After a nearly four-year interruption due to international COVID-related travel restrictions, Middle Tennessee State University will again host its bi-annual Holocaust Studies Education Conference.
Scheduled for Thursday, July 14, the Holocaust Education Day will take place in Murfreesboro at MTSU. The theme for this year’s internationally-recognized event will be Learning from the Holocaust, and will feature both in-person and virtual activities.
The morning’s virtual session will be led by Dr. David Deutsch of the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, Jerusalem. Said Deutsch, “The center tour provides an insight into the history of the Holocaust along with a strong focus on the individual stories and experiences of the Jewish victims.
“The museum tour begins with Jewish life before World War II and it ends by addressing the issue of Holocaust representation and the preservation of memory.”
Jeff Gernsheimer will be present at the conference and will share his family’s history during and after the Holocaust. The story of his family’s escape from Nazi Germany was detailed in the 1967 major motion picture, “Voyage of the Damned,” starring Faye Dunaway, Oskar Werner, Max von Sydow and James Mason.
In afternoon sessions, Sara Granitza, also from Yad Vashem, and director of Christian Friends of Yad Vashem, will collaborate with MTSU faculty, Rutherford County teachers, Tennessee Holocaust Teaching Fellows and other participants to learn how to integrate Holocaust studies into various curriculum activities.
In addition, the Tennessee Holocaust Commission exhibition, “Living On” will be on display. The featured speaker for the exhibit will be Ken Gluck, education coordinator for the Tennessee Holocaust Commission. Gluck’s father was one of nine children born in Hungary, six of whom survived the Holocaust.
Dr. Noa Mkayton, director of international Education and Training for Yad Vashem will speak virtually at the conference. Mkayton helps develop interdisciplinary study materials for teachers and students in nearly 20 European languages.
The afternoon program will also include presentations by members of the so-called “Second Generation,” who will share stories of their parents who survived the Holocaust and found refuge in the United States both during and after World War II.
The event will provide professional development credit to teachers. All activities will take place in the College of Education building on the east side of the MTSU campus. The program is scheduled to run from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Later this year, MTSU will host the 14th Biennial Conference on September 22-23.
The Holocaust Studies program is free and open to the public, but registration is required. The web link for registration and more information is at https://www.mtsu.edu/