Institute News

Holocaust Educator Network Seminars Across America Feature IWitness

Robert HadleyIWitness was a featured component of three training sessions hosted by the Holocaust Educators Network (HEN) this month.

Supported by the Memorial Library, the Manhattan-based Holocaust Educators Network (HEN) was created in 2006 by Dr. Sondra Perl. HEN offers a twelve-day summer seminar for faculty from middle schools, high schools, colleges, and universities interested in furthering their knowledge about the Holocaust and other genocides. Using an inquiry-based approach, HEN provides educators with tools to heighten their students’ engagement with this sensitive subject matter, guiding students from shock and denial to compassion and social action.

Robert Hadley, graduate of the USC Shoah Foundation Master Teacher program and past education consultant, led IWitness workshops at satellite HEN seminars at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey, the University of Oregon, and University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The first two workshops were conducted via Skype July 12 and 19, respectively, and the last was in person on July 19. Each seminar included about 15-20 teachers.

In preparation for the IWitness workshop, the teachers completed the IWitness activity The Bystander Effect – Rwanda or What is the Danger of a ‘Single Story’? the day before Hadley’s presentation.

Hadley then went over the basics of how to use IWitness and the testimonies, multimedia activities and other resources it offers. He also guided the teachers through beginning to develop their own activities on IWitness to bring back to their classrooms.

The participating teachers now have the knowledge and tools to incorporate IWitness testimonies and activities into their teaching of the Holocaust.