Teachers Appreciate Experience at US Holocaust Museum & Yad Vashem

Montreal - Tuesday, September 19, 2017

This year’s recipients were Lev Berner from Vincent Massey Collegiate in Rosemount of the EMSB; Anne-Marie Jacob of College Jesus-Marie de Sillery in Quebec City; and Stephanie Kessler from College Reine-Marie in Montreal.  They traveled to Washington in July.  The Hecht’s also wish to congratulate Melanie Philip and Audrée Anne Dupont, teachers at the EMSB`s Mackay Centre School in NDG and Merton Elementary School in Côte Saint-Luc respectively. They were awarded Hecht Scholarships to a professional development program in July under the direction of the Faculty of the Yad Vashem Seminars for Educators from Abroad, International School for Holocaust Studies.  The goal of this program is to provide professional development activities to teachers for teaching about the Holocaust and anti-Semitism. Upon their return to Montreal, scholarship recipients have proceeded to create at least one teaching unit or module developed within the context learned, appropriate for the régime pedagogique.   

The seminar at the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem has allowed us to deepen our knowledge about the Holocaust and to understand its impact on Jewish communities worldwide,” Ms. Philip and Ms. Dupont stated. “We feel better prepared to answer questions our students may have about this daunting subject.  During our educational courses in Jerusalem, we networked with like-minded educators and created an international professional learning community to share ideas, lessons plans, discoveries and to ponder questions that may arise as we teach. This was an incredible learning experience that made us grow professionally as well as personally. We look forward to working together because we both teach at the Cycle Three level. We also aim to provide resources, support & encouragement to colleagues who are interested in teaching about the Holocaust in their own classrooms. We are most grateful for the generosity of donors who sponsored us through the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem."

The Belfer National Conference for Educators presented Holocaust education for English Language Arts and Social Studies/History teachers from Grades 6 and up last July. The goal of this three-day Conference was to give educators the tools for teaching about the Holocaust in their classrooms. Teachers were introduced to information and teaching strategies using many museum resources, with a focus on school systems in North America.  

The conference was a unique experience where unlike other such seminars, the focus was on Holocaust education, rather than learning about the events of Holocausts,” said Mr. Berner.  “In groups facilitated by established Holocaust educators, groups were shown a myriad of ways to bring Holocaust education into the classroom.  Each day we were given a section of the museum which had been closed to the public to explore on our own and take in the values of the museum.  I came back from the conference having networked with many Holocaust educators and new tools to fortify my own teaching of the Holocaust with my ERC students.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is America’s national institution for the documentation, study, and interpretation of Holocaust history, and serves as this country’s memorial to the millions of people murdered during the Holocaust. 

Invitations for applications to the Riva and Thomas Hecht Scholarship Teaching of the Holocaust for Educators will be published in the near future.  For more information log on to

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