Barbara Gutfreund Arfa Professional Development Conference on Holocaust Education 2022

Our annual Barbara Gutfreund Arfa Professional Development Conference on Holocaust Education provides educators with innovative resources and techniques to teach students about the Holocaust and sustain the lessons of this event for present and future generations.

The Conference’s impact is effective and dramatic: over its 24-year history, the Conference, through its thousands of participants, has touched more than 100,000 students. In 2021, over 260 educators attended the Conference, which was organized by Marlene Warshawski Yahalom, PhD, Director of Education of the American Society for Yad Vashem. The Conference represents a continued collaborative effort among the American Society for Yad Vashem, the Association of Teachers of Social Studies of the United Federation of Teachers, the Educators’ Chapter of the UFT Jewish Heritage Committee, and Manhattanville College School of Education.

For the Conference and its other educational works, the American Society for Yad Vashem received the 2015 President’s Award for its contributions to social studies education nationally. The award commends the American Society for Yad Vashem for implementing best educational practices in using documents, inquiry, critical thinking and action for studying the Holocaust. The Conference is one of many educational programs developed by the American Society for Yad Vashem.

The Conference is named in memory of Barbara Gutfreund Arfa, z’l, a longstanding supporter of the American Society for Yad Vashem and is sponsored by the Barbara Gutfreund Arfa Endowment Fund for Holocaust Education. This fund was created by Harvey Arfa and Caroline and Morris Massel as a tribute to Barbara Arfa’s commitment to Holocaust education.

We face many challenges in Holocaust education: raising awareness of its lessons, honoring and memorializing the victims, sustaining the relevancy of this event and addressing the challenges of those who maintain it never happened. Our goal is to give meaning to the facts of the Holocaust so that it is remembered and never repeated. The charge is to ensure that our students are listening, learning and gaining inspiration from these lessons of history. By knowing the past, they will safeguard our future. Join us for this opportunity to hear remarks given by Professor Yehuda Bauer on the significance of creating, sustaining and perpetuating Holocaust memory, how we can enrich our knowledge in this subject, and bring these lessons to the classroom. In doing so we pay tribute to the victims and communities who perished during the Holocaust. This program will empower educators to reflect on the obligation of memory, the responsibility to extract testimony using primary documents as witnesses, and the commitment to preserving the lessons of the past through education and strengthen these connections to humanity for our students. This 2 hour program includes Q + A and a professional development workshop led by Lori Gerson on the Auschwitz Album resource created and developed by Yad Vashem.


Professor Yehuda Bauer

Keynote Speaker

Lori Gerson

Workshop Presenter

Professor Yehuda Bauer is considered to be one of the major scholars of the Holocaust. He was born in Czechoslovakia and made Aliyah in 1939. He received his doctorate in 1960, and the following year, began teaching at the Avraham Harman Institute for Contemporary Jewry at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His academic career includes visiting professorships at Brandeis University, Yale University, Richard Stockton College, and Clark University, and membership on the editorial board of multiple Holocaust related publications.

Professor Bauer’s professional distinction and recognition for his work spans across the globe. He was awarded the Israel Prize in connection with his work on Holocaust studies and is a Member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. This recognition also includes Chair to the Yad Vashem Research Institute, Academic Adviser to Yad Vashem, Chair of the Content Committee of the Stockholm Forum on Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention, and Academic Adviser of the International Task Force for Holocaust Education and Research (ITF) – now IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance). He is currently its Hon. Chairman. Professor Bauer is one of the most influential voices to raise consciousness of the Holocaust and of its ongoing major impact on the world.

Lori Gerson is a graduate of Barnard College in New York City. Lori worked for many years in the field of education in the United States. In 2005, Lori moved to Israel with her family and then joined the Yad Vashem team as a guide for educational groups. Since 2016, Lori has taken on the role of Educational Coordinator in Yad Vashem’s Overseas Education and Training Department where she lectures, coordinates seminars, develops curricula and guides educators in best practices. She works in the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem in the teacher training department.

Marlene W. Yahalom, PhD
Director of Education
T: 212.220.4304 ext. 205