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2006 Summer Institute Report

2006 Cohen Center Fellows
2006 Cohen Center Fellows
"Thank you for always keeping the focus to uplift the Jewish people and to dignify those who perished." – Summer Institute 2006

In July, twenty-six educators from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Israel and Estonia shared the third biennial Summer Institute on the Holocaust. Teachers were renewed by new perspectives and renewed by the camaraderie of our intensive residential Institute. Once again, we were delighted with and encouraged by the excellence of this year's group.

Siblle Sarah Niemoellor von Sell addresses the Fellows at the opening dinner.
Sibylle Sarah Niemoeller von Sell set the tone with her powerful and riveting personal reflections. Her insights proved invaluable during the three days she spent with us. Rena Jacques was an "exceptional and captivating" speaker who spoke of her "Family Remembrance" of life in Nazi Germany. Child survivor Stephan Lewy also shared his remarkable story.

The opening sessions, held in Keene's synagogue, focused on Judaism and Jewish life. Participants emphasized that "being in the synagogue was very powerful." Our week culminated when Rabbi Robert Sternberg from Springfield, Massachusetts led us in the Shabbat Service. My deepest appreciation goes to the members of Congregation Ahavas Achim who so warmly welcomed us.

The strength of the Institute is the excellent multi-disciplinary faculty who are part of the Holocaust Studies minor at KSC. They spent much of the week with the Fellows. As one Fellow related, "This Institute was life-changing! I am blown away by the level of scholarship of the teachers and professors I met."

We worked with the USHMM in placing two Estonians and with the Jewish Federation of New Hampshire in placing two Israelis. We were greatly enriched by the contribution of all four of our visiting educators. As one Fellow stated, "Thank you for inviting the Estonians and Israelis - they are our companions in the journey and have enriched our experience."

We are proud to be in partnership with the New Hampshire Humanities Council, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the Jewish Federation of New Hampshire, and the Lasko Foundation. We are grateful for the continuing support and generosity of Bruce Le Vine Mellion, KSC '69. Because of this support, Fellows received numerous texts, supplemental material, a binder of lessons and ideas, and room and board for a modest fee. "Everything was great. This is exactly what I was looking for..." "You've really helped me to think through how to approach this topic with kids…"

Our Fellows are the crucial link between memory and conscience. Education is our major weapon and our hope in the ongoing fight against antisemitism and bigotry.

This year's presenters and topics included:

  • Sibylle Sarah Niemoeller von Sell: Keynote address.
  • Dr. Paul Vincent: Antisemitism; The Nazi Racial State; From Kristallnacht to Auschwitz; and Jewish Resistance.
  • Rabbi Micah Becker-Klein: Judaism: Evolving Religious Civilization of the Jewish People: an overview; Commandment, Custom, and Community (mitzvah, minhag, and kehillah) in Jewish life; Tree of Life: Synagogue and Denominations in Contemporary Jewish Life; and Practicum on teaching Judaism."
  • Dr. Larry Benaquist: Film and the Holocaust; The constructed documentary ("Night and Fog"), the interview documentary ("Kitty: Return to Auschwitz"), and other approaches ("The Pawnbroker")
  • Dr. Nona Fienberg: The Holocaust through Poetry & Prose.
  • Dr. Helen Frink: Women in the Holocaust.
  • Dr. Therese Seibert: Assessing Explanations of the Holocaust; Rescue.
  • Dr. Sander Lee: Ethics, Politics, and Theology after Auschwitz.
  • Dr. Stephen Clark: Psychology of Prejudice.
  • Rabbi Robert Sternberg: A Reason to Remember - Roth, Germany 1933-1942, Pedagogy
  • Zahava Shalev: A Broken childhood
  • Yankale Shalev: "The expression of the Holocaust through sculptures"
  • Rena Jacques: A Family Remembrance
  • Stephan Lewy: Holocaust survivor
  • Tom White: "Sister Rose's Passion"; Obstacles for Holocaust Education; Teaching About Genocide; Sudan - Crisis in Darfur; Human Rights and curricular tools; Teaching the Holocaust: Methodological Considerations; Pedagogy.

Materials:

The following books were provided for all participating Fellows to the Summer Institute:

  • Dwork, Deborah, ed. Voices and Views: A History of the Holocaust
  • Fink, Ida. A Scrap of Time and other Stories
  • Millu, Liana. _Smoke Over Birkenau _
  • Schleunes, Karl. The Twisted Road to Auschwitz
  • Tec. When Light Pierced the Darkness
  • Telushkin, Joseph. Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People, and Its History
  • Teacher Resource Guides In addition to the above textbooks, Fellows received the following resource publications.
  • ADL, Confronting Antisemitism: Myths and Facts
  • Stillman, Lorry. The Spirit That Moves Us, Volume III: Using Literature, Art, and Music to Teach About The Holocaust at the Secondary and College Level
  • CD-Rom: The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Teaching About the Holocaust: A Resource Book for Educators

Binder

Each participant received a two-inch binder containing teacher resources, supplemental readings, posters, booklets, and teaching materials created by the Cohen Center for Holocaust Studies.


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Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Keene State College

229 Main Street

Keene, NH 03435-3201
603-358-2490