Notable Holocaust Education Conference

Students Stand to Benefit From District Teacher’s Participation in Notable Holocaust Education Conference
Posted on 11/09/2020
Sanford Lopater

This past July, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum held its annual Arthur and Rochelle Belfer National Conference for Educators, a program designed to help participants bring effective Holocaust education to their classrooms.

Sanford Lopater, the Holocaust Education Teacher at John I. Leonard High School, was one of about 20 District educators who completed the two-day virtual workshop, along with more than 700 teachers nationwide who also participated. The 2020 conference is a vital part of the Museum’s ongoing effort to equip educators throughout the country with the knowledge and skills to promote students’ understanding of Holocaust history.

“The Conference brings together both the finest historians of the Holocaust with incredible educators from around the world to bring back to our students the best of Holocaust education and pedagogical practices,” Lopater said. “I am so passionate about Holocaust education and have had the opportunity to attend many great professional development opportunities both locally in our area, as well as across the United States.”

The Museum regularly trains hundreds of teachers through programs held in Washington, D.C. and around the country, providing teachers with advanced educational tools and instructional materials. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s programs have been held virtually, allowing a greater number of educators to attend from across the U.S. and around the world.

During the Belfer Conference, participants received valuable lessons from Museum educators and scholars on strategies and approaches for teaching about the Holocaust. Participants also had the opportunity to hear from Alfred Münzer, a Holocaust survivor who volunteers at the Museum.

As one of the nation’s leading Holocaust education conferences, the goal is to ensure that teachers have the training and resources they need to encourage their students to think critically about the past as well as their role in fighting discrimination and intolerance in society today.

“The Belfer Conference stands out as one of the best programs that I have attended,” Lopater said. “I have learned so much, and I look forward to teaching this history to my students.”

In addition to the information shared during the conference, the Museum’s website provides a variety of resources to educators at no cost, including a range of online training modules, lesson plans, interviews with survivors, and extensive historical information about the Holocaust.

About the Belfer Conference
Established in 1993, the Arthur and Rochelle Belfer National Conference for Educators has been bringing hundreds of middle, high school, and college teachers to Washington, D.C. each summer to train them in effectively teaching the Holocaust to their students.

About the Museum
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Its far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors.

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