January 3, 2022
On December 8, 2021, regional K-12 educators gathered virtually to learn from each other about Holocaust education in the classroom. The event, entitled Teaching Complex Topics: Holocaust Education in the K-12 Classroom, included a keynote presentation by JE Wolfson, Director of Education for the Texas Holocaust, Genocide and Antisemitism Advisory Commission. Dr. Wolfson spoke about best practices in teaching the Holocaust and the resources of the Commission that help educators implement teaching on the Holocaust. In 2019, Senate Bill 1828 established Texas Holocaust Education week which will be observed from January 23-29, 2022. The bill requires that students in grades K-12 receive appropriate Holocaust instruction during the dedicated week.
Dr. Wolfson’s talk was followed by a panel of three educators—Suzannah Sitterle, Instructional Coach, Gilbert Elementary, Del Valle ISD, Lisa Barry a 5th-grade teacher at Woodbridge Elementary in the Alamo Heights ISD, and Michelle Reed, an English Teacher/Student Success Facilitator: Humanities, Running Brushy Middle School, Leander ISD. Their panel was facilitated by Liz Reichman, a Holocaust Memorial Museum docent and head of the docent committee.
Each presenter provided an overview of how they teach about the Holocaust and related topics in their classroom, sharing resources and perspectives on teaching each age group. Participants were also introduced to the resources of the Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio by Dr. Jessica Hanshaw, Programs and Collections Specialist. Educators can contact the museum or visit the website at hmmsa.org to schedule in-person or virtual tours, talks by survivors and 2nd Generation survivors and borrow resource trunks and traveling exhibits.
To learn more about Texas Holocaust Remembrance Week (January 24 -28), visit hmmsa.org/thrw.