Institute News

Yad Vashem’s Shani Lourie Visits USC Shoah Foundation

Shani Lourie of Yad Vashem visited USC Shoah Foundation Thursday in order to learn more about USC Shoah Foundation and its mission and to receive in-depth training on the principles and strategies for developing activities within IWitness.

Lourie is the educational consultant for Echoes and Reflections, the Holocaust curriculum guide for secondary school teachers produced by Yad Vashem, the Anti-Defamation League and USC Shoah Foundation. She has been at Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies since 2002, serving as director of the teacher training programs division, director of the curriculum planning division, and most recently the educational director of the JewishWorld department. She is currently working in Yad Vashem’s International Seminars department, which leads intensive seminars on Jewish education for teachers around the world.

Her visit at USC Shoah Foundation included demonstrations of the Visual History Archive and IWitness, a tour of ITS offices where testimonies are restored and preserved, and a meeting with the education department staff.

Lourie’s visit helped prepare her to begin developing activities on IWitness as part of the Echoes and Reflections partnership. The new activities will continue to build IWitness into a robust educational tool for diverse audiences both in the United States and abroad, said Claudia Wiedeman, educational programs designer at USC Shoah Foundation.

"Shani's visit reminded me of the importance of partnerships in reaching the goals of our mission,” Wiedeman said. “The shared expertise and commitments of our organizations led to very fruitful discussions about curriculum development on IWitness."

USC Shoah Foundation’s educational website IWitness provides students and teachers access to more than 1,300 full life histories and testimonies of survivors and witnesses to the Holocaust and other genocides for guided exploration, multimedia projects, activities and lessons. The testimonies come from USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive, which contains almost 52,000 audiovisual testimonies from the Holocaust and other genocides conducted in 57 countries and in 33 languages.