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. 
The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights
New Programs in Arizona, Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Virginia
 Latvia Added To European Seminars
In 2020, TOLI will sponsor and organize an unprecedented number of seminars for teachers: Sixteen programs in the US and nine in Europe. Mexico City will also join the TOLI network of seminars. This was announced by the TOLI Board of Directors at its meeting held last week in Florida. 

“The growth of TOLI is a testament to the importance of the work and the concern that Holocaust education is of critical importance at a time of escalating anti-Semitism and extremism,” said David Field, Chairman and Mark Berez, President of TOLI’s board.  

In the US, five cities will be host to first-time seminars: Tempe, Arizona; Ligonier, Indiana; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Sterling, Virginia.  They will join the annual seminars across the country along with the flagship summer seminar in New York, providing professional development and leadership training to educators from across the country.
In Europe, where TOLI has been a growing presence for several years, a new seminar in Riga, Latvia will take place this year, along with programs in eight other countries. The program will be held in cooperation with the Paris-based Memorial de la Shoah, which is also partnering with TOLI in its annual Italy seminar. 
The first seminar of the year will take place on February 23 in Porto, Portugal. 

In the fall of 2020, Mexico will join the international network of TOLI seminars.
Details of the program are still being developed and will be announced soon.
Nearly 3000 teachers have participated in TOLI seminars across the US. They are graduates of the annual New York Summer Seminar (11 days), Satellite Seminars (5 days), and leadership development programs. These educators are dedicated to bringing the TOLI experience to the classroom, teaching the Holocaust, and bringing its lessons to their students.

Providing teachers with creative and innovative professional development is central to TOLI’s mission. To appreciate our impact, please watch this short video to see what some of them have to say about their experience.  
Students who want to express the impact of the Holocaust through art have an opportunity to display their work through a new project launched this year by The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights. The exhibit was established in memory of Kathy Carlisle, a beloved TOLI participant and art teacher. 

TOLI teachers, graduates of our domestic and international seminars, are encouraged to submit photographs of their students’ artwork that reflect the lessons they’ve learned about the Holocaust. The photographs will be posted on TOLI’s website ( and social media and provided to community publications for display. The artwork could be a painting, drawing, three-dimensional sculpture of any kind, or work in any other artistic medium that speaks to them. Inspiration can come from a book or film that students have studied in class or from the larger lessons they have learned while studying the Holocaust. This project allows for multiple perspectives, and collaborations with art teachers or teachers in other disciplines are encouraged.
Inviting a Holocaust survivor to speak at a Minnesota school, a field trip by Michigan students to visit a Holocaust Center, and a student competition for a traveling exhibit in Romania – these are a few of the projects that were created, spurred by TOLI mini-grants in the US and Europe. 

TOLI offers teachers, alumni of the TOLI seminars, the ability to apply for mini-grants to fund projects at their schools. Awards are up to $1000 for US teachers and up to $300 for international teachers. These grants are used for a variety of purposes, including classroom resources, and field trips to relevant Holocaust centers or historic sites. Their purpose is to engage students even more deeply as they learn about the Holocaust, human rights, and social justice. Last year, in the United States, TOLI provided 12 mini-grants to teachers in Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, South Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin. In Europe, TOLI provided 55 mini grants: 22 in Romania, 15 in Bulgaria, 10 in Greece, 7 in Poland, and 1 in Republic of Moldova.
The TOLI Board of Directors held its annual winter meeting in Boca Raton, FL on February 15. Chaired by David Field, the Board approved the expansion of the 2020 seminars to its largest number ever: 25 teacher training seminars, 16 in the US and nine in Europe. New seminars were added in Tempe, Arizona; Ligonier, Indiana; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Sterling, Virginia  and in Riga, Latvia. 

Photo, from left: Arthur Berger, Ellen Field, David Field, Chairman, Phillip Furgang, Mark Berez, President, Carole Berez, Rose Gatens, Deborah Lauter, and Harry Wall.
TOLI relies on the support of individual funders in order to continue providing Holocaust education to teachers around the country and around the world. Please consider supporting one of our 25 programs with a gift to TOLI. One of the most meaningful ways of honoring a loved one is to name one of our programs for them.

Also, please keep TOLI in mind regarding your charitable gift planning. We can work with your financial planner to create gifts of securities, life insurance, and real estate, as well as legacy gifts as you establish your will, trust, and beneficiary designations. These types of donations are particularly sentimental to families who are passionate about the work that we do. 

Remember that all donations are fully tax-deductible in the United States. You can make these arrangements by any of the following: online at, by contacting our office at (212) 249-5384, or emailing us at 
THE NEW YORK JEWISH WEEK: ‘Never Again’ Begins in the Classroom
The response to anti-Semitism can and should take several forms.  Vigilance in our communities, stepped up law enforcement and cooperation with police. Advocacy by civic and public opinion leaders is essential. One crucial element is education— about Jews, Judaism, and no less important, the Holocaust.

Learning about the Holocaust in schools is not only for the purpose of teaching about one of the most horrific events in modern history or, for that matter, at any time, but it is also about learning the lessons that led to the genocide of six million Jews and how they apply today.
Newsday : UN to Mark 75th Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation
“We believe that education is the most important thing to prevent these types of holocausts in the future,” said Mark Berez of Dix Hills, who serves as president of The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights in Manhattan, referring to mass slaughters in places such as Sudan and Syria, which occurred since the horrors of the Nazi crimes. “If we teach enough kids how to respect each other, we will make sure that history does not repeat itself.”

Berez, whose mother survived despite being sent to several concentration camps, including Auschwitz — much like Olga Lengyel — said TOLI was founded precisely to inform people about the Holocaust. It hosts seminars featuring Holocaust survivors at schools and teaches educators who incorporate the material into their curricula.
Teaching the Holocaust in these countries is challenging, even for the most dedicated teacher.

Revisionist history and selective memory, especially with regard to national heroes, obscures their collaboration with the Nazis. Yet, a new generation of educators want to look honestly at their nation’s past and to convey the lessons of the Holocaust to their students. Katazina Sokolovskaja, a teacher in a high school in Butrimoniai, Lithuania, said: “The seminar motivated me to work on this subject with my students, maybe not only with my students, but with teachers, my colleagues.”
We believe that it is the first such comprehensive city-wide approach in the nation. I am gratified to lead this new office, and bring to it a three-decade career of combatting stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination, hate and extremism—including 18 years at the Anti-Defamation League where I served as National Civil Rights Director and Senior Vice President of Policy and Programs, overseeing the Education Division including anti-bias training programs, and Holocaust education. I also serve on the Board of Directors of the Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights, which provides professional development training to educators in the U.S. and Europe on how to teach the Holocaust. 

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).