Spring 2023 Workshop

America & the Holocaust: How Nazi Policy was Influenced by American Racial Laws

Olympics 1936This one-day workshop examines how Nazi practices were influenced by American racial laws and eugenics. It will guide teachers on navigating online resources available at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) and the revised New Jersey Holocaust Education Curriculum.

The workshop is presented in cooperation with the USHMM. Each participant will receive a free copy of the book Americans and the Holocaust, edited by Daniel Greene and Edward Phillips, courtesy of the Museum.

Location: IN-PERSON
Rutgers College Avenue Campus, New Brunswick

Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Time: 9 AM - 3:30 PM


Tom White, Keene State

Purity, Eugenics, and Lethal Medicine

We will explore how and why an elitist, antidemocratic, race-based ideology became popular and was implemented in the U.S. years before Hitler came to power in Germany. What is the connection to and impact on Nazi race policy and mass murder? How were Nazi race laws, the marriage law, forced sterilization, the Nuremberg Laws, and euthanasia programs the byproduct of eugenic ideas and American precedents? What role did misogyny play? What echoes still exist? How can eugenics history help to confront the threat of racism and white supremacy today? How does confronting difficult history help us to notice, own, and confront implicit bias? We will wrestle with identifying the factors that contribute to targeting people and how to confront and suppress them. What are the connections and differences between American and Nazi German eugenics practices?

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum- Timeline Lesson, Karen Levine, USHMM Museum Teacher Fellow
                    How to infuse information from the morning session into the timeline activity

Navigating online resources of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum


Pedagogical Workshop on utilizing this topic in the classroom
Colleen Tambuscio, MTI Pedagogical Consultant; New Milford High School

Introduction to revised New Jersey Curriculum


Please contact Sarah Portilla, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., if you are interested in attending.

Top Image: America's Jesse Owens, center, salutes during the presentation of his gold medal for the long jump, alongside silver medalist Luz Long, right, of Germany, and bronze medalist Naoto Tajima, of Japan, during the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, August 11, 1936

Tom WhiteTom White is the Coordinator of Educational Outreach for the Cohen Center for Holocaust Studies at Keene State College. Previously he taught history for 16 years at Keene High School He has served as a researcher for Stephen Hooper's documentary film An American Nurse At War and as historical consultant for David DeArville's documentary film Telling Their Stories: NH Holocaust Survivors Speak Out, produced in 2004.

He served on the Diocese of Manchester's Diocesan Ecumenical Commission for Interfaith Relations; is the co-chair and producer of the Cohen Center’s annual Kristallnacht Commemoration; serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Holocaust Organizations (AHO); has participated as observer and facilitator in the Global Raphael Lemkin Seminar for Genocide Prevention at the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation; received NEA New Hampshire’s Champion of Human and Civil Rights Award in 2009; in 2015 he was named a Peace Ambassador by the Center for Peacebuilding from Bosnia and Herzegovina; and in 2017 was inducted on the Keene High School (NH) Wall of Honor as a distinguished alumni.


IKaren LevineKaren Hinkes Levine taught middle school social studies and was a lead teacher in Parsippany before retiring. She was selected as distinguished faculty for the district as well as twice winning the Honey and Maurice Axelrod Award for Excellence in Holocaust Education. Karen was a museum teacher fellow for the USHMM in 2006. Since that time she has been involved in a number of workshops for the USHMM and has also mentored new teacher fellows. She is on the board of the Council of Holocaust Educators (CHE).



Colleen TambuscioColleen Tambuscio is the Pedagogical Consultant to the MTI and has served in this position for over twelve years.  She is a long time special education and regular education teacher and a leading voice in Holocaust education, both in New Jersey and nationally. She is the founder and president of the Council of Holocaust Educators, a statewide professional development organization, and is an educational consultant to the NJ Commission on Holocaust Education. She established a Holocaust education curriculum at New Milford High School which now includes two elective classes: “The Holocaust, Genocide and Human Behavior” and “Contemporary Genocide: A Call to Action.”

Colleen was recently honored by Princeton University as a Distinguished Teacher and by the New Milford Educational Foundation. In 1998, Colleen was named a Mandel Fellow to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and continues to serve as a US Holocaust Memorial Regional Museum Educator. Colleen earned an MA in Jewish-Christian Studies from Seton Hall University. 

This professional development workshop for educators is presented under the auspices of the Herbert and Leonard Littman Families Holocaust Resource Center (HRC) and the Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life at Rutgers University.

The workshop is open to middle and high school educators, and it includes educational materials and professional development credits. An application is required to attend. Applicants should have at least one year of teaching experience and at least one year of involvement with Holocaust/genocide education or currently be pursuing a master of education degree.

US Holocaust Memorial Museum