Special to the Journal
Students of Rebecca Kidder, of Temple, Texas, a teacher at Belton High School in Belton, will be acquiring valuable lessons of the Holocaust this school year due to their teacher having completed top-notch training this summer from United States Holocaust Memorial Museum educators.
Kidder was one of 183 participants who attended the 23rd annual Arthur and Rochelle Belfer National Conference for Educators, a three-day workshop for teachers hosted by the Museum in mid-July. The conference is a vital part of the Museum’s ongoing effort to equip educators throughout the country with the knowledge and skills to effectively bring Holocaust education in their classrooms.
“In the face of rising antisemitism and Holocaust denial, educating students about this history is becoming increasingly urgent,” says Peter Fredlake, director of the Museum’s teacher education and special programs. “As the global leader in Holocaust education, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum works to ensure teachers have the training and resources they need to introduce their students to this important and complex history — and show them how its lessons remain relevant to all citizens today.”
Every year, the Museum trains hundreds of teachers through training programs held in Washington and around the country. It provides these teachers with advanced tools and teaching materials for students of history, English, social studies, language arts, library science, journalism and more.
At the conference, the participants teamed up with Museum educators and scholars in sharing rationales, strategies and approaches for teaching about the Holocaust, Nazi propaganda and antisemitism by using various media, such as literature, survivor testimony and diaries that the Museum provides. They toured the Museum’s permanent exhibition, as well as special exhibitions like Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration & Complicity in the Holocaust. Program participants also heard from Agi Geva and Henry Greenbaum, two Holocaust survivors who volunteer at the Museum.
The Museum’s website, www.ushmm.org, provides resources at no cost to educators, including a range of online training modules, exemplary lesson plans and extensive historical information about the Holocaust.
Established in 1993, the Arthur and Rochelle Belfer National Conference for Educators brings hundreds of middle, high school and community college teachers to Washington, D.C., each summer to train them in effectively teaching the Holocaust to their students. The Museum gives participants a chance to interact with its scholars and educators to reinforce their understanding of Holocaust history and to figure out successful strategies in bringing the lessons of the Holocaust to their classrooms. The conference is funded in part by the Arthur and Rochelle Belfer Foundation.