Summer Seminar


2014 Summer Seminar Participants © Scott Lone

Our twelve-day summer seminar is open to middle school, high school, and college educators from across the United States and will take place from June 16 – 28, 2018 in NYC. Led by Sondra Perl and Jennifer Lemberg, 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. Applicants 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
  • A focus on experiential learning, interactive pedagogy, and writing
  • Outings to historic sites and cultural events

Speakers at the 2018 Summer Seminar will include, among others:

  • Mehnaz Afridi on Christian, Jewish, Muslim dialogue
  • Irving Roth on surviving Auschwitz
  • Racelle Weiman on acts of resistance
  • Murry Sidlin on the role of music in the Holocaust
  • Ari Shonbrun on rescue at the Twin Towers
  • 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.

Applications for the 2018 Summer Seminar in New York City are now closed. Please check back later this fall for information about our 2019 Summer Seminar.


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.