Antisemitism PD in North Carolina Attracts Record Attendance


With the rise of antisemitic events, the desecration of Jewish cemeteries, and bomb threats at Jewish schools and community centers, historical and contemporary antisemitism is becoming increasingly important to address with students.

As a member of the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust, Karen Klaich and her colleagues were in search of resources and support for teachers looking to engage with students about these complex issues. “As our educational committee for the Council looks to expand its programming, I felt that we needed to use the resources that Echoes and Reflections has to offer,” Klaich explains. As a graduate of the 2016 Charlotte & Jacques Wolf Conference and a participant in an Echoes and Reflections webinar about teaching contemporary antisemitism she adds that, “As our workshop program becomes older, we have had many teachers returning… we need to offer some different and targeted topics for presentation; hence, the idea for historical and contemporary antisemitism.”

Holocaust education and contemporary Antisemitism in North Carolina

Jen Goss delivered two programs for teachers in North Carolina.

Each academic year, the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust offers eight professional development programs. This year, Klaich and her colleagues partnered with Echoes and Reflections to offer two that specifically addressed strategies and pedagogy for teaching students about antisemitism. “A lot of our rural teachers don’t come in contact with many Jewish people,” she explains. “The need to review the history and then look at current events seemed appropriate and important. I was excited to look at the programming that Echoes and Reflections offers for this topic, and Jennifer Goss did a fabulous job for us.”

Goss, an Echoes and Reflections facilitator and classroom teacher in Virginia, delivered both trainings for the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust. The first, on February 15th, reached capacity with 50 participants, and the second, on March 14th, drew 90 educators from more than 25 counties throughout the state. “The participants seemed grateful for solid resources on this challenging topic,” Goss shared. “Many said they felt much more comfortable teaching about antisemitism and contemporary antisemitism after our session concluded. I think that many teachers are apprehensive about addressing these topics with students but know that it is important to do so. Echoes and Reflections resources help them feel more comfortable and recognize that we are here to support them.”

Starting with Lesson 2: Antisemitism, Goss provided participants with a foundation about the history of antisemitism and its historic manifestations. She then introduced Echoes and Reflections’ new Contemporary Antisemitism Resource. In the three-hour program, educators were provided with resources, sound pedagogy, and strategies for addressing the complexity of this subject with students.

Join Echoes and Reflections’ upcoming webinar, “Introduction to Contemporary Antisemitism Supplementary Content” on April 5  to learn more about these important topics and/or locate an in-person Echoes and Reflections program near you. To bring this training to teachers in your area contact info@echoesandreflections.org.