The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights
Hundreds of teachers in the US and Europe took part in TOLI programs this summer, returning to their classrooms and schools with the skills to teach the Holocaust and bring its lessons to today’s world.
US: Strengthening Democracy Through Holocaust Education
At a time when teachers and schools face mounting challenges and democratic values are under attack, turnout at TOLI seminars over the summer demonstrated new impetus for Holocaust education and the commitment of teachers.

The summer marked the return of teachers to in-person programs for the first time since the pandemic began.  The flagship program in New York brought together advanced Holocaust educators from around the country for professional development, to share their experiences and best practices. Across the US, TOLI seminars for high school teachers took place in nine states: California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Read more about the US seminars
Teachers at the TOLI Flagship Seminar in NYC
EUROPE: TOLI Teacher Programs Attract 300 Teachers in Eight Countries
For nearly 300 teachers in Europe, this summer was an opportunity to learn about the Holocaust and teach it in their classrooms, thanks to eight TOLI seminars and transnational programs. TOLI leaders exposed educators to Jewish history and culture from Vilnius, Lithuania in the north to Puglia, Italy in the south, most of which was extinguished by persecution and later the Holocaust. Programs in Poland, Serbia and Romania brought historians, experts and Holocaust survivors together to speak about Holocaust history in each country, what was lost and what can be learned today as extremism is on the rise in Europe. In Bulgaria, the annual program’s focus was on rescue, a country where all its Jews were saved from genocide. Read more about the international programs
Teachers at the TOLI program in Puglia, Italy
Deborah Lauter Named Executive Director
Longtime civil rights activist Deborah Lauter was named TOLI’s new Executive Director by the Board of Directors. Ms. Lauter, who started her position on August 1, brings a distinguished career in nonprofit and government service. In 2019, she was appointed to create and lead the New York City Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes, the first of its kind in the US. Prior, she served in leadership positions at the Anti-Defamation League for 18 years, including as Senior Vice President, where she oversaw the organization’s programs on civil rights as well as Holocaust and anti-bias education. Read more here
TOLI in the News
For an independent media view on the importance of TOLI’s work, please read this article by the Religion News Service (RNS). It focuses on the TOLI program in Charlotte, NC and the particular significance of Holocaust education in today’s America. Read more here
“Holocaust education opens
the eyes of students to
atrocities that have happened throughout history.”
-Christiane Gunn, High School Teacher, Pembroke Pines, Florida

"The TOLI seminar gives us as teachers an opportunity to really, really explore the material and to help us understand what it means to be a whole human being in the classroom."
-Bryce Bodily, High School Teacher, Rigby, Idaho

If you believe in the importance of our work, then please consider giving to TOLI. We rely on the support of individuals and foundations to continue helping thousands of teachers educate their students about the Holocaust and against hate and intolerance. Your gift to TOLI will make a difference for teachers and students across the US and Europe.