Holocaust Educators Worldwide to Convene in Houston

HOUSTON, TX (Feb. 13, 2008) – Holocaust educators from across the globe will meet in Houston this March for a first-of-its-kind forum for discussing challenges and strategies related to teaching the Holocaust in modern times.

Holocaust Museum Houston will host the International Conference of Holocaust Museum Educators March 2-6, 2008, on behalf of the Association of Holocaust Organizations (AHO).

“Holocaust museums are a relatively new phenomenon,” said AHO President Dr. William Shulman. “Most have only been in existence for 10 or 15 years, and there is a need for experts in various areas to meet each other, share information and get new ideas.”

Shulman said the conference will give educators from around the world the opportunity to network and discuss problems they have in common. The conference also will feature programs and panels in which Holocaust educators will discuss challenges and strategies related to teaching about genocide and the Holocaust.

Speakers will include Dr. William Meinecke, historian for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, who will discuss challenges museum educators face; Karen Polak, international coordinator of the educational department for the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam; and Dr. Wolf Kaiser, deputy director and head of the educational department of the House of the Wannsee Conference, both of whom will speak about teaching the Holocaust in museums at original Holocaust sites.

While the conference is not open to the general public, Shulman said educators from Holocaust organizations around the world have been invited to participate. To date, educators from Germany, Israel, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Canada are expected to participate.

Sessions will be held at Holocaust Museum Houston’s Morgan Family Center, 5401 Caroline St., in Houston’s Museum District.

“Houston is one of the premier Holocaust Museums in the world,” Shulman said. “Fortunately, the institution was gracious enough to be the host of this important event.”

Next year, the AHO plans to hold the first conference for Holocaust museum curators, and a forum for Holocaust librarians will be held the following year.