Day of Learning Workshops

Workshops for Students (Grades 7-9)

A Tale of Two Priests: The Hateful Propagandist and the Courage to Care
France’s Father Jacques fought Nazi policies and made his boys’ school a refuge for Jews. Detroit’s Father Charles Coughlin’s radio broadcasts attacked the Jewish community in the 1930s, citing an “international conspiracy of Jewish bankers” and protesting the rescue of Jews. This workshop will examine acts of courage and the art of propaganda.

Patterns of Genocide and Conflict
In 1948 the United Nations established an international law against genocide, yet how genocide is defined continues to be controversial. Using film, text, and images, this workshop will explore genocide and conflict in the Holocaust, as well as in Australia, South Africa, and Syria. Together we will discuss the many different definitions of genocide and how genocide continues in our world today.

Remembering, Thinking, and Contemplation: The Role of Holocaust Memorials
What do Holocaust memorials teach us? Follow me on a commemorative journey with victims of the Holocaust: Jews, Sinti and Roma, homosexuals, Poles, and others. Together we will explore what remains of the train lines and former concentration camps. We will discuss the purpose and impact of memorials in Germany and Poland, and draft our own concepts of effective memorials.

Workshops for Students (Grades 10-12)

America and the Holocaust: From Deceit and Indifference to Courage and Compassion
This workshop has reached registration capacity
America’s response to the Holocaust was characterized by both failures and successes. An obstructive U.S. State Department, an indifferent president and public, and inadequate press coverage sealed the fate of many victims of World War II. Yet some heroes also emerged. The legacies of America’s response to the Holocaust matter and provide lessons for the current refugee crisis.

Awake and Fight: Acts of Resistance in the Camps and Ghettos
This workshop has reached registration capacity
Six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust. How could so many people have been killed? Did Jews fight back? In this workshop we will explore what Jewish resistance looked like in Nazi Germany’s camps and ghettos.

Fighting Back: Teenage Armed Resistance During the Holocaust
This workshop has reached registration capacity
When (if ever) is violence an appropriate response to aggression, and who decides? Explore the history of Jewish resistance against the Nazis by examining the tactics of the Jewish partisans (covert groups who engaged in guerrilla warfare and sabotage against Nazi oppression). The workshop will also detail other ways that Jews fought back, including spiritual and political resistance.

First We Remember, Then We Resist: Remembering Through Art and Action
This workshop has reached registration capacity
The past can weigh us down or it can inspire us to action. Explore the work of artists who take memories of the Holocaust, genocide, war, and injustice and transform them into creative representations. Sometimes surprisingly beautiful, other times painful to see, art communicates across land and time.

From Ordinary to Extraordinary: Acts of Rescue During the Rwandan Genocide
When violence broke out in Rwanda in 1994, western nations turned their backs while hundreds of thousands of Rwandans were killed in the streets. However, a few extraordinary individuals risked their lives to save innocent people. Who were they and why did they stay?

Like a Tree Planted by the Waters: Holding on to Faith, Tradition, and Identity in a Collapsing World
Did Jews maintain their religious practice during the Holocaust? What are the beliefs, dreams, and hopes that can never be taken away from you? By examining the experiences of individuals during the Holocaust, we will explore the role that rituals, traditions, and beliefs played in maintaining identity and hope in the midst of a collapsing world.

Standing Up to Persecution: Acts of Rebellion in Poland
How do we as members of a society stand up on behalf of those who are being persecuted? This workshop will focus on Poles who pushed back against the oppressive Nazi regime, including a soldier who sneaked into the Warsaw Ghetto to report on the atrocities, and a group of young Jews who buried diaries and documents under the streets of Warsaw.

The Bosnian Genocide and Us: What Happened in the Former Yugoslavia and Its Relevance Today
Bosnia was a multi-ethnic society with all the markings of tolerance across religious and ethnic identities. Yet the society descended into a brutal process of ethnic cleansing involving population transfer, detention camps, and genocide. This workshop will discuss the history of the conflict and its implications today.

The Ten Stages of Genocide: From the Armenian Case Onward
This workshop has reached registration capacity
Can we stop genocide before the killing starts? Learning to identify the predictable stages of genocide is the key to preventing it. What can we learn from the first modern genocide of the 20th century? The case of the Armenian Genocide serves as a template for describing the genocidal process and the early warning signs we can detect.

Tools of Resistance: Women Spies, Saboteurs, and Survivors of World War II in the Pacific
This workshop has reached registration capacity
Whether they were pushing their way to the front line of battle or merely surviving in extreme situations, the heroines of WWII all had one thing in common: resilience. In this workshop learn stories of women in the Pacific who used non-violent methods to fight for what they believed in.

Unveiling America: Reimagining Gender in Today’s World
Using images and popular culture artifacts, we will trace the ways gender is shaped alongside the rise of an “American” identity. Discussions will include comparisons of “black” and “Asian” masculinities in relation to “whiteness,” the effects of colonialism on women’s bodies, gender identity and sexuality in Nazi Germany, and the role of race and gender today.

Us vs. Them: Notions of “Otherness” in the Holocaust and in Contemporary Life
Who is “one of us” and who is “other?” Who’s “in” and who’s “out?” This workshop explores how notions of “otherness” laid the groundwork for the Holocaust and how challenging these notions laid the groundwork for resistance and rescue. We will also consider contemporary applications of this theme in our schools, country, and world.

Where Can I Go?: Refugees and U.S. Immigration Polices – Then and Now
This workshop has reached registration capacity
This workshop will look at the plight of Jewish refugees trying to flee Nazi Germany in the 1930s, as well as Syrian and Afghani refugees today. What can we learn from examining U. S. immigration policies during the Holocaust and in the present? What actions can we take in the face of a global refugee crisis?

Workshops for Teachers

Stories through the Generations: Unlocking the Power of Oral History
Talking with older relatives and community members about their lives is a great way for students to build practical skills, develop new relationships, and unlock exciting historical stories. Learn how to lead an oral history project with your students and brainstorm with colleagues about how to bring inter-generational story-sharing into your classroom or community.

Women’s Voices: Testimony as a Tool of Empowerment
The majority of historical narrative is told from the male perspective. In this workshop we will explore IWitness, an educational website that streams testimony related to the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, and other genocides. Together we will develop effective strategies for using testimony in our classrooms by listening to female survivors share their stories in their words.