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Thursday, December 22, 2016
This morning, I stood at attention as our select chorus sang the Star Spangled Banner. Looking at the flag in the middle school auditorium, I paused a moment to feel gratitude for growing up in a country where I have the right to define and redefine myself. I grew up believing I could become whoever I wanted to be. The flag stood tall, as did I. Thank goodness, I thought, that I live in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
Friday, December 2, 2016
For six months this spring and summer, I had the pleasure of leading a team of staff and volunteers facilitating the beta run of New Dimensions in Testimony (NDT) from USC Shoah Foundation at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. I watched people of all ages approach the giant monitor displaying an image of Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter, first with trepidation, then curiosity, then, at last, affection. Here are a few things that I learned about technology and humanity from the project.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
The school I teach at in Alberta, Canada, is considered a "unique setting" within our public school system. This means that our programming is designed to meet the complex learning, social and emotional needs of elementary children who exhibit extreme behavioral and emotional difficulties which impede their ability to be successful in school, community and home.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
This September a new school year will begin in Ukraine and the first lesson students be taught is “Ukraine is united" and the lesson will be devoted to state integrity of Ukraine. A tough issue for the country engrossed into an ongoing military conflict and terrorist attacks.
Thursday, December 10, 2015
You’re never too old to learn about cultural diversity.I realized this over the weekend, on the eve of Hanukkah. My mom, a fourth grade teacher, told me about an incident she’d just experienced at a local party-supply store.She was shopping for her annual Hanukkah lesson, in which she briefly teaches her students the meaning of the holiday, demonstrates how she lights our family menorah, and leads them in a spirited game of dreidel. Everyone goes home with a little bag of chocolate gelt, a dreidel and maybe a Hanukkah-themed pencil.
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Summer might be a break for students, but as an educator, I know teachers are busy enhancing their skills and knowledge to improve their curriculum and students’ overall experience in their classrooms. As you contemplate lesson plans for the upcoming year, will you be planning a unit or lesson about the Holocaust? Do you feel you have enough knowledge about the topic to teach it well? How will you introduce your students to that history and experiences? What readings and resources will you use? What approach will you take with this sensitive topic?
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Auschwitz, the final destination of Jewish people from across Europe destined to be murdered as a part of the Nazi genocide of the Jews.Auschwitz, a place that housed prisoners of many religions, persuasions, minorities and nationalities, but whose evil reputation is seared onto our collective conscience because the five gas chambers at Birkenau were there for one reason only - to devour the lives of 960,000 Jews.Auschwitz, which has evolved into a universal symbol of man's inhumanity to man – and indeed it does remind us just how cruel human beings can be.
Thursday, February 14, 2019
As a teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, who survived the tragedy on Feb. 14, 2018, I have spent the past year grappling with this question.
Thursday, January 15, 2015
#BeginsWithMe - using the power of testimony and the lessons of the Holocaust to inspire personal action in the days leading to the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Please help us make #BeginsWithMe a success. By including your voice, you will be part of a movement that spreads the message that each one of us has the power to help create a climate that prevents a genocide and other forms of inhumanity that affect all of us.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
#BeginsWithMe - using the power of testimony and the lessons of the Holocaust to inspire personal action in the days leading to the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Please help us make #BeginsWithMe a success. By including your voice, you will be part of a movement that spreads the message that each one of us has the power to help create a climate that prevents a genocide and other forms of inhumanity that affect all of us.
Monday, March 24, 2014
On the day the Visual History Archive access site in Prague - the Malach Center for Visual History - was inaugurated I decided that my school, Archbishop High School in Prague, could not ignore it. However, I was not able to think of a way how to organically incorporate it in teaching English, which is my job. My chance came only recently.
Monday, August 25, 2014
The fast pace of globalization with all of its benefits is also accelerating the viral spread of hatred. Where once regional enmities brewed for centuries with sporadic outbursts of warfare and imperial powers that waxed and waned, the truly global speed and scale of ideological hatred and international conflict was not possible until recently for many practical reasons.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
For some people, hope is nothing but an airy dream. But for my parents, Elisabeth and George, it is a hard-won reality that they have lived every day of their lives. Their commitment is anything but naïve. They are both survivors of the Holocaust and have experienced anti-Semitism in all its forms. They’ve suffered more than most of us, God willing, will ever experience. And yet, their hope has been a source of redemption and new life.
Monday, October 19, 2015
A few weeks ago, USC Student Body President Rini Sampath posted on her Facebook page about incidents of hatred and intolerance on campus. A Saturday night after a USC football game, Sampath had been walking down USC’s Fraternity Row when a man leaned out his frat house window and hurled a racial epithet and a beverage cup at her.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
As an educator who has used IWitness to teach various subjects, units and topics here are some tips to integrating testimony into any curriculum, including Science.
Friday, November 18, 2016
Several months ago in my former senior high school class, students were introduced to the ideas of illiberalism.  When discussing this issue, students are faced with how governments will apply laws and acts during times of crisis, as well as everyday life, that would limit or suspend civil liberties of any individual or group. 
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
As educators, when we go into teaching, we go in with what some might call ideological visions: This concept that we can and will make a difference; this idea that the children we teach will take the lessons we’ve taught and use them to become productive people long after they leave the four walls of our classroom. As we sit here now, reflecting on our most recent efforts to teach the Holocaust in a profound manner that gives justice and honor to the victims of this atrocity, we feel fortunate that such ideologies are being lived in our classroom.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
In January 2015, I traveled to Poland for the Auschwitz: Past is Present professional development program, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau. This entire experience, was and continues to be a life changing event for me on every level personally, professionally, and academically.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
As I start a new school year in a new school teaching a new grade level, I find it slightly ironic that the first theme that my textbook series addresses is courage. As I start another school year, I have thought deeply about courage and mix of emotions that come into play that very first day of school. Many may not readily admit it, but the first day of the school year for both teachers and students is filled nervousness and unease. A first impression is extremely important, and a good first day can set the tone for a very productive school year.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom HaShoah as it’s known in Hebrew, commemorates and honors the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. This year, people around the world will remember the victims of the Holocaust May 4-5, 2016.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
The Kristallnacht pogrom was a critical turning point on the path to genocide, and all of our #IWitnessChat participants agreed that using testimony is a meaningful way for students to understand and connect with the event. Hearing survivors’ detailed accounts of this night makes it much more accessible to students.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Mohammed Dajani teaches about the Holocaust to Palestinians although he insists it is impossible to do so. “In my class is a girl who was recently released from an Israeli jail. When I raised the subject of the Holocaust in class all she could say was, ‘I am still dealing with my own traumatic experiences, I am nowhere near ready to learn about this!’” Dajani is unflustered by such push back.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Seeing new students starting their fall semester at USC – my recent alma mater – gives me a strange feeling. I have worked at USC Shoah Foundation during most of my career as an USC undergraduate student, and now I am about to step away from my favorite university and nonprofit organization. I’ve learned invaluable life lessons from video testimony as well as my wonderful coworkers.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
In January 2015, I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Poland with other students, as a junior intern, for USC Shoah Foundation’s and Discovery Education’s Auschwitz: Past is Present program, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
Monday, April 23, 2018
In my role as part of USC Shoah Foundation’s Education Department, I have the honor of working with our team members both in the United States and around the world to create localized educational content using genocide survivor testimony. As a former classroom teacher and a lifelong believer in the importance of experiential learning, I was fortunate to take part in three IWalks in Budapest, Hungary, Prague, Czechia, and Warsaw, Poland while on a recent vacation.
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
On January 25, 2019, the fifth- and sixth-graders of a school in Cottbus, Germany honored all those affected during the Holocaust by unveiling a Butterfly Project memorial to the 1.5 million children murdered during this dark moment in history. This first-ever initiative in Germany introduced a new, younger audience to real stories of local children.
Monday, August 4, 2014
For years now I have noticed that my students are especially interested in the information from non- traditional educational channels; visual and auditory information are often more welcome than academic texts from their books. The reason, we have experienced a shift in the methods that young people process information these days. 
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
I first met Sir Nicholas Winton when he had reached the mere age of 87.  He was curious to learn about the UK Holocaust Centre, which our family had opened in Nottinghamshire.  Winton was intrigued to learn that a non-Jewish family established the center, which resonated with his own ethics, as a Holocaust rescuer who saved 669 Jewish children by organizing the Czechoslovakian Kindertransport.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
I teach at an Islamic school, and I am in awe of how testimony has opened the eyes and hearts of my students and inspired them to fight injustice. This is particularly amazing considering the Shoah is not even part of the curriculum in many Arab countries.When I asked my class why testimony has affected them so deeply, their response was:“Testimony teaches us that the world isn’t about us vs. them. It is about how WE can make the world a better place by not being bystanders.”
Monday, March 13, 2017
During a recent Twitter chat, #IWitnessChat hosted by Discovery Education, teachers shared how they are integrating the IWitness Video Challenge into their classrooms. Explore their insights and tips to help encourage your students to participate in the 2017 IWitness Video Challenge.

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