International Programs

Over 1,000 teachers have completed TOLI training since the programs began in Europe in 2012. These programs are designed to fit within the context of each country’s Holocaust history and contemporary issues of human rights and social justice. Seminar graduates have the opportunity to apply for mini-grants to put in practice what they learn by organizing local projects with their students. Over 100 mini-grant projects were carried out last year in Europe.

For 2021, eight national seminars – in Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Serbia, Italy, Lithuania, Ukraine, and Spain – and one international conference in Romania are planned, all of them expected to take place in-person.

In 2020, where seminars were planned for nine countries, programs have largely continued, but online. Adjusting to the new format, the seminars were extended to weekly events over several months. Additionally, ongoing professional development was provided to the hundreds of graduates of TOLI seminars. The highlight in 2020 was a 10-week online seminar for 40 teachers from several European countries. Coordinated by TOLI International Programs Director Oana Nestian-Sandu, this was TOLI’s first transnational seminar for European teachers, bringing together educators  from 15 countries.

Please note that while we encourage teachers from all countries to apply for our European seminars, TOLI will be unable to cover travel expenses for those living outside of the country in which the seminar is held. Please contact Oana Nestian-Sandu with questions at



Our seminars in Bulgaria, entitled Learning about the Past – Acting for the Future: Teaching about the Holocaust and Social Justice, are organized in cooperation with from American University in Bulgaria.

High school and middle school teachers come from all over the country to hear from internationally renowned lecturers, interact with survivors, and think creatively and collaboratively about how to teach the Holocaust and issues of social justice in their schools. They exchange ideas, approaches, and challenges with their colleagues, and have the opportunity to engage with new teaching methodologies to help their students approach the study of this difficult topic.

TOLI’S seventh annual seminar in Bulgaria will take place July 11-15, 2021Read more!



The seminars in Greece are developed by TOLI in partnership with the Jewish Museum of Greece and held under the auspices of the Ministry of Education in Greece. The seminars aim to contribute to increasing the quality of education regarding the Holocaust and social justice in Greece and program provides educators with the opportunity to consider a range of national and international approaches to these topics.

During the inaugural seminar in Athens, which took place in July 2017, 39 teachers had the opportunity to learn from internationally renowned lecturers, to interact with survivors and to think creatively and collaboratively about how to teach the Holocaust and social justice. Participating teachers gain in appreciation for innovative, student-centered teaching methods, including extra-curricular activities and partnerships between school and other institutions and organizations. TOLI’s fourth seminar in Greece will take place in February/March 2022. Read more.



TOLI’s seminars in Italy are organized in partnership with CDEC Foundation and MIUR (Italian Ministry of Education). High school teachers of humanities from across Italy, are trained on both the study of the anti-Semitic fascist segregation (persecution, discrimination) and the causes and effects of today’s hate speech in Italy, providing them with suitable tools for working with students. TOLI’s third Italian seminar will be held from August 29-September 2. Read more.



TOLI’s third seminar in Lithuania,  “Learning from the Past, Acting for the Future-Teaching about the Holocaust and Human Rights” will take place in Vilnius on October 24-28, 2021. The program includes a deep dive into the history of Lithuania and European involvement in the Holocaust, a guided tour of the Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum, The Tolerance Education Center, Survivor Testimony, a walking tour of the Vilna Ghetto, The Synagogue, and a Kosher Dinner to understand about Jewish Culture and what was lost in the Holocaust. Read More



From August 17-21, 2021, TOLI will hold its fourth seminar for teachers in Warsaw and Krakow, in cooperation with POLIN – The Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Starting at the museum, the seminar continues with a visit to Auschwitz, followed by a series of lectures and workshops in Krakow.  Read more.



The third TOLI seminar to take place in Portugal will be held  in February/March 2022.  The program is in cooperation with the Memoshoa, the Portuguese Association for Holocaust Remembrance, focusing on Holocaust rescue, noting the role of Portugal in WWII enabling Jews to find safe passage to freedom.  Read more.



TOLI’s Steven & Anne Ausnit Romania Seminar, entitled The Holocaust in Romania: Between History and Memory, is organized in partnership with the Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania and the Intercultural Institute of Timisoara. The seminar agenda includes lectures and workshops exploring an extensive list of topics, among them anti-Semitism, Romanian Jewish life, the memory of the Holocaust in the post-Communist era, the use of primary sources in learning about the Holocaust, and Holocaust denial. Educators also meet Holocaust survivors, watch Holocaust-related films and documentaries, and tour local synagogues. TOLI’s tenth annual seminar in Romania will take place in Cluj from July 20-24, 2021. Read more.



TOLI’s first seminar in Serbia will be organized in partnership with Terraforming. The seminar will take place in Novi Sad, on August 22-26, 2021. A group of 35 teachers from across the country will have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge about the Holocaust and to work together to find meaningful ways of bringing this important part of history to their students. The seminar will also address local histories, experiences and narratives, as well as present day human rights violations and discrimination.



TOLI’s first seminar in Spain will take place in January 2022, in Valencia. The seminar, organized in partnership with European Education Institute for a Democratic Culture, will bring together 35 teachers from across the country to learn about the Holocaust, the Jewish heritage in Spain and about present day antisemitism and other forms of hatred and discrimination. Teachers will learn from renowned lecturers and discuss pedagogical aspects of teaching the Holocaust, as well meaningful ways to engage in international partnerships to address the Holocaust and human rights.



TOLI’s third Ukrainian seminar, in partnership with Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies,  entitled “Learning from the Past, Acting for the Future-Teaching about the Holocaust and Human Rights”  will be held from October 28-November 1, 2021.  This seminar contributes to the increasing the quality of education regarding the Holocaust and human rights in Ukraine. The program provides a rich opportunity to integrate national and international approaches in teaching about these topics and in understanding the contemporary relevance of this important part of modern history. Read More.


International Conferences

Building on the national seminars organized in various European countries, in 2021 TOLI will start organizing international conferences, bringing together teachers from several European countries with the aim to create a platform for learning and for sharing experiences, teaching practices, challenges faced and ways to overcome them. The International Conferences will offer teachers opportunities to gain a broader and more accurate understanding of the Holocaust, learn about Jewish communities in different countries before and after the war, as well as to challenge nationalistic discourses and teaching practices. At the same time, they will engage teachers in processes of reflection and action on present-day human rights violations. In every country there are marginalized communities, there is unfair legislation, but also integration practices and intercultural policies. These conferences will help teachers expand their knowledge, interests and understanding of the European context (in the past and in the present), in order to engage their students in meaningful learning processes.

The first International Conference will take place in Timisoara, Romania from October 21-24, 2021 bringing together 32 teachers from Italy, Serbia, Poland and Romania.

The second International Conference will take place in Warsaw, Poland in April 2022, brining together 32 teachers from Bulgaria, Italy, Romania and Poland.





In Austria, along with the Bundesrealgymnasium in der Au TOLI offers a six-day seminar for teachers of middle and high schools focusing on issues of historical-political education and Holocaust education. This seminar brings together teachers from Austria and the United States to explore each others’ narratives about the history of National Socialism and the Holocaust, to exchange approaches and methods derived from their classrooms, and to discuss current challenges in education in both countries.

Participants are encouraged to work in curriculum groups to create teaching units reflecting current issues of Holocaust education collaboratively and to engage in discussions about the question of transnational normative values.The seminar is held at the Bundesrealgymnasium in der Au in Innsbruck.

In March 2018, TOLI conducted a 6-day seminar for 26 American and Austrian teachers.  Read more!


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)

Our Journey to Poland and Israel

In the spring of 2012, the Board of TOLI took the TOLI directors and 18 teachers on a journey to Poland and Israel. They were accompanied by a survivor and an Israeli historian. Listen to their thoughts as they move through this landscape of shadows and light.

Seminar in Bulgaria

Watch a video featuring highlights from TOLI's seminar in Bulgaria.