As the new school year begins, USC Shoah Foundation’s IWitness consultants are busy introducing teachers to IWitness and teaching with testimony at seminars and workshops around the country.
IWitness consultants are teachers who work with USC Shoah Foundation introduce educators in their area to IWitness through teacher trainings and workshops, professional development seminars and other presentations. There are currently consultants in Chicago, New York, Southern California and Florida.
Today, Brandon Barr, IWitness Consultant in the Chicago area, is leading a half-day seminar as part of a two-day Echoes and Reflections training at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. Educators will learn about IWitness, USC Shoah Foundation’s multimedia learning platform that engages learners in utilizing testimonies and learning about ethical editing. It incorporates the opportunity to work with over 1,300 video testimonies, multimedia activities, and digital resources.
Echoes and Reflections is a multimedia curriculum developed by the Anti-Defamation League, the USC Shoah Foundation, and Yad Vashem, and includes lessons illustrated with maps, photographs, timelines, a glossary, and primary source material, along with private website access to visual history testimonies.
Barr will also host a follow-up workshop with the same group of participants at the museum on Sept. 18. The Illinois IWitness workshops are funded through a grant from Crown Family Philanthropies – Renee Crown and Susan Crown are honorary and vice chair, respectively, on the USC Shoah Foundation Board of Councilors.
Liz Bommarito, IWitness consultant in the New York area, will lead an IWitness workshop at Cranston High School East in Rhode Island on Aug. 20, hosted by the Holocaust Education and Resource Center of Rhode Island.
At Yom Limmud: San Diego’s Community Day of Learning at the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture on Aug. 24, IWitness Manager Jenna Leventhal will give a presentation about teaching with testimony in the classroom through IWitness. Other speakers throughout the daylong event will give presentations about Jewish history, spirituality and education.
The following day, Leventhal and Claudia Wiedeman, USC Shoah Foundation educational program designer, will give an IWitness introductory presentation to educators from the San Diego Unified School District.