The Olga Lengyel Institute (TOLI) provides professional development seminars for educators in the US and abroad that link the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides to current world events, thereby working with teachers to promote a human rights and social justice agenda in their classrooms. For further information, please visit .
The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights
Oregon, North Carolina, and Bulgaria Hold Annual TOLI Programs
TOLI’s flagship seminar, bringing 25 educators from throughout the US to NYC,
took place from June 16 – June 27, and our Leadership Seminar in New York just wrapped up, preparing teachers to lead satellite programs in new states for 2020. The second annual seminar in Poland opened in Warsaw and continued in Krakow, with a visit to Auschwitz. The US satellite seminars continued with teachers in Charlotte, NC and Portland, OR. In Bulgaria, the fifth TOLI summer seminar took place at the American University in Bulgaria.
National Seminar in New York City Brings 25 Teachers From Around US
For 11 days, beginning on June 16, 25 teachers gathered in NY for TOLI’s annual national seminar. During this time, the teachers were challenged to rethink the ways they approach the Holocaust and social justice in their classrooms. The program included powerful testimony from Holocaust survivors, a visit to the Museum of Jewish Heritage and its new Auschwitz exhibit, presentations by experts Andrea Pitzer and Alexandra Zapruder, and a visit to a synagogue and Shabbat dinner. The seminar was designed and led by Dr. Sondra Perl, Senior Program Director, and Dr. Jennifer Lemberg, Associate Director.

Top Photo: David Field, TOLI Board Chairman, presents North Carolina teacher Kelly Muse with a certificate of completion.

Bottom Photo: Holocaust Survivor, William Bernheim, tells his story of survival through his paintings.
TOLI Hosts Fourth
Leadership Institute
With anti-semitism and extremism escalating in the US, the TOLI Leadership Institute for experienced educators took on added importance. Nineteen teachers, in teams of two or three, came to New York for an intensive professional development seminar from July 8–14. Led by TOLI directors Sondra Perl and Jennifer Lemberg, the teachers will return home fully prepared to run a TOLI satellite seminar on the Holocaust and human rights for educators in their schools and communities. Programs for Minnesota and Wisconsin will begin in July, 2019. Others in Arizona, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Virginia will begin in the summer of 2020. Each satellite will bring best practices in Holocaust education to a minimum of 15 teachers every summer and will likely run for a minimum of 3-5 years. As a result, the numbers of teachers reached from this professional development program for 2020 alone is estimated at over 100 educators who, in turn, have the potential to impact over 1,000 students. 
This program is funded by generous grants from The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and the MDRT Foundation.
Top Photo: TOLI Leadership Institute
Bottom Photo: Dr. Sondra Perl, Senior Program Director, and Dr. Jennifer Lemberg, Associate Director.

Photos by Leadership Seminar Participant and Wisconsin Satellite Leader, Scott Lone.
Second Annual TOLI Seminar In Poland: Warsaw, Krakow and Auschwitz 
The second annual seminar in Poland opened in Warsaw, hosted by POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews (a TOLI partner). Participants traveled to Krakow and Auschwitz and then returned to Krakow to conclude the seminar by attending the Jewish heritage festival. Thirty-two teachers from throughout Poland attended the program, which featured international experts and scholars. Led by Oana Nestian-Sandu, Director of European Programs, the seminar featured testimony from Holocaust survivor Assia Raberman and members of two succeeding generations, Raberman’s nephew, Mark Berez, President of TOLI, and her great-niece, Jennifer Rotker. The seminar was made possible by generous donations from the Mostysser family and from the Sam and Regina Greene Family Fund of the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Greater Charleston. It was also featured on the website of the US embassy .

Top Photo: Participating educators visit Auschwitz.
Middle Photo: Assia Raberman, left, and Lidia Maksymowicz, Holocaust survivors who shared their stories with the teachers in the Poland seminar. 
Bottom Photo: Three generations of survivors: Jennifer Rotker, Assia Raberman, and Mark Berez.
Sara Mostysser, A 'Succeeder'
Not Only Survivor
Benefactor of TOLI Seminar in Poland Describes Her Life as a "Miracle"
Sara Mostysser lost her grandparents, parents, sister, and other relatives in the Holocaust. Together with her late husband Harry, she went on to have a large family and create a successful business in the US. By all accounts, Sara is a survivor. But Sara describes her life as "a miracle.”  

Having endured the horrors of the Holocaust and its antisemitic aftermath in her native Poland, Sara is a woman who, from a very young age, took responsibility for her life and that of others, making the most of every situation, however great the odds. She is also a living testimony to the kindness of one Polish family who saved her life. This recognition, in part, inspired her to sponsor TOLI's inaugural seminar in Poland in 2018 as well as our second seminar in 2019. The seminar takes place in Warsaw and continues with a trip to Auschwitz followed by lectures and workshops in Krakow. Last year, TOLI was honored to have Sara's grandson Eyal Raviv attend the seminar, representing his grandmother and family. 

Photo: Sara and Harry Mostysser, after arriving to US after the war.
Lessons from the Past: Understanding the Holocaust and Human Rights Violations
Portland, Oregon
TOLI's seminar in Oregon took place from June 24 – June 29 in partnership with the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education. Participants explored ways to integrate instruction on the Holocaust and racial and ethnic discrimination in Oregon with an emphasis on the history of Japanese American internment.

A highlight of the seminar was the opportunity to work with Kurt Ikeda, the new Education Director at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center. Participants also heard from Dr. Amanda Byron of Portland State University, who presented on how to help students understand genocide in a contemporary context. Another talented presenter, Kim Klett of Echoes and Reflections, provided important insight into the history and current dimensions of antisemitism. 
Drawing On History: Interpreting Graphic Texts In Holocaust And Human Rights Education
Charlotte, North Carolina
Teachers from North and South Carolina gathered at Queens University in Charlotte from July 7 – July 13 to learn about innovative approaches to teaching about the Holocaust. The seminar focused on how teaching with graphic texts related to the Holocaust and human rights can deepen students’ interest in these subjects. Selected materials included comic books and graphic novels as well as other visual texts that depict examples of antisemitism. The seminar also explored the experiences of Indigenous Americans, with a special focus on the Catawba Nation, whose tribal lands are located in York County, South Carolina.
Fifth Annual Seminar at American University In Bulgaria
Teachers from all over Bulgaria gathered in the city of Blagoevgrad on the campus of the American University in Bulgaria to participate in TOLI's fifth annual seminar about the lessons of the Holocaust. The program, led by Director of European Programs Oana Nestian-Sandu, focuses on the impact of stereotypes and prejudice on the individual and within society; portrays Jewish life before and after the Holocaust; and promotes intercultural, student-centered teaching methods between schools and human rights organizations. The seminar included a visit to the Jewish community and synagogue in Sofia as well as interactive workshops on what it means to be upstanders and bystanders, reflecting Bulgaria's complicated history during the Holocaust. 
Sondra Perl, director of U.S. programs for the Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights in New York City, said most programs on the Holocaust, including her organization’s, stick strictly to historical fact so as “not to give fuel to deniers.”

That institute, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Shoah Holocaust remembrance foundation and other organizations are creating a rich catalogue of survivors’ stories — many on video recordings — to preserve their experiences even after they die. “When they are gone, the eyewitnesses will be gone,” Perl said.
As an educator, Lacy Watson has invested in not just learning about, but learning from the worst of history. She once attended a special Holocaust training program that included a trip to Europe, visiting sites of death camps.

Watson, a West High teacher who grew up in Fort Benton, believes that understanding the darkest chapters of human history can help avoid repeating them. But despite that disposition, she spent most of her life unaware of the nearby Marias Massacre of about 200 Blackfeet Indians by the U.S. Army in 1870.

"It happened 40 miles from where I grew up, and I'd never heard about it until I was like 34 (years old)," she said.
AMHERST - Teachers from across New England will attend a professional development seminar on the Holocaust July 15 through 20 at the University of Massachusetts.

Some six million Jews and others were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators who considered them inferior and the seminar will look at what lessons can be learned from these crimes in educating students about how hate and oppression are used to suppress populations and how such actions today can be addressed.
Outside of SGMS, Lawner instructs other teachers how to teach the Holocaust, while addressing social justice issues, through The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights Satellite Seminar (TOLI) in Albuquerque. This is her sixth year and she was at the five-day seminar with 25 educators when she received word of the award...

Through the case study of the Holocaust, Lawner said the lessons involved can make students aware of a potential and similar event for them to recognize and “do whatever it is within their power to do to stop it."

Please support TOLI programs, enabling thousands of teachers in the US and Europe to educate their students about the Holocaust and against hate and intolerance.
Did You Know You Can Donate to TOLI Through Donor-Advised Funds?
A donor-advised fund (DAF) is a type of giving program that allows you to combine the most favorable tax benefits with the flexibility to support your favorite charities. DAF Direct enables you to recommend grants to The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights (TOLI).