Teachers to Receive Education on Holocaust, Genocide

HOUSTON, TX (July 8, 2005) Thirty-five current and future teachers from around the globe soon will have the opportunity to learn how to teach their students about the Holocaust and other more current examples of genocide from some of the world’s leading experts on the issue.

This year’s group of teachers and graduate students for the Max Kaplan Summer Institute for Educators will visit Holocaust Museum Houston July 25-29, 2005 for a week of intensive training and opportunities to hear the incredible stories of Houston area Holocaust survivors and those who liberated them from the Nazi concentration camps.

Participants for the institute were chosen based on an application process with preference given to those with some previous Holocaust education. This group includes teachers from the United States along with two from Romania, two from Uruguay and one from Chile. 

“This program provides a strong, scholarly, continuing education for our core teacher group. They will benefit greatly from the lectures as they not only will learn about the topic at hand but how to apply it and use it in the classroom,” said Christina Vasquez, director of education at the Museum. “The inclusion of Romanian and Latin American educators also helps strengthen ties between the Museum and those areas of the world. We are already in the process of creating a Latin American conference in 2006 that will be taught entirely in Spanish.”

One of the important goals of this program is for teachers to link the Holocaust with current examples of hate and genocide that exist in the world today. To accomplish this, five speakers with extensive knowledge were chosen to give lectures during the program.

Jerry Fowler, staff director of The Committee on Conscience at The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, will give the opening lecture about the Holocaust and connect it to current forms of genocide witnessed throughout the world.

Dr. Richard Hovannisian, professor of Armenian and near-Eastern history at the University of California at Los Angeles, will lecture about the legacy of the Armenian genocide and how the echoes of that genocide continue to resonate in subsequent cases of crimes against humanity in contemporary times.

Dr. William Shulman, president of the Association of Holocaust Organizations, will give a report concerning the status of Holocaust education throughout the world. He will explain why the need still exists to further this education on a global level.

Mark Weitzman, associate director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in New York and director of the Task Force Against Hate and Terrorism, will speak about current issues in teaching the Holocaust.

Dr. Susan Zuccotti, former professor of the Holocaust and general Western European history at Columbia and Barnard Colleges in New York, will talk about the role of France and Italy in the Holocaust. She will show how, despite intense deportation attempts by the Germans, 85 percent of Jews in Italy managed to survive the Holocaust.

Each speaker will hold a question and answer session after their lecture. Following that, teachers will learn how to apply the knowledge in the classroom. Teachers also will be given a thorough tour of the Museum throughout the week to give them the tools to go beyond a general Holocaust education.

The Max Kaplan Summer Institute for Educators was developed from funding given generously by Max Kaplan and his family to train teachers on strategies and approaches for bringing Holocaust education into the classroom. 

Holocaust Museum Houston promotes awareness and educates the public of the dangers of prejudice, hatred and violence against the backdrop of the Holocaust by fostering remembrance, understanding and education. Holocaust Museum Houston is free and open to the public and is located in Houston's Museum District at 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004. 

For more information about Holocaust Museum Houston, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org.

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Museum Hours:

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Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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