Institute News

Pennsylvania Students and Parents Learning the Power of Testimony

The Haverford School and Main Line Reform Temple – Beth Elohim will host workshops for teachers and students to learn about IWitness, USC Shoah Foundation’s educational website that uses testimony to teach via engaging multimedia-learning activities.

IWitness provides access to nearly 1,300 full life histories, testimonies of survivors and other witnesses to the Holocaust and other genocides for guided exploration. Students can watch testimonies and use them in individual or group multimedia projects; teachers can assign activities as classwork or homework, and can even custom-build their own lessons and activities. The testimonies are searchable by more than 9,000 keywords, enabling students to pinpoint exact moments of interest within each testimony, which averages two hours in length.

The IWitness video editor gives students the freedom to integrate testimony clips together with footage from other sources as well as photos and maps, voiceover audio, music, and text. In a way that transcends traditional print materials, the interactive, audio-visual form of IWitness connects learners with contextualized first-person views of history while training them to master the digital and media literacies necessary for the future.

Local middle- and high school teachers are invited to attend the IWitness demonstration and introductory training Thursday, November 21, at 4:15 p.m. at The Haverford School. The event will be led by local teacher and IWitness liaison Jonathan Young, who will share how survivor testimony is being used in his classroom to overcome prejudice and bigotry and change attitudes and behaviors.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a laptop or tablet to best partake in the interactive demonstration.

Main Line Reform Temple – Beth Elohim students will present their own IWitness video projects in a community event open to the public Tuesday, December 3. USC Shoah Foundation Director of Education Kori Street and Main Line Reform Temple Director of Education Stephanie Schwartz will also speak about the effects that testimony can have on students when used in the classroom. The event will be at Main Line Reform Temple – Beth Elohim at 7:00 p.m.

“I am excited to introduce IWitness to Pennsylvania students, teachers and their community,” Street said. “The experience of watching testimony of Holocaust survivors is profoundly affecting for students. The testimonies teach not only history, but also important lessons about tolerance, acceptance and peace that extend beyond the classroom.”


IWitness Teacher Demonstration and Training

When: November 21, 4:15 p.m. A light dinner will be served

Where: The Haverford School, Wilson Hall, 450 Lancaster Ave., Haverford, PA 19041

Contact: RSVP to Garrett Snider, (215) 460-6000,


Main Line Reform Temple – Beth Elohim IWitness Community Event

When: December 3, 7:00 p.m.

Where: Main Line Reform Temple – Beth Elohim, 410 Montgomery Avenue, Wynnewood, PA 19096

Contact: Stephanie Schwartz, Director of Education, Main Line Reform Temple – Beth Elohim, (610) 642-0304