There is No Future Without Memory:
Exploring the Holocaust and Social Justice; Road Trip, Anyone?
In partnership with The Memorial Library of New York City, local Nebraska Holocaust institutions and the Anti-Defamation League, Nebraska Writing Project teachers facilitated a week-long seminar for teachers grades 7-12 on how and why to include the Holocaust as part of their curriculum. Music teachers, speech, history and language arts teachers spent the last week in June exploring how twenty-first century social justice issues in urban and rural Nebraska connected to the most horrific time period of the twentieth century. One participant reflected: “I know that the Holocaust is absolutely somehow a part of me. The seminar gave me a chance to explore why this is so and I feel I have found many answers in that regard.”
The seminar provided opportunities for educators to acquire the tools they need to adequately and completely teach the lessons of the Holocaust to the next generation. We toured a synagogue, visited the Nebraska Holocaust Memorial and listened to the remarkable story of a Holocaust survivor, Louis Leviticus, and liberator, Roy Long. Participants discussed their individual local connections between Nebraska and the Holocaust, anti-Semitism and modern genocides and the importance of uncovering more than just one narrative to create those connections.
The twenty-one participants earned small stipends and came away with an armload of books and resources to be used in their classrooms. A trip to the Holocaust museum in Skokie Illinois is planned for January 2013 for participants as we continue to explore our understandings and create new memories with like-mined, caring educators. Taking our work forward one participant summed it up best: “I learned a lot about tolerance and for that I am grateful. I also know how sensitive I felt about learning all of this and how it impacted me. It is very important that we are aware, even more so, how it will affect the students we teach.”
If you are interested in participating in next year’s Seminar June 24-28, 2013, please contact NeWP TCs Katie Elsener, Jane Connealy or Tom Seib at: