Leadership Institute Lays the Foundation for Seven New Satellite Seminars


TOLI and the Memorial Library are pleased to announce that they will launch several new satellite seminars in the summer of 2017, part of an ongoing effort to expand a nationwide network of Holocaust and social justice educators. Graduates of the Library’s Leadership Institute, which took place from July 5-12, 2016, will co-lead the seminars in teams of two.


Library faculty leads and facilitates programming at the five-day Institute, together with expert speakers. It is held every three years in New York and is open to teachers who have already participated in the New York City Summer Seminar. Candidates with demonstrated leadership ability, a commitment to teaching about social justice, and current experience teaching about the Holocaust and other genocides may apply. For consideration, they must submit a formal proposal, which includes their vision for a satellite seminar in their home states and a letter of support from a sponsoring partner.


The goal of the Leadership Institute is to work collaboratively with participating teachers on the design of their individual satellite seminars. Veteran seminar leaders provide one-on-one mentoring, while Library faculty and guest educators help teachers focus on what it means to be a leader in one’s school and community. Participants also have the opportunity to develop the administrative expertise and problem-solving strategies needed for program development and outreach.


“Being able to talk to other TOLI educators who had already held seminars in their home states was invaluable,” reflects Tonya Wertz-Orbaugh, who will co-lead a new seminar in Charlotte, North Carolina with Donna Tarney.


Donna concurs, noting that sitting around “Olga’s table with past, present, and future satellite leaders infused the week with an uplifting energy that I continue to draw on.” But she is quick to add that “something else happened as I worked with my partner and listened to veteran satellite leaders share their stories. I found myself thinking and feeling more like a leader.”


The goal of the satellite seminars is to engage other teachers so they, too, can bring inquiry to the process of Holocaust and social justice teaching, consider new pedagogical approaches in the field, and deepen their content knowledge about the Holocaust. To that end, the Leadership Institute helps new seminar leaders develop creative programming by working collaboratively, delving together into the material in a deeply meaningful and authentic way.


Michelle Clark, who will co-lead a seminar in San Diego, says that “by wrestling with content, engaging in dialogue, and finding release and resilience in writing, Jennifer and I left the Leadership Institute motivated and eager to facilitate our summer seminar.”


Jennifer Howard, Michelle’s co-leader, was also inspired by her colleagues. “It was an amazing group of educators who share a common mission to continue to educate teachers about the Holocaust and social justice.”


“This work is so important, now more than ever,” said Tonya.



For more information about The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights (TOLI), please contact info@tolinstitute.org

TOLI is located at 58 East 79th Street in Manhattan. (get directions)