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Holocaust and Genocide Educator Workshops

Holocaust and Genocide Educator Workshops

The Gross Center organizes daylong pedagogical workshops, in most semesters, for teachers and other educators who have taken on the weighty responsibility to instruct students and the public in the history of the Holocaust and genocide. The format and theme will vary from semester to semester. While we require advanced registration, we offer our workshops without charge as a service to the regional community and to the future. Professional development credits are available.

Three people in front of a projector screen

We will hold our next Educator Workshop on May 9, 2024
8:30 am – 3:00 pm at Ramapo College

The workshop will include breakfast, lunch, and coffee.
It is offered free of charge to teachers, teachers in training, and informal educators. Earn professional development credits.

We regret to inform you that we have reached maximum enrollment.
We hope to see you at future workshops and events.

Teaching and Exploring the Holocaust through Graphic Novels
Dr. Jessica Carr (Lafayette College)

Prof. Jessica Carr will discuss how graphic novels locate the Holocaust in context, including different regional and local experiences of the Holocaust in Germany and Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and North Africa. The workshop will also address the legacy and reception of major figures such as Anne Frank, as well as issues such as Holocaust denial and why antisemitism persists. We will look at examples of new and innovative texts that offer novel angles, questions, and teaching methods—texts which connect the Holocaust to matters of migration and global politics, while simultaneously shining lights on manifestations and histories of Jewishness that have often gone unrepresented. Through this methodology, Jewish and non-Jewish students alike will learn to make sense of the Holocaust and also of their own lives and the political contexts of today.

Dr. Carr’s goal is to teach students and help other teachers to cultivate, “cosmopolitan pluralism.” This may be summarized in the question: How can we move beyond a simplistic tolerance- or multiculturalism-based educational model in which people are presented as “all equal” and “all different,” and instead seriously engage in questions about power and heritage, in which we see that difference matters but is also historically and contextually produced? How can we come to understand that some differences come with greater political and social opportunities by design? For example, instead of simply identifying with victims like Anne Frank for reasons that have to do with coming of age as a teenager, how can we ask our students—as appropriate by age/grade—to grapple with questions that arise from the Holocaust. How, moreover, can we connect questions about antisemitism and racism in the 1930s-1940s to classroom units that come before and after?

Our program will also feature pedagogy workshops with Colleen Tambuscio (GC Board Member) and Heather Lutz.

Please email to be added to our Educator Workshop announcement list. Include your name, institutional affiliation, and role (grade level, subject matter, etc.).

The Gross Center’s Holocaust and Genocide Educator Workshop is supported by a generous grant from the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey.
Logo of Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey; two-tone writing in blue on a white background

Collaboration with Regional Schools

If you are interested in working with the Gross Center, please email

Survivor Story Maps with Beth Haverim Shir Shalom

The Gross Center will be working with the Religious School at Congregation Beth Haverim Shir Shalom in Fall 2023 and Spring 2024. We will be adapting the Story Map project that Gross Center Director Dr. Jacob Labendz developed for the students in his Fall 2022 course on the history of the Holocaust. That project culminated with a moving presentation at Congregation Beth Haverim Shir Shalom, which deepened our strong ties to that community.

Survivors of the 1994 Genocide of Tutsi in Rwanda at Mahwah High School

Providence Umugwaneza and Erick Nkurunziza will speak to MHS students about their lives before, during, and after the genocide, which took place 30 years ago.

Individualized Pedagogy Workshop for Ramapo Indian Hills High School

The Gross Center offered a pedagogy workshop for the teachers of Ramapo Indian Hills High School on January 8, 2024.

Antisemitism and Islamophobia Discussion for the Academy of the Holy Angels

The Gross Center provided a panel discussion on Antisemitism and Islamophobia, featuring GC Director Dr. Labendz and Asad Dandia, for the Academy of the Holy Angels in Bergen County on March 14, 2024.


Woman with curly blond hair in a green shirt and black jacket standing to the side of a projection screen with a picture of high-heeled shoes on it.

A large room with about 70 people watching something being projected onto a screen at the front of the room.

Past Educator Workshops

Special Workshop Series (2023-2024)

“The 1994 Genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda”

This April will mark the thirtieth remembrance of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda. To assist educators in teaching about this tragedy, the Gross Center at Ramapo College and the Holocaust Resource Center at Kean University have co-organized a three-part seminar series to be conducted virtually.

Educator Workshop, Fall 2023

“Why Study the Holocaust Now?”

This is an inquiry becoming more pressing by the day. From the pervasiveness of book bans to the polarization of ideologies, from the current surge in antisemitic rhetoric to the propagation of misinformation and disinformation, it is clear that the present is a palimpsest of the past, one still susceptible to the dangers of discrimination, prejudice, and genocide. Our workshop, led by master educators Colleen Tambuscio and Heather Lutz, guided teachers through some of these profound issues, offering context, resources, lessons, and time for reflection with the aim not only to familiarize ourselves with one or more of these topics but also to converse about them in a collegial, collaborative setting. We benefited from an insightful and inspiring lecture by Dr. Davis Austin Walsh (Yale).

Resources from the workshop may be found here.

Educator Workshop, Spring 2023

“Entering Auschwitz and Approaching its Artifacts: A Virtual Tour and Discussion”

In the morning, Dr. Jerzy Wójcik—born in the town of Oświęcim (Auschwitz), Poland—took us on a personalized, virtual tour of Auschwitz. Heather Lutz and Colleen Tambuscio (Gross Center Advisory Board) designed and led an afternoon workshop focused on strategies for teaching about the Holocaust and genocide through artifacts and featuring publicly available resources which can be integrated into the classroom without charge.