2009, No. 2

Education Department: 713-942-8000, ext.105

March 2009


The Max M. Kaplan Summer Institute for Educators at Holocaust Museum Houston is a four-day program that moves beyond the general history of the Holocaust  to explore the various dimensions and implications of the Holocaust and other genocides. This year's institute runs from July 7 through July 10, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The institute provides substantive content and the opportunity to network with internationally known scholars of the Holocaust and teachers from around the world.

The program is directed toward educators on a secondary or higher level, but university students and educators of all levels who have a specific interest in and background knowledge of the Holocaust are invited to attend. Seating is limited and is on a competitive basis. The cost to attend the program is $150, which includes lunch and materials for the four days. Applications for the 2009 institute must be received with payment by Monday, June 22, 2009. For more information, call 713-942-8000, ext. 123 or e-mail teachertraining@hmh.org.

This educator training project has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, the M.B. and Edna Zale Foundation and the Max M. Kaplan Fund.


The 20th century - one of the most murderous centuries in history - will forever be marked by the Nazis’ attempt to murder the Jews of Europe solely because of their ancestry. In no other history are the steps that resulted in genocide so carefully documented, not only by the victims, but also by perpetrators and bystanders. The events that led to the Holocaust raise profound moral questions about the consequences of our actions and our beliefs, and how we make distinctions between right and wrong, good and evil. While the Holocaust was unique, the questions remain universal.

Using Facing History’s principal resource book, "Holocaust and Human Behavior," as well as video, primary sources and presentations by survivors and leading scholars of the Holocaust, participants in this July seminar will experience a rigorous encounter with this powerful history.

The seminar runs from July 20, 2009 through July 24, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily at Holocaust Museum Houston's Morgan Family Center and will be conducted by staff of Facing History and Ourselves.

During the seminar, a wide range of innovative teaching strategies will be used to help teachers confront the Holocaust. Participants will leave with a thorough grounding on how to incorporate these teaching tools into their classrooms in ways that will help students connect the history of the Holocaust to the ethical choices they face today.

Participants will follow Facing History’s scope and sequence, beginning with an exploration of questions of identity in our lives today and then to questions of group membership in history. These early sessions lay the foundation for an intensive examination of the steps that led to the Holocaust and the eventual mass murder of millions of Jews and other victims. Participants then will be asked to think about questions of judgment and memory, considering who bears responsibility for crimes against humanity and how to confront or memorialize the past. The seminar will conclude by challenging participants to reflect on questions about what it means to participate responsibly in a civil society.

Following the seminar, participants will receive complete access to Facing History’s Educator Resources, including downloadable unit plans, lessons and online conversations. In addition, participants may borrow videos, DVD and books from Facing History’s lending library. Each participant also will be assigned a Facing History program associate, who can provide ongoing support services.

The cost to attend the program is $100. Register online at www.facinghistory.org. For more information, contact Tracy Garrison-Feinberg at 212-868-6544, ext. 34 or by e-mail at  tracy_garrison-feinberg@facing.org.


Teaching the dangers of prejudice and hatred against the backdrop of the Holocaust would be an almost impossible task without the assistance of volunteers who help educate the thousands of visitors to Holocaust Museum Houston each year. In preparation for this fall’s busy tour schedule, HMH is now accepting applications for tour guides, commonly called docents, to help with those tasks. Volunteers will be trained in the history of the Holocaust and taught to give tours during seven weeks of training. The class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 9 p.m. from Aug. 4 through Sept. 17. The deadline for applications is June 15, 2009. For more information on becoming a docent, call 713-942-8000, ext. 102 or e-mail volunteers@hmh.org.


In 2007, Texas passed landmark legislation divesting from firms that supported genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. Now, Texas is once again in the position to make the promise of “Never Again” a greater reality.

State Sens. Rodney Ellis and Florence Shapiro have introduced Senate Bill 482 and  State Reps. Warren Chisum, Ellen Cohen, Elliott Naishtat, Senfronia Thompson and Dan Branch have now introduced House Bill 795 for consideration in the 2009 session of the Texas Legislature to create a Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission. Under the current draft of the bill, this commission would serve in an advisory capacity for Holocaust and genocide education, as well as a clearinghouse for Texas educators who need resources and advice on teaching these topics. The 18-member commission would be appointed, and one part-time employee would be assigned to support its work.

Holocaust Museum Houston and many other organizations — including Save Darfur, Genocide Intervention Network, the Holocaust museums in Dallas and El Paso, the Department of Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Southwest and North Texas Regions of the Anti-Defamation League — support this legislation  and are asking citizens of the State of Texas, especially students, to contact their representatives to let them know why Holocaust and genocide education is important and how they feel this commission could advance such education. For information on how to contact your state senator or representative to urge passage of this legislation, visit our Web site at www.hmh.org. You can also download a copy of the proposed bill.


A new curriculum to help educators create unique teachable moments around the release of "Defiance," starring Daniel Craig as Jewish resistance leader Tuvia Bielski, is now available online from the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation. The materials can be used with or without seeing the movie.  The free curriculum is available for download at www.jewishpartisans.org/defiance. The new guide can help teachers inspire students to engage withhistory, English, Jewish ethics, Holocaust studies and more through the true story of the Bielski partisans, who fought back against overwhelming odds to save 1,200 Jews.


The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has released the online version of its new exhibition “State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda.” The new exhibit can be viewed at www.ushmm.org/propaganda/.

A student activity at the site focuses on the use of radio by the Nazi government. A timeline and gallery of artifacts can also be viewed.

< youth in artistic and creative ways.

Students will learn about children and youth who were enslaved in the labor camps, imprisoned in the ghettos, hidden in forests and in private Christian homes, and targeted for death at the hands of the Nazis. Even if they were survivors, rescuers or even resistors, they were all victims. Within the context of the Holocaust (but not isolated or separately), students may also wish to research and respond to the experiences of child victims of genocide in places like Rwanda, Darfur, Cambodia, Bosnia and elsewhere.

Writing and video entries must be postmarked by March 10, 2009, and art entries must be postmarked by March 27, 2009. 

For complete Information about the contest, including rules and deadlines,  visit www.hmh.org.

The Museum is open seven days a week. General admission is free.
Monday to Friday,
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday,
Noon to 5:00 p.m.

The Museum is a member of the Houston Museum District Association and is located in Houston's Museum District.

Map and Directions

Morgan Family Center • 5401 Caroline St. • Houston, TX 77004 • TEL: 713-942-8000 • FAX: 713-942-7953 • E-mail: info@hmh.org

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Morgan Family Center • 5401 Caroline St. • Houston, TX 77004 • TEL: 713-942-8000 • FAX: 713-942-7953 • E-mail: info@hmh.org

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Morgan Family Center • 5401 Caroline St. • Houston, TX 77004 • TEL: 713-942-8000 • FAX: 713-942-7953 • E-mail: info@hmh.org