Summer Seminar


Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and to ensure the safety of teachers and other participants, TOLI has shifted all US seminars online for the remainder of 2020. This includes the national New York Summer Seminar as well as the satellite seminars that had been planned around the country.
TOLI has pivoted to a broad offering of online events – professional development programs for teachers, presentations by Holocaust experts and survivors, and Zoom events – to connect with educators in TOLI cohorts to provide insight on how they can teach the Holocaust, despite the limitations of the pandemic.

Our eleven-day summer seminar is open to 25 middle school, high school, and college educators from across the United States. The seminar encourages teachers to think creatively and collaboratively about how they teach the Holocaust, genocide, and social justice. Participants become adept at dealing with difficult material and discover how writing, dialogue, and inquiry can help motivate students toward social action. Prior experience teaching the Holocaust or focusing on social injustice in the classroom is required.

Our application process is highly competitive. Applicants to the seminar in NYC should have at least five years’ classroom experience and need to be at least five years away from retirement. 

Course content includes:

  • Testimony from Holocaust survivors
  • Workshops by scholars and artists
  • A day at the Museum of Jewish Heritage visiting the new exhibit, “Auschwitz: Not Long Ago. Not Far Away.”
  • A focus on experiential learning, interactive pedagogy, and writing
  • Outings to other historic sites and cultural events

Speakers at the 2020 Summer Seminar will include, among others:

  • Alexandra Zapruder, author of Salvaged Pages: Young Writers’ Diaries of the Holocaust
  • Irving Roth on surviving Auschwitz
  • Andrea Pitzer, author of One Long Night: A Global History of the Concentration Camps
  • Rabbi Greg Wall on Jewish culture and klezmer music

All participants receive a fellowship of $350, free housing at Columbia University, and round-trip airfare. Local transportation and most meals will be provided by TOLI.


Download a flyer here.

Read about last year’s 2019 New York Seminar here.

Click here to apply!


How do we make the Holocaust accessible to students? What’s at stake for them, for us, for the world? But equally important, what can we learn by working with one another?”

– Sondra Perl, Seminar Director


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)

Inside the Summer Seminar

Watch highlights from the NYC Summer Seminars

The Memorial Library

The home of TOLI is at the Memorial Library building located on Manhattan's East side.