2009 Echoes and Reflections Professors’ Study Tour
“…despite the fact that I have been teaching the Holocaust for many years, I gained a perspective and knowledge that I did not have before this experience. Most of all, I have been inspired to expand Holocaust education at my institution.”
—Ellen Friedman, English professor, The College of New Jersey
The first Echoes and Reflections Professors’ Study Tour to Israel was a tremendous success. Professors representing Iowa State University, Rider University (NJ), University of Montana, Wayne State College (NE), The College of New Jersey, University of Nevada Las Vegas, University of Southern Indiana, St. Cloud University (MN), Kennesaw State University (GA), The Richard Stockton College (NJ), and the Los Angeles Institute for Standards, Curricula, and Assessment accompanied ADL staff for a week at Yad Vashem to study the Holocaust and to identify meaningful ways to bring Echoes and Reflections to college students.
As part of the weeklong agenda, participants met with historians and pedagogical experts from Yad Vashem, studying pre-war Europe and the Jews of Poland, Jewish leadership during the Holocaust, the “Final Solution”, literature and art of the Holocaust, and the complexity and responsibility of teaching the Holocaust to today’s students.
A series of guest lecturers included Robert Wistrich, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who spoke about the rise of antisemitism in Europe during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and antisemitism in the modern world; Simcha Stein, Ghetto Fighters’ House, who discussed Jewish armed resistance during the Holocaust; David Horovitz, Editor-in-Chief, Jerusalem Post, who provided an overview of the problems facing Israel today; and Professor Rafi Vago, Tel Aviv University, who presented on the unprecedentedness of the Holocaust in the age of genocide. In addition, Holocaust survivor Ruth Brand shared her story of survival in Auschwitz-Birkenau with the group.
Participants also had an opportunity to tour the new Holocaust History Museum, the Visual Center, and the Learning Center at Yad Vashem. The program was rounded out with excursions to the Western Wall Tunnels, the city of Jerusalem, the Israel Museum, the Great Synagogue, Massada, and the Dead Sea. The prestigious group of professors who participated in the program will now work with Echoes and Reflections staff to bring the multimedia curriculum to their college campuses, with a special focus on preparing preservice educators to teach the Holocaust once they enter the classroom.
The 2009 Echoes and Reflections Professors’ Study Tour was funded by Dana and Yossie Hollander with additional funding provided by the Holocaust Studies Program for Training U.S. Educators in Memory of Nathan Katz, Holocaust Survivor from Lithuania.