Summer Institute in Israel
The National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education sponsors a three-week Catholic Institute for Holocaust Studies (CIHS) every summer in partnership with Yad Vashem’s The International School for Holocaust Studies. The Holocaust Institute in Israel is specifically designed for educators working in Catholic institutions throughout the United States. The program will equip participants to enter into serious discussion on the causes of antisemitism and the Holocaust with serious consideration of the Catholic perspective. It seeks through planned meetings to discuss the shaping of appropriate curricular responses at Catholic Institutions in light of the Holocaust. The International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem is responsible year-round for all educational activities held at Yad Vashem— the most comprehensive center of Holocaust commemoration in the world. The Shoah is seen as a seminal event in human history which confronts and challenges Jews and non-Jews alike. The institute for educators focuses on the historical dimensions in order to best grapple with the moral and philosophical issues that are raised. The Institute convenes full days with occasional evening sessions, and includes lectures, films, pedagogic workshops, group discussions, and guided travel to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ghetto Fighters Kibbutz, Tiberias, Akko, Rosh Hanikra, Sea of Galilee, Capharnaum, Tabgha, Mount of Beatitudes, Nazareth, Qumran, Dead Sea and Masada. This program is designed for educators working in Catholic institutions, especially those at the college/university levels. Past participants have included higher education faculty and administrators, middle and high school teachers and administrators as well as priests, seminarians and campus ministers.
The Question Mark[er] Project
“The 1987 opening of the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education (NCCHE) at Seton Hill University was marked by the planting and dedication of the Peace Tree on the campus, a symbolic presence of the work being done by the Center. As it grew, so did the work of educating about the Holocaust. However, in 2006 the Peace Tree was severely damaged by lightning, and subsequently removed. This unfortunate incident gave rise to The Question Mark/er Project, an ongoing effort at Seton Hill to integrate the arts, history, current events and the study of genocide in an interdisciplinary manner, and to again symbolize the presence of the NCCHE on Seton Hill’s campus.”
- Carol R. Brode, “The Question Mark/er Project: A Case Study” in Learn. Teach. Prevent: Holocaust Education in the 21st Century edited by Carol Rittner, R.S.M. Published by Seton Hill University, 2010.
Art Faculty Carol Brode and Pati Beachley along with Artist and then NCCHE Advisory Board Member Diane Samuels, who created a Holocaust memorial in Grafeneck, Germany, discussed creating a new memorial on campus, as “a way to make history visible.” But, they also wanted to “promote discussion about history, the present, an individual’s role in shaping the present and the future.” The result was The Question Mark/er Project.
In spring 2009, NCCHE interns conducted brief presentations in several classes and collected questions about the Holocaust and genocide. Later that spring, Pati Beachley’s Advanced 3D Media Class created the interactive Typewriter Exhibit in response to the question “What is the Role of Good People in Difficult Times?” (See image above.)
In 2010, Carol Brode created Phase Two of the project in response to the question “Will you speak if your voice is in the minority?” Her project consisted of a garden and etched glass panel installed outside the university’s Lynch Hall.
Four students in Sister Mary Kay Neff’s Graphic Design Class created Phase III as a series of banners in spring, 2012. The banners respond to these four questions: “Why do we love silently but hate openly?”—“What will it take for us to accept others despite our differences?”—“How can we build a better world?”—“How can we nourish altruism and caring in ourselves and others?” The banners won first prize for graphic design in Seton Hill’s Fall 2012 Student Show in Harlan Gallery and were displayed during The Ethel LeFrak Holocaust Education Conference, October 21-23.
Carol Brode also wrote in Learn. Teach. Prevent: Holocaust Education in the 21st Century: “ We envision the project to be ever-expandable: it could occur year after year, accumulating numerous markers that each would ask a different question; the project markers could be literary- or performance-based as well as visual; and the openness of the project can be adapted to function in any community. The resulting memorials/markers could be created by an individual or group, artists or non-artists, children or adults, and could be permanent or temporary. It involves all of us in creating memorials that make history visible in a way that is meaningful in the present, and we welcome others to create their own Question Mark/er projects.”
Genocide and Holocaust Studies at Seton Hill University
Seton Hill’s online program in Genocide and Holocaust Studies assists current and future teachers, historians, and scholars to understand the cultural, political, economic, and religious forces behind genocide by engaging in comparative study of genocides of the past and present and by examining the singularly horrific crime of the Holocaust. The certificate program provides educators with the tools that are needed to present information on the Holocaust and other forms of genocide to students in an age-appropriate and emotionally supportive manner. It also helps anyone interested in genocide and the Holocaust to have a fuller understanding of the political, social and religious issues that give rise to acts of genocide, and how the lessons of history inform possible responses to the genocides that exist in the world today. Developed in association with Seton Hill’s National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education, the program in Genocide and Holocaust Studies provides students with access to a vast array of resources, including faculty members who are internationally renowned for their expertise in the field of genocide and the Holocaust studies. Opportunities to study in Poland or Israel are also available through Seton Hill’s Genocide and Holocaust Studies Program.