Will the Center be called the Center for Holocaust and Tolerance Education?
No, this is just a working title for now.
Will the content be limited to the Holocaust?
This is an area currently under consideration. Recognizing that the Holocaust must be taught with sensitivity and accuracy, it must also be meaningful and relevant to today’s students, many of whom might never meet an eyewitness. Content could include primary source documentation and eyewitness testimony about the Holocaust, as well as materials to help teachers make connections and spark conversations about how and why this history is relevant to more current issues of tolerance, democracy, and justice.
We live in a society with access to extensive resources—locally, regionally and internationally—dedicated to Holocaust education. The quantity and variety can be overwhelming, and educators and community members too often don’t find the material best suited to their specific needs. The common core curriculum used in our local public schools emphasizes critical thinking and citizenship, and the lessons of the Holocaust provide a valuable case study in human behavior and empathy—but teachers need the right tools and training to address these subjects with confidence. Eyewitnesses to the Holocaust are aging quickly, and the opportunity to preserve their stories for future generations to access is dwindling.
Why the Library?
The Levine-Sklut Judaic Library is uniquely situated to serve as a clearinghouse, repository, and provider of Holocaust resources and programs. As an established library embedded in the Jewish community in North Carolina’s largest city, the Levine Sklut Judaic Library and Resource Center maintains connections and has existing collaborations throughout the state with a wide network of educators, scholars, survivors and speakers. The Library maintains a broad collection, and understands and respect that there are many ways to teach the Holocaust. A strength and central role of any Library is to connect patrons with the right resources for their situations, and the Center for Holocaust and Tolerance Education would be an extension of this role.
What is the process for this exploratory phase?
A nine- to twelve-month timeline has been established, incorporating three distinct steps: A community needs assessment; a study of best practices around the nation; and a recommended direction for moving forward. The process will include conversations and site visits with other Centers around the country, in order to understand the spectrum of services available and how the best practices might be adapted to best suit this community. Focus groups, community conversations and information sessions will also be a part of the process to engage and inform the general public. An advisory council of regional subject matter experts will guide and review progress throughout the process.