The Holocaust and the Meaning of Place

Date: July 30-August 5, 2017
Location: St Paul, Minnesota

Sponsored by The Olga Lengyel Institute (TOLI), The Holocaust and the Meaning of Place will explore what happens when a child’s safe environment is disrupted by historical trauma, as it was for the Jewish community during the Holocaust and for the Dakota people as a result of Federal Indian Policy. Educators will also have the opportunity to examine the broader topic of “place” and the relationship individuals and groups have to place. Using inquiry-based learning and National Writing Project pedagogy, participants will engage with primary source materials and survivor testimonies, and take several field trips. They will experience new educational approaches to teaching about the Holocaust and other genocides, learning best practices for guiding their students through the study of these difficult topics, while maintaining their faith in the future. Attendees will receive a $100 participation stipend and will leave with ideas they can implement in the school year ahead.

Applications for 2017 are now closed. Please check the site again in the fall or be in touch with the seminar leaders for information about 2018 programs.
Have questions about this program? Email


  • Merry Meltz

    Merry has been a public school teacher for 27 years and became a Holocaust/genocide educator after attending the Montana Satellite Seminar (2014) and the Memorial Library Summer Seminar (2015).  She currently serves as a Literacy & Content Integration Coach at the American Indian Magnet in Saint Paul, MN, working with teachers to facilitate the continued infusion of local indigenous cultural perspectives into the curriculum of their school.  Merry completed a 2016 University of MN certificate program in Teaching Writing and Critical Literacy, during which she focused on the current practice and effects of spiraling methodology in Readers’ and Writers’ Workshops within her school district.

  • Maureen Mahoney

    Maureen Mahoney has worked for the Saint Paul Public Schools for 22 years. She has spent the past 13 years at the American Indian Magnet School (AIMS), where she has been the Gifted/ Talented, Technology Specialist and AVID Coordinator, and currently teaches English Language Arts in the middle school. Maureen was a Peace Corps volunteer in the former Soviet Republic of Lithuania (1992-1994), where she taught high school English. In 2014, she attended the TOLI Worlds Apart, But Not Strangers Satellite Seminar in Missoula, MT. In 2015 she attended The Memorial Library New York City Summer Seminar and also participated in the National Writing
    Project Invitational Summer Institute at the University of MN. She is happy to be co-facilitating the TOLI satellite seminar in St Paul, MN with Merry Meltz.


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)