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WINTER 2020 - 5780

Dear Friends,

2020 brings us to the 75th anniversaries of the liberation of the camps and the end of the war. January 27, 1945, the liberation of Auschwitz by the Soviets, is declared International Holocaust Remembrance Day by the U.N.  The U.S. Days of Remembrance, together with Yom HaShoah, coinciding with the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, are commemorated this year starting April 21.

It is not only the days of commemoration that we remember. As we start our winter months, it is important to remember that Europe’s 1945 winter and early spring were marked by forced marches of starving prisoners and gradual liberations of camps and Nazi-occupied territories well into May. Allied armies began to switch focus to burials, providing medical care and shelter for the survivors, and establishing displaced persons' camps. With the realization of freedom, survivors sought their loved ones and some attempted to return home. Post-war reality was bitter-sweet.

We encourage you to contextualize these commemorative dates and to remember the challenge for refugees building new lives, both then and now.

Josey G. Fisher
Holocaust Education Consultant







        Forbidden Art Exhibit                          National Liberty Museum                          321 Chestnut St, Philadelphia                     Through April 12, 2020     

Hand-picked from the collections of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland, Forbidden Art presents 20 powerful images of fragile and rare examples of art made illegally and under potentially grave consequences by Jewish and Polish prisoners in the German Nazi Auschwitz Concentration and Extermination Camp from 1940-1945.          For more information: Forbidden Art






Commemoration of the Liberation of Auschwitz at the National Liberty Museum   Monday, January 27, 2020                         6:00-8:00 p.m. 

View pre-recorded portions of the historic remembrance event from the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial in Poland, meet local Holocaust survivors, enjoy a performance by musicians from the Mordechai Anielewicz Competition, and take tours of the Museum and the Forbidden Art exhibition.  


“Secrets of the Dead: Bombing Auschwitz” Tuesday, January 21                                       9:00-10:00 p.m. on PBS

In commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, episode includes dramatic recreations of arguments over the decision, with supporting testimony from historians and survivors.



Echoes and Reflections -IWalk
February 6, 2020, 4-5 p.m.
Webinar introducing the new IWalk App for educators planning a class trip to the Horwitz-Wasserman Holocaust 
Memorial Plaza in Philadelphia. To register, see IWalk Feb 6 webinar registration



LECTURES                                             Forum Theater, Campion Student Center 7:00-8:30 p.m. 

Monday, January 27, 2020                        “Jewish Views of the Religious ‘Other’ – Part One: Christianity, with Rabbi Abraham Skorka and response by Dr. Philip Cunningham

Monday, February 10, 2020                    “Jewish Views of the Religious ‘Other’ – Part Two: Islam and the Religions of Asia, with Rabbi Abraham Skorka and responses by Dr. Umeyye Isra Yazicioglu and Dr. David Carpenter

Monday, March 30, 2020                            “The Catholic-Jewish Rapprochement and the Fraying of American Pluralism”, with Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Rev. Walter Kedjierski, new director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

For further details about lectures:


Holy Silence Poster

“Holy Silence”,  a special film screening  Tuesday, March 3, 2020                                7:00-9:00 p.m.                                            Saint Joseph’s University                           Teletorium at Mandeville Hall

New documentary focuses on the little-known story of Americans - from priests to presidents - who worked behind the scenes in hopes of persuading the Holy See to to provide a strong moral voice against Hitler and fascism. Co-sponsored by USHMM. Discussion with director Steven Pressman. For more information and film trailer, see Philadelphia Screening Holy Silence


Save the Date!

Remembering Carl Lutz – 75 Years Later      March 30 and November 10, 2020  Philadelphia, PA – locations and details TBA

Programming in honor of the Swiss Vice-Consul in Hungary and his rescue of over 60,000 Jews during the Holocaust, to be held in Philadelphia where Lutz served as Chancellor at the Swiss Consulate from 1926-1934 before his brave actions in Budapest. Presented by the Md-Atlantic-Eurasia Business Council. For upcoming details, see




USC Shoah Foundation  

“We Share the Same Sky”. Photo-journalist Rachel Cerrotti documents her personal search to retrace her grandmother Hana’s journey during the Holocaust in the first podcast created by the USC Shoah Foundation

The companion educational resource, created by IWitness (USC Shoah Foundation) and Echoes and Reflections, includes the full podcast of 9 chapters, supplemented by suggested classroom clips, essential questions, activities and resources. See USCSF We Share the Same Sky resource

Yale University                                                “Those Who Were There: Voices of the Holocaust”. Podcasts drawn from the collection of Yale University’s Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies. Those Who Were There podcasts

Yad Vashem                                                    -1939: Jewish Families on the Brink of War – “Suddenly the Skies Darkened”. Diaries, documents and interviews from the Yad Vashem collection. 1939: Suddenly the Skies Darkened

- Activity using Biographical Videos and Additional Resources. Short videos introducing the stories of Janusz Korczak, Elie Wiesel, Anne Frank, Abba Kovner, Mordechai Anielewicz and Anne Frank and discussion guide encouraging use of individual accounts. Yad Vashem - Video Lesson Plans

- “Malinas” – The Jews of Vilna in Hiding. Case studies of hiding both inside and outside the ghetto supplemented by discussion questions. Yad Vashem - Malinas

Facing History and Ourselves                        “Who Will Write Our History”                    40-minute educational version of feature film documenting the Warsaw Ghetto resistance group Oyneg Shabes. Determined to preserve both their culture and document the atrocities, the secret group buried their work before the Ghetto uprising to ensure that the words of the victims, not the perpetrators, would be heard.

Two accompanying lesson plans include expansive teacher’s guide and supplemental activity “Telling Our Histories”, encouraging students to preserve stories about their own communities. Teaching "Who will write our history"



The Plateau by Maggie Paxson. Riverhead Books, 2019. The exceptional story of the villagers in occupied France who hid thousands of Jews from the Nazis is fleshed out by new research. Anthropologist Maggie Paxson researches her own family background to focus on the bravery of Pastor André Trocmé and his family in Chambon-sur-Lignon and of Daniel Trocmé in particular, arrested in the only raid on this mountain top refuge. 


999: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz by Heather Dune Macadam. Citadel Press, 2020.  Young unmarried Slovakian women, as young as fifteen, comprised the first Jewish transport to Auschwitz under the ruse that they would do government work service in Poland and return home within a few months. Extensively researched. 

A Bookshop in Berlin: The Rediscovered Memoir of One Woman's Harrowing Escape from the Nazis by Françoise Frenkel. Atria Books 2019. After opening the first French-language bookshop in Berlin, this Polish-born woman fled the Nazis -- first to Paris and then to safety in Switzerland. Her memoir originally published in 1945 was rediscovered in an attic in 2010 and is now available in English for the first time.




For students in grades 7-12 in the Delaware Valley.  Opportunity to respond to lessons of the Holocaust through creative expression - poetry, prose, painting, sculpture, music, dance and multimedia. 

Entry deadline:  Friday, March 6, 2020          For information:  MA Arts Competition Requirements and Guidelines 



Annual one-day program for students in grades 9-12 in the Delaware Valley, including discussion with survivors and educational workshop for teachers. Program runs from
8:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Gratz College
Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Thursday, March 5, 2020
Saint Joseph's University
Tuesday, March 10, 2020 
West Chester University
Thursday, March 12, 2020 
For more information go to                        JCRC Holocaust Programming links

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL CEREMONY       At the Holocaust Monument,16th and the Parkway, Horwitz-Wasserman Holocaust Memorial Plaza                                                Sunday, April 26, 2020                                    1:00 p.m. 

Join the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia for candle lighting, music, readings and prayers at the annual Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony, in partnership with the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation and the Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors of Philadelphia. All are welcome.



Penn State University                                Holocaust, Genocide & Human Rights Education Institute                                  June 22-26, 2020                                      Penn State, University Park at the Nittany Lion Inn

Application deadline: January 31, 2020

Five-day professional development institute for middle and high school educators in all content areas from around Pennsylvania. Action plans developed during the program will be followed by an online mentoring group throughout the next school year. In partnership with the PA Department of Education and the Act 70 Advisory Board. Act 48 hours available. Limited enrollment.

To apply:


Bearing Witness                                               July 20-24, 2020                                Daylesford Abbey, 220 S. Valley Road, Paoli

Rolling admission.

Residential professional development program for Catholic school educators, grades 6-12, focusing on the history of Catholic-Jewish relations and the Holocaust. Co-sponsored by the ADL and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. For more information and application, contact Randi Boyette at  


Gratz College Summer Institute              July 12-17, 2020                                    Melrose Park, PA

Open to non-matriculated students and well as degree candidates. Courses to be announced. See Gratz Summer Institute



2020-2021 Museum Teacher Fellowship Program

July 6-10, 2020                                    Washington, D.C.                                Application deadline: February 12, 2020

Designed for middle and high school teachers who have taught the Holocaust for five or more years. Advanced program  to train a national corps of skilled educators to promote quality Holocaust education. Competitive admission. For application, see Museum Teacher Fellowship  For questions, contact Program Coordinator Kim Blevins-Relleva  at or 202-488-6145.


2020 Arthur and Rochelle Belfer National Conference for Holocaust Educators Washington, D.C.

English Language Arts Session: July 20-22, 2020

Social Studies/History Session: July 23-25, 2020

Designed for pre-service, middle, and high school teachers and community college faculty with less than five years teaching the Holocaust. Three-day conferences introduce Museum resources and pedagogical approach to teaching about the Holocaust. For details, contact Chelsea Halling-Nye at


Yad Vashem International School for Holocaust Studies

-2020 Summer Seminar: “Teaching the Shoah and Anti-Semitism”                     

June 28-July 16, 2020                                    Jerusalem, Israel                                            Intense pedagogical sessions supplemented by field trips to other museums as well as historical and holy sites. 

-Seminar for Educators in Jewish Supplemental Programs: “Teaching the Shoah and Anti-Semitism: Opportunities, Challenges and Techniques”                   

June 2020 (dates tba)                                Jerusalem, Israel

For application forms, see Yad Vashem Summer Seminars



The Brave Cyclist: The True Story of a Holocaust Hero by Amalia Hoffman, illustrated by Chiara Fedele. Capstone Editions, 2019. Exciting true story of Gino Bartali, Italian cyclist and winner of Tour de France, who risks his life to deliver false documents enabling Jews to escape. Bartali was recognized as Righteous Among the Nations. The Brave Cyclist  

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Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation adapted by Ari Folman, illustrated by David Polonsky, Pantheon Books, 2019.  First graphic edition of the diary is supplemented by extensive quotations from the Definitive Edition and is authorized by the Anne Frank Foundation in Basel. Sydney Taylor Book Award Notable for Older Readers 2019.

A Light in the Darkness: Janusz Korczak, His Orphans, and the Holocaust by Albert Marrin. Knopf Book for Young Readers, 2019. The famous account of Dr. Korczak, beloved pediatrician who accompanied his Warsaw Ghetto orphans to Treblinka, is expanded by the award-winning author to describe his philosophy of child-rearing in contrast to Nazi ideology. Korczak’s philosophy became the underpinnings for the U.N. Declaration of the Rights of the Child.

Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielson. Scholastic Press, 2018. Fictional account of a Polish teenaged girl who passes as a  non-Jew with forged papers. Working with the Polish resistance as a courier, she later joins the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Sydney Taylor Book Award Notable Book for Teen Readers 2019.

What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper. Alfred A. Knopf, 2019. Saved by music, surviving Auschwitz as a member of the Women’s Orchestra, liberated Gerta Rausch works to reclaim her voice and find a new life for herself, but she’s still haunted by what happened in the concentration camp. Sydney Taylor Book Award Gold Medalist 2019.

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