The Holocaust Resource Center (HRC) at Kean University opened its doors in the fall of 1982. The Center is a joint initiative between the University and the Holocaust Resource Foundation, a private philanthropic organization. The Center collects and disseminates Holocaust history to foster and reinforce ongoing awareness of this tragedy throughout the community.
The Center offers an annual free lecture series and a tuition-free graduate course for teachers called “Teaching the Holocaust.” The Center also offers a follow-up course called “Teaching Prejudice Reduction.” Thousands of teachers have participated in the project. The Center's many educational programs serve as a resource for the Kean University student body and members of the local community.
In 1982 the Center launched an oral history program designed to gather and preserve the testimonies of survivors and liberators. The program has succeeded in amassing thousands of hours of first-person eyewitness accounts. The University’s oral history project is associated with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The book Holocaust Testimonies in New Jersey is based on these testimonies, and available in the HRC.
The Center has hosted some of the most eminent Holocaust scholars, as well as noted authors and countless survivors. The Center also works closely with local communities that have a history of genocide, including Native Americans, Cambodians, Sudanese, Rwandans and Bosnians. In addition, the Center maintains an extensive library on the Holocaust that includes books, original sources, videotapes and testimonials of Holocaust survivors, all of which are available to students and visiting researchers.