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Holocaust Education at NCCAT

Educators from across North Carolina gathered at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching for "Holocaust Education: Effective Strategies And Resources" in Cullowhee.

This program offered teachers an opportunity to broaden and deepen their knowledge of the historical context of the Holocaust. Focusing on best practices, appropriate strategies, and significant resources for instruction, they gained an understanding of the precursors, events, and consequences of the Holocaust.

"We started with a focus on who we are as people. We concentrated on the idea of Us vs. Them," said MJ Limbo, a facilitator and teacher. "One teacher facilitator started off us on how we build our identity and how we can turn other people’s identity into an Us vs. Them. We had teachers bring artifacts of who they are as people and had them create "Identity Boxes." They constructed their boxes and shared them. We laughed and cried together and they shared who they are. This will help us help our students to see each other as human beings and see the victims of the Holocaust as people with identifies just like we have."

Limbo, an NCCAT alumna, said having a group of teachers and resources to draw on helps educators teach a topic like the Holocaust.

"There is a very vibrant group of Holocaust educators in this state thanks to NCCAT, and the programs it has provided," Limbo said. "NCCAT has been a foundation for the growth of Holocaust training over the years. The teachers here have been amazed that these opportunities and resources are available, and they have been asking where they go next to help students."

Teachers had the unique opportunity to collaborate with veteran Holocaust educators from across the state, drawing on years of experience and expertise. They also heard from Rabbi Justin Goldstein from Beth Israel Synagogue in Asheville along with Holocaust survivor Walter Ziffer. They were able to learn how best to convey this history and the meaning that it can have on the lives and civic practices of students.

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