New Mexico Seminar Moves Online


New Mexico seminar leaders, Leslie Lawner, Susan Quintana, Michelle Thompson-Lloyd, and Barb Lazar grounded their work in the Essential Question:  

In times of crisis, what does it take to move from knowledge to action?

As they shifted from an in-person to a virtual 3-day seminar, they worked to maximize the benefits of online learning with a clear and intentional focus. 

Before meeting for the first time, the 19 participants were asked to watch the educational version of the film, “Who Will Write Our History” and the USHMM’s short overview “Path to Nazi Genocide.” Participants then met via zoom over the course of three mornings, July 14-16. Speakers included Sheryl Ochayon of Yad Vashem discussing the Ringelblum archive, and  survivor Gita Cycowicz, who shared her Holocaust story and her later experience as a psychologist who worked with other survivors in Israel.

After this learning experience, one participant commented specifically on the TOLIs commitment to personal, experienced-based learning. He wrote, “…these are the type of experiences that resonate with kids. Textbooks, scopes/sequences and tests don’t do it. I am so sold on impact teaching. Experiences have got to be resurrected in the classroom even if it is by video and now even Zoom.”   –Ty Friend, New Mexico   

Another wrote: “I found the online TOLI workshop very powerful. The presenters were inspiring. I came away with many ideas to implement for working in classrooms….Thank you for putting together this online version.” –Margaret Gates, New Mexico Holocaust Museum and Gellert Center for Education    

A number of participants didn’t want the connection with other TOLI NM educators to end. Their ideas included an ongoing virtual joint project among TOLI NM educators and their students, more conversations with survivor Gita Cycowicz, a poster project, and even a trip to Europe to continue learning together!


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)