Our annual Barbara Gutfreund Arfa Professional Development Conference on Holocaust Education provides educators with innovative resources and techniques to teach students about the Holocaust. We also highlight educational resource materials developed by the International School for Holocaust Studies of Yad Vashem.

The Conference’s impact is effective and dramatic: over its 22 year history, the Conference, through its thousands of participants, has touched more than 100,000 students. In 2019, over 190 educators attended the Conference, which was organized by Marlene Warshawski Yahalom, PhD, Director of Education of the American Society. The Conference represents a continued collaborative effort among the American Society, the Association of Teachers of Social Studies of the United Federation of Teachers, the Educators’ Chapter of the UFT Jewish Heritage Committee, and the School of Education of Manhattanville College.

For the Conference and its other educational works, the American Society received the 2015 President’s Award for its contributions to social studies education nationally. The award commends the American Society 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. It is sponsored by the Barbara Gutfreund Arfa Endowment Fund for Holocaust Education, which was created by Harvey Arfa and Caroline and Morris Massel as a tribute to Barbara Arfa’s commitment to Holocaust education.  It sponsors the Conference and other important educational initiatives.



How to Read Between the Lines: Classroom Strategies for the Information Age

This workshop will identify patterns of propaganda as a tool to manipulate public opinion and social behavior. Participants will explore the role of propaganda in the Holocaust and the resurgence of such trends in the Modern world. Strategies for classroom use and project-based learning will be introduced.

This workshop introduces educators to the use of qualitative research methods to record family histories. Research tools and data sources include face-to-face interviews, personal journals, testimonials and online search engines. Participants will learn how the author, a grandchild of Holocaust survivors, turned her grandfather’s testimony into a bestselling book, written as a gift to her grandfather and a valuable educational resource entitled What Papa Told Me