Using Personal Letters to Teach about the Holocaust

A dynamic one-day workshop on Holocaust representation and the use of personal letters as primary documents for teaching about family separation, Holocaust history, immigration, and anti-Semitism will be held at Rutgers on March 4, 2020, 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.

The workshop will be taught by two distinguished speakers: Debórah Dwork, the inaugural Rose Professor of Holocaust History and founding director of the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University, whose recent research focuses on the use of personal letters as primary documents in Holocaust scholarship; and Ted Rosenthal, acclaimed jazz pianist and composer of the recent jazz opera “Dear Erich,” based on more than 200 personal letters found in his family’s attic between his father in America and his grandmother in Nazi Germany. The HRC’s pedagogical consultant, Colleen Tambuscio, will guide teachers in ways to include personal letters and eye witness testimony in their classroom teaching.

This free workshop for middle and high school teachers will be held on the Rutgers New Brunswick campus from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Educational materials, professional development credits, and lunch will be provided.

Advance registration is required at Free parking will be available.

To register, one must be a current 6-12 grade teacher with at least one year of teaching experience and at least one year teaching the Holocaust. For more information, email Sarah Portilla at

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