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2014 Charlotte and Jacques Wolf Educators’ Conference on Echoes and Reflections

  • August 6, 2014

ADL held its seventh annual Charlotte and Jacques Wolf Educators’ Conference on Echoes and Reflections at ADL’s New York headquarters from July 14th-18th. The five-day conference brought together 25 educators and community leaders from Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia to learn methods for teaching the Holocaust to twenty-first century young audiences. The main goal of the Charlotte and Jacques Wolf Conference is to provide participating educators the tools they need to simultaneously acquire advanced Holocaust knowledge and translate it to diverse student groups.

Developed by ADL, USC Shoah Foundation, and Yad Vashem, Echoes and Reflections is a comprehensive educational program that includes  step-by-step lesson plans—on such topics as ‘Anti-Semitism,, The Ghettos,’ ‘the Final Solution,’ ‘Jewish Resistance,’ ‘Survivors and Liberators,’  and Perpetrators, Collaborators, and Bystanders.  The Teacher’s Resource Guide and accompanying website are appropriate for middle and high school students..

With professional development programs  in US cities coast-to-coast, Echoes and Reflections has trained 21,000+ teachers—in all 50 states—and impacted more than 2.2 million students!

Major highlights of the Charlotte and Jacques Wolf Educators’ Conference included a full day at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, where teachers toured the Museum and heard first-hand from a Holocaust survivor. The Museum day concluded with a special reception with the Wolf family and Abe Foxman, who had previously met the teachers to share his own personal story as a child survivor.

Guest speakers throughout the conference included Shulamit Imber, Yad Vashem’s Pedagogical Director of the International School for Holocaust Studies, who visited our teachers via videoconference. She delved into methods for discussing victims’ journeys during the Holocaust, as well as the stories of the perpetrators, rescuers and bystanders. Brandon Haas from the USC Shoah Foundation— a 2010 Echoes Conference alum—spoke about utilizing visual and oral testimony in the classroom. The Echoes and Reflections Conference also addressed the Rwandan genocide, with special lecture by Gatsinz Basaninyenzi, who was able to escape the genocide as a child.ADL’s Deborah Batiste and Nicola Straker facilitated the weeklong conference. Teachers reported that they left the Echoes and Reflections Conference with a deeper understanding of the Holocaust and with new educational approaches that will enable them to transmit the magnitude of the Holocaust to the next generation.