Holocaust education symposium planned for Atlanta area

The Holocaust Teachers of America Symposium will be held July 25 to 27 at the Boxwood Social Hall in Marietta, Ga. Created by Zachor Shoah Inc., it is a 2-1/2 day teacher-created and teacher-led professional development symposium, open to teachers and community members alike.

The symposium’s goal is to elevate, empower and enlighten participants through general and break-out sessions led by Holocaust survivors or their descendants and experienced classroom teachers, to become advocates for academic integrity, democratic values, truth, historical accuracy, and compassionate communities in their schools.

Zachor Shoah Inc is a Holocaust and human rights education non-profit in Georgia that believes in the  importance of  actively and intentionally remembering the Holocaust and other “ugly parts” of human history by bearing witness through comprehensive, meaningful, interdisciplinary, age-appropriate curriculum for teachers and students in grades 6-12, and creating a community well versed in the complexity of the history of the Holocaust and human rights.

The Holocaust Teachers of America Symposium brings together Holocaust survivors, their descendants, teachers, parents, community and school leaders and master teachers to learn together how to bring this crucial history to schools free of bias so that Holocaust distortion, denial and antisemitism can be a thing of the past.

The symposium is intentionally intimate, with a maximum of 30 teacher tickets and 40 community member tickets. Registration is available through July 17, and virtual options are available.

Community Event

As part of the seminar, there is An Afternoon with Sami Steigmann, open to the community, July 25 at 4:30 p.m. Steigmann was born on Dec. 21, 1939 in Czernovitz, Bukovina, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire belonging to Romania. Later, it became part of former Soviet Union and today it is in Ukraine. From 1941 through 1944, he was with his parents in the Ukraine at Mogilev-Podolsky, a labor camp in an area called Transnistria. The camp was liberated by the Red Army and his family was deported by the Romanians, not by the Germans.

He grew up in Transylvania, in a small town called Reghin, not knowing the language. In 1961, the whole family emigrated to Israel. He served in the Israeli Air Force, not as a pilot. In 1968, without knowing the language and having no money, alone, he came to the United States. He lived in Milwaukee, Wisc., where he married, divorced and eventually, in 1983 returned to Israel. However, in 1988, he returned to the United States, choosing New York City as his final home. Being too young to work, per his parents, Steigmann was subjected to Nazi medical experimentation in his early years, but has no recollection of those years. However, he has felt and still feels the side effects every single day of his life.

Today, Steigmann is a motivational speaker.

The program is open to ages 14 and up, and tickets can be reserved here.