Annual Holocaust Teachers of America Symposium
The Holocaust did not happen overnight; nor did it occur in a vacuum. It was the result of a slow shift in definition of what were already understood and accepted concepts of good and evil. The Holocaust, therefore, was possible not because Hitler was a charismatic speaker or a cruel dictator, but because so much of his party’s intellectual and therefore ethical construct was already familiar to the people of Europe. As a result, the people of Germany and the many Nazi party members and soldiers were not deficient in moral sensibilities nor were they quintessentially evil or brutal people; they were in fact ethically sensitive. For them such deeds were simply no longer understood as evil. Herein lies the need for tolerance education. Through a thought-provoking study of the Holocaust and the social environment that led to it students can learn to counteract ignorance, brutality, and contempt fostered by intolerance as well as recognize the importance in following a moral compass that elevates the individual and the democratic values that nurture such a society.
The Holocaust Teachers of America Symposium elevates, empowers, and enlightens classroom teachers through general and break-out sessions led by Holocaust survivors or their descendants and experienced classroom teachers just like them to become advocates for academic integrity, democratic values, truth, historical accuracy, and compassionate communities in their schools.
The Annual Holocaust Teachers of America Symposium is a 3 day intense teacher-created teacher-led professional development symposium where the participants gain priceless knowledge pertaining to the complex history of the Holocaust, 2000 years of Antisemitism in Europe, the roles of imperialism, colonialism, nationalism, economics, and democracy on the sociopolitical changes in Europe and how individuals were affected by these changes and how to accurately and appropriately bring these lessons to the 6-12 classroom. At the core of it all are raw historical facts, 100% applicable meaningful age appropriate lessons, and the support of interdisciplinary team teaching.
The symposium is a Zachor Shoah event. As such the symposium seeks to put substance over style. It is not enough to say we did something, we must actually achieve it. It is far more important to us to create a strong robust community of professional educators focused on bringing the respect and academic validity to the subject that it deserves than to have thousands of participants in one year. We seek to inspire, inform, and involve amazing English, History, and Artistic Electives educators in grades K12 and provide the foundations for a scholarly community among school educators centered around Interdisciplinary Holocaust Studies.
Are you an exceptional teacher in your subject area of English, History/Social Studies, or Artistic Electives and want to learn how to better teach the Holocaust through interdisciplinary team teaching? Or do you want to improve and grow on what you are already doing? Then this symposium is for you.
*breakout sessions are for in-person attendees unless states virtual
6:15 PM - 8:15 PM
*Pre-Conference "Welcome" Cocktail Reception
special performance of the Hebrew Mamita by Vanessa Hidary
Special guest and speaker the Consul General of Israel in Atlanta (to be confirmed)
Day One: September 9
7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
Registration & Breakfast
9:00AM - 10:25 AM - Morning Sessions
Opening Remarks and General Session I: Foundations to an effective Interdisciplinary Holocaust & Human Rights program - Carolina Simon followed by Hussein Aboubakr from Stand With Us (author of Minority of One)- the essence of education & its connection to creating enlightened individuals free of hate & bigotry.
10:35 AM - 12:35 AM
General Session II: Historical Foundations of the Holocaust (for all teachers)- part 1 - Antisemitism facilitated by the Simon Wiesenthal Center
12:40PM - 2:00PM Lunch
2:15 PM - 3:30 PM
3:45PM - 5:15 PM
General Session : Historical Foundations of the Holocaust (for all teachers)- part 2 -The Holocaust Years
Dinner on your own
* separate ticketed event for special Friday night dinner with Keynote and special guest Sami Steigmann. See details when registering
Day Two: September 10
7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
Registration & Breakfast
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
General Session: creating a school-wide program with Carolina Simon followed Gerard Filitti, Attorney at Law/Senior Counsel - The Lawfare Project.:legal rights of Holocaust teachers when teaching a subject increasingly considered controversial.
9:00am - 10:30am Key Note Speaker: Ramona Bessinger: discover how Holocaust education is under siege, how its being distorted, and how you the classroom teacher are the hero of this story.
10:30AM - 11:30 AM
Session II: Subject specific break out sessions
Session A - Media Literacy- Antisemitism on Social Media: How to Identify and Combat it with Liora Rez
Session B - History: Complicit: Corporate America & the Holocaust with Lisa Wiater
Session C: Artistic Electives: Kaleidescope with Vanessa Hidary
11:45 AM - 1:00 PM
Session III: Subject specific break out sessions
Session A: Community Outreach: Upstanding Education Beyond the Classroom with Jeff Chard
Session B: History: Eugenics: How Pseudo-Science Made Monsters out of Men with Carolina Simon
Session C: Artistic Electives: Teaching Spoken word Hebrew Mamita with Vanessa Hidary
1:00-2:00PM - Lunch Break
2:15 PM - 3:30 PM - Afternoon Sessions
Session A: School team specific break out session (for those teachers traveling as a team):Holocaust Studies in the secondary school- teaching through an interdisciplinary lens & building a school-wide program with Carolina Simon
or Subject specific break out sessions
Session B Language Arts: Living Among the Dead: My Grandmother’s Holocaust Survival Story of Love and Strength by Adena Bernstein Astrowsky & Teacher's Guide with Hilary Levine
Session C Artistic Electives:TBA
Networking Coffee Break
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Day 2: General Session an Afternoon with Joel Poremba (Son of Holocaust survivor & author of My Name is Staszek Surdel)
5:20 PM - 6:35 PM
Day 2: General Session - The Tribe - a conversation with Tiffany Shlain
Dinner (on your own)
7:30pm Film Screening of Three Minutes: a Lengthening & light Reception * separate ticketed event. See details when registering
Day Three: September 11
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Closing Statements & Farewell Brunch with Guest Keynote speaker and Holocaust survivor Ben Walker
*Certificates of Completion will be given to all teachers at the Farewell Brunch.
In-person certificates worth 25 in-service/continuing education points
Virtual certificates worth 12 in-service/continuing education points
Date: September 8-11 2022* Location: Atlanta Georgia*
Limited number of spaces available. **
** In-person Attendees will receive their Symposium Materials & Tote Bag upon arrival.
* In-person event limited to 100 people
Virtual Attendance option available.
Pre-registration is now closed. Regular registration begins July 25 2022
We have created a variety of options to best suit your needs.
* All options include breakfast, AM & PM snacks, and Sunday Brunch!
Friday Night Dinner and Saturday Night's Special Screening have been made available at a special low rate or automatically included in the all-inclusive package.
Early bird Pre-registered Registration fee is waived
Regular registration fee: $50
Symposium attendance ticket to all general sessions and break-out sessions (in-person only) is $550* includes most meals - (for teachers living in the area who do not need a hotel room)
All-inclusive (registration, attendance, room and special evening events) is $1550
* for private room add $200 fee
Late registration fee is: $150
Late Symposium attendance ticket to all general sessions and break-out sessions (in-person only) is $750
* includes most meals
* Late All-Inclusive package (registration, attendance, room and and special evening events) is $1950
* for private room add $200 fee.
Thursday Night Welcome Cocktail Reception with special guest performance of "Hebrew Mamita" by Vanessa Hidary and honored guests from the Israeli Consulate in Atlanta
Friday Night Shabbat Style Dinner with special guest Sami Steigmann
Saturday Night Special Screening of Three Minutes a Lengthening with light refreshment reception
*included in All-Inclusive pacakage.
All registration and ticket sales are through eventbrite. Link will be active on July 25 2022
Continuous Refreshment Breaks will be available from 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM
The continental breakfast includes bagels and breakfast pastries, assorted cereals and yogurt, Chef's choice of one hot item (chicken biscuit, breakfast croissant, Vegetable quiche, etc.), fruit and granola, and coffee, teas and soft drinks. We will do a mid-morning refresh of snacks to have sweet and salty snack options, chips or pretzels, whole fruit, and snack bars. In the afternoon, we will bring out Chef's choice of one hot hors d’oeuvre and an ice cream cooler in addition to the snacks and drinks above.
Full Buffet Lunch served in a reserved section of the newly renovated Conference Dining Room at the GT Conference Center & Hotel. The Conference Dining Lunch buffet offers a themed entrée each day (Southern, Mexican, Italian, etc.) to include two proteins (chicken, fish, pork, etc.), two sides (rice pilaf, mashed potatoes, pasta, etc.) and a vegetable medley. In addition to the main line, GT offers a salad and sandwich bar, pizza, made to order, hamburgers and french fries, a chef’s specialty item (gyros, shrimp and grits, etc.) and a full dessert bar (cobbler, pies, cakes, cookies, etc.) The chefs rotate 22 menus, and if any guests are vegetarian or gluten free, the chefs at the action station can assist you with options.
Although Dinner is an additional cost for those not on the all-inclusive package, we believe you definitely will not be hungry during the symposium!
Wait! I am teacher how do I pay for all this?
There are a number of resources you can request assistance from. Here are just a few:
- Your Local PTA has discretionary funds for teacher professional development
-Your school's SAC Committee has even more discretionary funding for teacher professional development!
-Your school principal has their own discretionary fund for teacher professional development
-Your school district subject area coordinator has the ability to assist in funding your professional development when it is subject specific (each of our break-out sessions is subject content area specific for this purpose)
-Contact local Jewish organizations such as the Jewish Federation, local synagogues, etc. and ask for their support. Offer to
give a free lecture for their sisterhood or brotherhood meetings based on what you learn.
- Lastly, you can use crowdsourcing options like GoFundMe or DonorsChoose.
Thank you Delta Airlines for your support of the symposium.
We recommend purchasing travel insurance and refundable ticket fares as Covid and other unforeseen situations are always a possibility.
Upon registration to the symposium you will recieve an email with information regarding the Delta discount
Uber, Lift and other rideshare options are available at the Atlanta Airport for a reasonable fare.
You can also choose to take the MARTA train directly from the airport. It will leave you 2 blocks from the conference center. You can choose to walk or Uber/ride-share from there.
The Symposium will take place at
The Georgia Tech Conference Center & Hotel
800 Spring Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30308
We have secured discounted block rooms at The GT Conference Center & Hotel as part of our program package. If you wish to stay in the city during the symposium it is best to purchase the all-inclusive option.
If you are a resident of the Atlanta area and prefer to sleep in your own home, simply choose the registration and attendance packages a la carte
Thank you to our Partners & Sponsors!
The Child Survivors/ Hidden Children of the Holocaust, Palm Beach County, Florida
We Dared to Live
My Name is Staszek Surdel
All sponsorship donations are tax deductible.