August 14th, 2013
The Eva and Eugene Schlesinger Teacher Training Endowed Workshop on the Holocaust returned to the Karl Anatol Center August 5-9 for its fourth visit with the goal of educating local teachers about the Nazi genocide. The theme of this year’s workshop was “Aftermath.”
“In past years, the workshops looked at such topics as children, art and human behavior,” said Jeffrey Blutinger, the inaugural Barbara and Ray Alpert Endowed Chair for Jewish Studies and a member of the History Department since 2004. “This year, we examine what happened to the victims of the Holocaust when they tried to go home. What happened when they had no homes to go to. We will deal with issues ranging from rebuilding lives to vengeance.”
Blutinger pointed out that Holocaust education is a state standard usually taught at the 10th- and 11th-grade levels.
“Part of the instruction comes in history and part in language arts,” he said. “But those who instruct the Holocaust may not have taken a class in the subject. Their knowledge may be limited to whatever movies they’ve seen or whatever world history textbook they read at university. What we are doing is providing them information about the subject including a general overview accompanied by binder material prepared by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League titled ‘Echoes and Reflections.’”
The Jewish Studies program was approached in 2009 by Holocaust survivor Gerda Seifer and her husband, Harold, with the seed gift that created the teacher workshop. “There’s nothing like it available in Southern California,” Blutinger said. “It was a chance to fill a major need. I thought it was a terrific idea. It gives Jewish Studies at CSULB a chance to increase our visibility and help us to make a name for ourselves in Los Angeles and Orange counties.”
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