Littman Families Dedicated Holocaust Resource Center

(excerpt from fall 2000 newsletter)

It is now the Herbert and Leonard Littman Families Holocaust Resource Center (HRC) at the Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life at Rutgers.

The HRC was rededicated in February 2000 in honor of two families who have been prominent supporters of philanthropic organizations and community activities throughout Central New Jersey. Rutgers President, Francis L. Lawrence, and Center Director, Yael Zerubavel, were among the speakers at this special celebration.

Last year, Herbert (RU ’52) and Leonard Littman provided a $350,000 endowment to name the Holocaust Center. “It was one of the value choices we wanted to make,” said Leonard Littman who, with his brother Herbert, returned from military service in the 1950s to build Littman Jewelers into the largest family owned jewelry chain in the United States and the seventh largest jeweler.

Leonard and Barbara Littman of Highland Park and Herbert and Linda Littman, formerly of Watchung and now Boca Raton, Fla., have a long history of public service.

“We felt we were in a position to make a large contribution and put money back into the community that has been so supportive of us our entire lives. It is important that people never forget the Holocaust,” he said.

The Holocaust Resource Center was established in 1997 to teach future Families Holocaust Resource Center to teach future generations about the Holocaust by training educators and providing educational materials to teachers, students and scholars. The Center’s activities enhance public awareness of the Holocaust and promote discussion of racism, genocide, discrimination and the importance of protecting human rights.

HRC dedication
Leonard Littman, Barbara Littman, President Francis Lawrence, Linda Littman, Herbert Littman and Yael Zerubavel dedicate the Herbert and Leonard Littman Families Holocaust Resource Center

About The Holocaust Resource Center

The mission of The Herbert and Leonard Littman Families Holocaust Resource Center (HRC) at Rutgers University is to teach future generations about the Holocaust by training educators and providing educational materials to teachers, students, and scholars. Its programs are designed to enhance public awareness of the Holocaust and promote discussion of racism, genocide, discrimination, and the importance of protecting human rights. The HRC is an important part of the Bildner Center’s overall mission of prejudice reduction and outreach to the broader community. 

Master Teacher Institute in Holocaust Education

"The Rutgers MTI program offers educators an in-depth approach to studying historical content while emphasizing best practices in teaching history to students today. Educators leave this program with a deeper understanding of the Holocaust through exposure to scholars who are actively engaged in research and they value offering their research to educators currently in the classroom. Finally, the Rutgers MTI enables participants to educate their students to be critical consumers of content." 
         - Colleen Tambuscio
            Educational Consultant
What participants say about the MTI:

“The teaching of tolerance must be made a priority if our learning community’s cultural diversity is to remain one of our strengths.”

- Zhanna Pikman Rilof

  Read more

Interviews with teachers:

The Master Teacher Institute (MTI) in Holocaust Education is a dynamic advanced training program to develop expert teachers in Holocaust studies who will serve as resource providers in their schools, districts, and communities. The MTI engages teachers in a wide-ranging study of the history of the Holocaust and its remembrance and addresses the complex methodological issues involved in teaching about this subject.
 
Each semester, the MTI offers a series of five afternoon sessions, organized around a specific topic in Holocaust history or in how the Holocaust has been remembered and represented. These sessions will each feature a presentation by a scholar in Holocaust studies or a related field, followed by a pedagogical workshop using materials related to the scholar’s presentation.  Each session generally lasts from 4:30 to 7:30 pm, with a dinner break. In addition, the MTI offers a five-day intensive workshop on the history of the Holocaust during a week in late June.
 
Click here for Application
 
There is no fee to participate in this program.
 
Teachers who complete both fall and spring semesters
receive a $250 stipend.
The MTI prepares teachers to:
  • Teach the Holocaust with primary documents
  • Teach Holocaust literature
  • Teach the Holocaust with film, photography, art, and other media
  • Prepare students for visits to Holocaust exhibits
  • Teach about the Holocaust within the broader framework of other genocides, prejudice, and intolerance

Participating teachers receive:
  • Resource materials for classroom use and professional enrichment
  • Access to leading scholars of the Holocaust
  • Assistance in curriculum development from experts in Holocaust pedagogy
  • Access to supportive teacher network
  • Access to Shoah Visual History Archive
  • 15 Professional Development credits per semester
  • Teachers who complete both fall and spring semesters (2014-15) are eligible for a $250 stipend.

Faculty and Staff

Dr. Joanna Sliwa, Faculty Advisor
Colleen Tambuscio, Educational Consultant

The MTI now offers its distinguished series of teacher enrichment programs in a new format, designed to enable greater flexibility of participation by more teachers.

Two Tracks
Teachers (including alumni of the MTI) can sign up for individual semesters, for which they will receive fifteen professional development hours.  Those teachers who wish to be recognized as Master Teachers in Holocaust Studies by the MTI will be required to do the following:
  • complete a cycle of any four semesters within a period of three years.
  • take the History of the Holocaust mini-course in June (if teachers have not already taken a college-level course on this topic).
  • prepare a pedagogical project for their school, under the supervision of the MTI’s pedagogical and academic advisors.  Successfully completed projects are eligible for awards to teachers’ schools to help implement the project.

Applicant Requirements/Registration
The MTI is open to middle and high school educators teaching in New Jersey. Applicants must have a minimum of three years teaching experience and three years of involvement with Holocaust/genocide education.

Please return the completed application to
The Bildner Center, 12 College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Seminars meet at the Bildner Center.  Parking available nearby.

For further information please email Jodi Marcou This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 848-932-4165. For updates and announcements of related programs, please join our teacher email list.

Past presenters include:

Omer Bartov, Brown University  David Engel, New York University  Henry Greenspan, University of Michigan Jan Gross, Princeton University  Atina Grossman, The New School  Marion Kaplan, New York University Samuel Kassow, Trinity College  Harry Reicher, University of Pennsylvania Hanna Yablonka, Yad Vashem & Ben Gurion University

This educator training project has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

MTI Faculty and Staff

Joanna Sliwa, Faculty Advisor

Joanna Sliwa is a doctoral candidate at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University. Her dissertation explores daily life and inter-ethnic relations in Krakow, Poland during the Holocaust from the perspective of Jewish children's experiences. Joanna received a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, both from Kean University. She has held administrative positions at universities, nonprofits, and businesses. Sliwa has experience as an educator and university instructor. She also serves as a researcher, translator, and a foreign language consultant for projects ranging from academic texts, to websites, and films.

Colleen Tambuscio, Educational Consulant

Colleen Tambuscio is a long time special education and regular education teacher who has been involved in Holocaust and genocide education for the past twenty years and currently teaches at New Milford High School. She has an MA in Jewish-Christian Studies from Seton Hall University, and is an educational consultant to the NJ Commission on Holocaust Education.  In 1998, Colleen was named as a Mandel Fellow to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and continues to serve as a US Holocaust Memorial Regional Museum Educator.  Tambuscio is the founder and President of the Council of Holocaust Educators, a national professional development organization for educators interested in teaching the Holocaust and genocide.

Master Teacher Institute 2014-2015

Fall 2014 - Reconsidering Key Events and Themes of the Holocaust
  • The Holocaust in Hungary and Current Debates - September 10
    Paul Hanebrink, Rutgers University

  • The Soviet Encounter with the Nazi Camps - October 1
    Jochen Hellbeck, Rutgers University

    Jochen Hellbeck is professor of history at Rutgers University with a specialty in Russia. He is  particularly interested in studying autobiographical accounts and people’s self-understandings in historical perspective. His first book, Revolution on My Mind (2006), explores personal diaries written in the Soviet Union under Stalin. The “Stalingrad Transcripts,” published in German in 2012, tell the stories of Soviet people who lived through this decisive battle of the Second World War. The book, forthcoming in English with PublicAffairs (New York), explores dozens of oral histories, ranging from army generals to nurses and riflemen, that were recorded by a group of Moscow historians who visited Stalingrad in 1943. His current research continues to be on World War II. His forthcoming book focuses on the Soviet experience of the Nazi German occupation regime

  • Trip to U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum - October 23
    Special Exhibit: Neighbors
    Discussion with curator: Encounters with Neighbors, Susan Bachrach, USHMM

    Susan D. Bachrach is exhibition coordinator at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. She curated the current exhibit “Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration and Complicity during the Holocaust.”  She is the author of Dames Employées: The Feminization Of Postal Work In Nineteenth Century France, The Nazi Olympics Berlin 1936, and Tell Them We Remember: The Story of the Holocaust.

  • The Wannsee Conference: Crucial Step towards the 'final solution' or just another meeting? - November 19
    Juergen Matthaus, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

    The presentation will discuss the historical relevance of the Wannsee Conference in the context of Nazi anti-Jewish policy. What stage in the process of evolution towards genocide had been reached by the time Heydrich sent out the invitation and by the time the meeting was held? What was Heydrich's agenda, and what interests did the other participants bring to the table? How have post-war perceptions of the meeting changed over time?

    Dr. Jürgen Matthäus is a historian and director for Applied Research at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. Recent publications include (with Jochen Böhler and Klaus-Michael Mallmann), War, Pacification, and Mass Murder, 1939: The Einsatzgruppen in Poland, Lanham 2014, (with Klaus-Michael Mallmann, Andrej Angrick, and Martin Cüppers), Dokumente der Einsatzgruppen in der Sowjetunion, 3 vols., Darmstadt 2012-14; and (with Emil Kerenji, Jan Lambertz, and Leah Wolfson) Jewish Responses to Persecution, 1941-1942, Lanham 2012.

  • Rescue and Moral Responsibility - Dec 3
    TBD

 Meetings take place on the Rutgers campus, 12 College Avenue, on Wednesdays, from 4:30 p.m. -7:30 p.m.


Spring 2015 - TBD

 

 (Schedule subject to change)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holocaust Education Impacts Thousands of Students

Eight years ago, the Bildner Center launched New Jersey’s first Master Teacher Institute in Holocaust Education (MTI) at Rutgers. Designed to give middle and high school teachers access to the region’s best resources in Holocaust education, in particular Rutgers faculty and other leading minds in the field, the program offers in-depth, advanced study of the Holocaust and its aftermath. There is no fee to take courses through the MTI, and teachers earn professional development credits.

Over the years, more than 115 teachers from across the state - from public, private, and parochial schools - have participated in the MTI, subsequently exposing thousands of students to Holocaust education. These educators form a cadre of experts in Holocaust studies who serve as resource providers in their schools, districts, and communities.  

Each MTI session offers both a scholarly talk and a pedagogical workshop employing primary source materials related to that semester’s theme.

Twenty-five teachers participated in the MTI’s fall 2012 course, “The Aftermath of the Holocaust,” which explored a variety of complex issues that arose after World War II. The circumstances and resettlement of displaced persons was discussed by Atina Grossman, a professor of modern European and German history, and women's and gender studies at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art; Lawrence R. Douglas, the James J. Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College, gave a lecture on war crimes trials; and the topic of reparations was handled by Dr. Brigitte Sion, Center for International Research in the Humanities and Social Science in Paris.

Rutgers faculty rounded out the fall semester’s curriculum. Nancy Sinkoff, chair of the Jewish studies department, gave the talk, “The Beginnings of Holocaust Studies”; Jeffrey Shandler, MTI faculty adviser and a professor of Jewish studies, presented the talk, “American Jews Fighting Prejudice on the Airwaves.”

The MTI’s spring 2013 course, “Holocaust Remembrance around the World,” explored memory practices and memorials as well as Holocaust representation in film and literature with a group of twenty-three schoolteachers. Jeffrey Shandler presented a session about Holocaust memory and representation in the United States; Wulf Kansteiner, Binghamton University, the State University of New York, gave the talk, “Germany and German Television”; the topic of Holocaust memory in Poland was addressed by Natalia Aleksiun, Touro College; Yael Zerubavel, explored the ways in which the Holocaust and survivors are remembered in Israeli literature; and Olga Gershenson, University of Massachusetts Amherst, presented a case study of Holocaust memory through Russian films.

Last June the Center once again offered the one -week intensive course, “Introduction to the History of the Holocaust” to give teachers a comprehensive historical background.  In addition to ten lectures by Jessica Anderson Hughes, the participants discussed how to use films and other resources in the classroom . USC’s Shoah Foundation presented a two-part computer workshop that introduced teachers to their new iWitness program which provides tools for educators and students to work with testimonies.

Master Teacher Institute - Summer 2014

Introduction to Holocaust History

Free course for middle and high school educators

July 7-11; 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

This course will focus on the programs of persecution and mass murder carried out by the Nazi regime between 1933-1945 that culminated in the “final solution” and mass murder of European Jewry. Topics to be examined include:  the legacy of anti-Semitism in Germany, the Nazi racial state and its early policies of persecution and exclusion, the concentration camp and life within the barbed wire, as well as the divergent perspectives of perpetrators and victims and those who fell into the category of collaborators and bystanders. 

This course will give participants the necessary tools to teach and address the complexities involved in teaching this subject matter.  Materials used to carry out this goal will include primary source documents, historiographical essays, memoirs, oral histories, and representations of the Holocaust such as film, art, and memorials.

Topics covered:

  1. Lasting Legacies:  Anti-Judaism, Anti-Semitism, and the Foundation of the Nazi Racial State
  2. Programs of Persecution:  Jews and Social Outsiders under Nazism
  3. The Invasion of Poland: Expulsion, Concentration and the Creation of Ghettos
  4. Total War:  Barbarossa and the Final Solution
  5. The Camp Universe
  6. Life in the Lager (camp)
  7. Perpetrators:  Doctors, Bureaucrats, and “Ordinary Men”
  8. Collaborators and Bystanders:  The Case of Jedwabne
  9. Resistance:  Religious, Cultural, and Armed
  10. The Last Days

Instructor: Jessica Anderson Hughes is a visiting lecturer in the History Department at Rutgers University teaching classes focusing on German, Nazi, and Holocaust history. She received her Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 2011.  Her dissertation, entitled “Forced Prostitution:  The Competing and Contested Uses of the Concentration Camp Brothel” is a study that enhances and complicates the history of Nazi racial and sexual policies by examining the quotidian politics of ten brothels staffed by and for prisoners that operated in concentration camps in Germany and its occupied territories.  Her research interests are concentrated in Modern German history, the history of the Holocaust, and specifically the instrumentalization of sex and sexuality under the Third Reich. She is currently preparing a book proposal on the request of a university press and drafting two article manuscripts based on her dissertation.

Jessica has received DAAD and American Association of University Women Fellowships and in 2008 she was selected by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to be part of a team of academics to conduct research in the newly opened International Tracing Service archive in Bad Arolsen, Germany.

Master Teacher Institute June 2013

Introduction to Holocaust History

June 269:00-3:30
June 27 9:00-3:30
June 289:00-12:30
July 1 9:00-3:30
July 29:00-3:30

This course will focus on the programs of persecution and mass murder carried out by the Nazi regime between 1933-1945 that culminated in the “final solution” and mass murder of European Jewry. Topics to be examined include:  the legacy of anti-Semitism in Germany, the Nazi racial state and its early policies of persecution and exclusion, the concentration camp and life within the barbed wire, as well as the divergent perspectives of perpetrators and victims and those who fell into the category of collaborators and bystanders. 

This course will give participants the necessary tools to teach and address the complexities involved in teaching this subject matter.  Materials used to carry out this goal will include primary source documents, historiographical essays, memoirs, oral histories, and representations of the Holocaust such as film, art, and memorials.

Topics covered:

  1. Lasting Legacies:  Anti-Judaism, Anti-Semitism, and the Foundation of the Nazi Racial State
  2. Programs of Persecution:  Jews and Social Outsiders under Nazism
  3. The Invasion of Poland: Expulsion, Concentration and the Creation of Ghettos
  4. Total War:  Barbarossa and the Final Solution
  5. The Camp Universe
  6. Life in the Lager (camp)
  7. Perpetrators:  Doctors, Bureaucrats, and “Ordinary Men”
  8. Collaborators and Bystanders:  The Case of Jedwabne
  9. Resistance:  Religious, Cultural, and Armed
  10. The Last Days

Instructor: Jessica Anderson Hughes is a visiting lecturer in the History Department at Rutgers University teaching classes focusing on German, Nazi, and Holocaust history. She received her Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 2011.  Her dissertation, entitled “Forced Prostitution:  The Competing and Contested Uses of the Concentration Camp Brothel” is a study that enhances and complicates the history of Nazi racial and sexual policies by examining the quotidian politics of ten brothels staffed by and for prisoners that operated in concentration camps in Germany and its occupied territories.  Her research interests are concentrated in Modern German history, the history of the Holocaust, and specifically the instrumentalization of sex and sexuality under the Third Reich. She is currently preparing a book proposal on the request of a university press and drafting two article manuscripts based on her dissertation.

Jessica has received DAAD and American Association of University Women Fellowships and in 2008 she was selected by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to be part of a team of academics to conduct research in the newly opened International Tracing Service archive in Bad Arolsen, Germany.

Overview of the Master Teacher Institute in Holocaust Education: 2011-2012

mti-300pxThe Master Teacher Institute in Holocaust Education (MTI) continues to draw a large and diverse group of middle and high school teachers from across New Jersey, furthering its mission to develop a base of expert teachers in Holocaust studies who then serve as resource providers in their schools, districts, and communities. There is no fee to participate, and educators earn professional development credits.

The program offers advanced training by scholars and other professionals who are leaders in the field of Holocaust studies. Each session features a scholarly presentation followed by a pedagogical workshop using primary documents related to the theme of the session.

One of the major strengths of the MTI is the ability to utilize Rutgers resources. Jeffrey Shandler, a professor of Jewish studies, serves as the faculty adviser; Karen Small, Bildner Center associate director, coordinates the project; and Rutgers faculty members in Jewish studies, history, and sociology contribute as guest speakers.

The MTI’s fall 2011 course, “Before the Holocaust: Historical Background,” offered an overview of the complex precipitating factors that led to the Holocaust. Twenty-nine middle and high school teachers from New Jersey public schools participated in this course. Colleen Tambuscio, educational consultant for the fall semester, presented the pedagogical component at each session.

Paola Tartakoff, a professor of Jewish studies and history at Rutgers, kicked off the term with a lecture on Jewish-Christian relations through the ages. She examined the diverse religious and cultural dynamics at play in the relationship between Jews and Europe’s majority Christian population. Nancy Sinkoff, chair of Rutgers’ Department of Jewish Studies, presented a talk on Jewish life in pre–World War II Europe. Paul Hanebrink, a Rutgers professor of history, dealt with the swift political rise of Nazism and Nazi Germany in the prewar years.

Professors Sally Charnow (Hofstra University) and Eric D. Weitz (University of Minnesota) rounded out the curriculum with sessions on European political history and the rise of modern nationalism during the nineteenth century, as well as the ideological origins of fascism, which took root in early twentieth-century Spain, Italy, and Germany.

The start of the spring 2012 course, “Children and the Holocaust” coincided with the United Nations General Assembly’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which also focused this year on the subject of children and the Holocaust. This timely topic drew a group of twenty-eight teachers.

Christina Chavarría, coordinator of the Regional Education Corps Program at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), opened the term with a presentation on the challenges of teaching the Holocaust to children and young adults.

Dr. Patricia Heberer, a historian at the USHMM’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, spoke about the experiences of Aryan children during the Nazi era. A session on Holocaust literature for young adult readers was copresented by Shandler and Perri Geller-Clark, MTI educational consultant for the spring semester.

Hidden children in Belgium was the subject of a session led by Suzanne Vromen, a professor emeritus of sociology from Bard College. Vromen’s talk was based on her recent book, Hidden Children of the Holocaust: Belgian Nuns and Their Daring Rescue of Young Jews from the Nazis.

Alan Sadovnik, a Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor in sociology and education at Rutgers–Newark, spoke about his mother’s experience in the Kindertransport and the remarkable discovery of a diary she had kept as a child. He discussed the difficulties involved in coming to terms with his parents’ legacy and how it shaped his life.

In June, a one-week intensive course, “Introduction to Holocaust History,” was added to the MTI offerings to provide greater flexibility for teachers to study this topic.

Master Teacher Institute Spring 2013

Remembering the Holocaust around the World

(5 Wednesdays, Jan 30, Feb 13, March 20, April 17, May 8)
 
Bildner Center
12 College Ave
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
P (848) 932-2033
E This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.