  • Develop classroom activities and projects to further engage students on Holocaust history and contemporary injustices and discrimination

Impact Grants

Graduates of the seminar have the opportunity to apply for a impact grant to support a project related to Holocaust education and social justice. The grant consists of financial support and continuous mentorship throughout the school year. Every year, about 20 educators from Romania use a impact grant to implement local projects with their students.


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)