The Holocaust Resource Center of Kean University


Teacher Education

From the onset, the founders of the Holocaust Resource Center recognized that education was integral to the accomplishment of its mission. As a result, the HRC's first activity centered preparation of a tuition-free graduate course for teachers "Teaching the Holocaust", which was first offered at Kean University in the spring semester 1983. As enrollment in the course increased, it expanded from the University to various local school districts to allow for greater teacher preparation.

The success of this initial offering led to the creation of a follow-up course, "Teaching Prejudice Reduction," which was introduced in spring semester 1989. Over the years, thousands of teachers have participated in the project.

The Center's educational programs serve as a resource for many Kean University undergraduate students and members of the community. Each year students enrolled in HRC's graduate and undergraduate courses visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. 


Teaching The Holocaust, Teaching Prejudice Reduction
Course Waiting List

2012-2013: Watchung Regional High School, West Orange, Red Bank, Livingston, East Brunswick, Kean University

2013-2014:  South Orange/Maplewood, East Windsor Regional, Cranford, Bloomfield, Kean University

2014-1015 - Somerville, Hazlet Kean University


Two Kean University graduate courses are available to Diversity Council school districts. They are open to teachers at all grade levels, supervisors, and administrators. In the fall “Teaching the Holocaust” will be offered and in the spring “Teaching Prejudice Reduction” will be offered. Both courses are tuition-free and teachers will earn six (6) graduate credits for taking the two courses. Teachers must commit to taking both courses. Classes will be held in district on a day mutually agreeable from 4:00 P.M. till 6:40 P.M. There will be 15 class sessions each semester.

To put your district on the waiting list or enroll in one of the class please email or call (908) 737-4633.


I have learned that whenever a community is threatened, all are affected. Whenever a single human being is humiliated, the human image is cheapened. Whenever a person suffers for whatever the reason and no one is there to offer a hand, a smile, a gift, a memory, a smile again, something is wrong with society at large.” (Elie Wiesel)

“Events happen because they were possible. If they were possible once, they are possible again. In that sense, the Holocaust is not unique, but a warning for the future.” (Yehuda Bauer)

 This course will balance historical information with Holocaust teaching pedagogy.  Historical content will be determined by the depth of class background in the subject matter.  The Holocaust will be viewed from the perspective of the perpetrator, the victim, and the bystander. Emphasis will be placed on issues such as Antisemitism, the nature of evil, and the responsibility of individuals and institutions such as governments and religious organizations. Participants will look to first understand the Holocaust and its lessons themselves, and then find instructional methods to support their students in doing the same.  Strategies for teaching the subject at all grade levels will be explored and age appropriate curricular materials will be examined and developed.  A connection will also be made between the lessons of the Holocaust and the human rights issues of recent times. The format will include brief lectures, class discussions, survivor testimony, a visit to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, and perusal of literature, videotapes/DVDs, and print material.


This course will draw significantly upon the experiences and background of the class. The nature of the subject matter will engender active and usually intense discussions. Among the topics examined during this semester will be race, ethnicity, multiculturalism, the nature of prejudice, discrimination, stereotyping, bullying, and scapegoating. Issues of gender, class, disabilities, homophobia, and the minority experience in America, past and present, will be focal points of discussion. Teaching strategies which aim to reduce the role of prejudice in students' lives today and in the future will be extensively emphasized. Curricular materials, age appropriate, will be examined as well as videotapes/DVDs, and guest speakers.

Here are some comments about the Museum trip from our 2010 students:

"My experience in visiting the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum...left me with a sense of obligation to make changes in my own life and to instill in my practice as a teacher the diligence to continually make students aware of the need to be compassionate."  ~ Mary Brawley, Cranford teacher

"The Holocaust Museum exceeded my expectations because it was a sensory as well as intellectual experience." ~ Chris Riquelme, Franklin Township teacher

"The Holocaust became more than words on a page; the Holocaust became real." ~ Dana Hauck, South Plainfield teacher

"I am thankful that I was able to visit the museum with the knowledge that I have attained through this course.  Doing so allowed me to piece together words with concrete evidence, resulting in a deeper understanding of events and further compassion for the victims involved in the Holocaust." ~ Maria Sottiriou, South Plainfield teacher

"...students must understand that the stories of survival, loss, strength, and prejudice transcend the pages of their literature books and are happening everywhere today." ~ Melissa Cook, South Plainfield teacher

"The museum made me think about looking for opportunities to bring primary source artifacts into the classroom." ~ Jason Nelson, Franklin Township teacher

In response to the survivor testimony of Nesse Godin:

"...her wisdom and message about hatred was truly inspiring" ~ Lisa Silkowski, South Plainfield teacher

"Her recollections breathed life into the information we have read and seen in class." ~ James Marion, South Plainfield teacher