Hungarian Speaking Graduates of Teaching with Testimony Program Celebrate Milestone Anniversary

Fri, 07/16/2021 - 11:52am

Graduates of the Teaching with Testimony in the 21st Century professional development program came together last month to celebrate the program's 10th anniversary in Hungary. The event took place June 28-30th to commemorate the program's success and chart new opportunities for its graduates.

Organized and administered by the USC Shoah Foundation in Hungary in partnership with local NGO Zachor Foundation, the program centers around an immersive 6-day training at the the Central European University in Budapest, where participants have complete access to the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Arcive (VHA), a collection of 55,000 video interviews with surviors of genocides around the world. More than 1,300 of those interviews are in the Hungarian language, the majority with Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. After the week of training, teachers then develop their own testimony-based lesson plans, pilot them with their students, and return the following year to share lessons learned. A total of 153 educators from Hungary and Hungarian speaking territories of countries including Serbia, Romania, and Ukraine have taken part in the training over the past 10 years.

The 10th-anniversary event also launched The Network of Educators Teaching with Testimony. This professional network provides an opportunity for educators to connect and exchange ideas, experiences, and best practices around Teaching with Testimony.

During the three-day event, educators were introduced to the redesigned IWitness site where Dimensions in Testimony (DiT) was presented for the first time to the Hungarian audience by guest speaker Greg Irwin, the Head of Content Management for Education at USC Shoah Foundation. Distinguished guest Mona Golabek - pianist, writer, and author of the new book The Children of Willesden Lane - led a short session and introduced The Willesden Project to the international audience of educators.

Additional guests included Associate Professor of Sociology at Eötvös Loránd University Budapest and USC Shoah Foundation affiliate fellow Dr Ildikó Barna, who presented evaluation results. Students participating in the Hungarian Junior Intern Program also joined and shared with the audience what they had learned during this youth leadership program.

One participant wrote, "It is a treasure that there is a community who supports each other and their students, showing them new perspectives and new ways of thinking."

The Education Office in Hungary has accredited the Teaching with Testimony in the 21st Century professional development program. It has truly proven itself to be a vital asset to the education sector in the last decade. The impact and legacy of the program will continue for years to come.