The Summer Institute for Teachers examines the Holocaust from the precedents found in the history of antisemitism, to the rise of the Nazi party, the machinery of death, rescue, through to the aftermath of the Holocaust. Since June 2001, the Institute has been held at Columbia University in New York City during the last week in June. The program is a high-level, intensive academic seminar in which participants are exposed to Holocaust survivors such as Roman Kent and to noted Holocaust scholars including, Doris Bergen, Volker Berghahn, Jeffrey Burds, Lawrence Douglas, Debórah Dwork, Henry Feingold, Atina Grossmann, Peter Hayes, Samuel Kassow, Michael Steinlauf, Robert Jan van Pelt, and Alexandra Zapruder.
The Institute is designed to allow participants to meet in small groups following each lecture. These small groups enable participants to share teaching concepts and to develop approaches to introducing the subject matter to their students. All participants selected to attend the JFR Summer Institute for Teachers are known as Alfred Lerner Fellows and must be nominated by one of the centers in our Holocaust Centers of Excellence Program. In order to participate in other JFR educational programs, a teacher must be an Alfred Lerner Fellow and have remained involved with their local Holocaust center. While there is a participant fee, the JFR provides each Lerner Fellow with a significant scholarship to attend the Summer Institute for Teachers. The program is a residential program – all participants stay on the Columbia University campus. Participants are expected to complete required readings prior to the start of the program. The JFR Summer Institute for Teachers provides the foundation for other JFR education programs, such as the Advanced Seminar and European Study Program in Germany and Poland, which delve deeply into aspects of the Holocaust not covered by other Holocaust teacher education programs.
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