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SICHA: Recovering a World Erased
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SICHA: Recovering a World Erased

How to Tell the Stories of the Holocaust

April 18 2018, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

In his memoir, A World Erased: A Grandson’s Search for His Family’s Holocaust Secret, Noah Lederman, writes about how his own experience traveling through the landmarks of the Holocaust allowed him to connect with his grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, who then relayed her experiences to him. Lederman tells these stories in writing infused with the passion and emotional impact that this journey impressed upon him. Noah Lederman will be joined by Elaine Culbertson, Chair of the Pennsylvania Holocaust Education Council and BZBI member, in a conversation about how we keep these tremendously important stories from disappearing and how to retell them in a way that maintains their integrity and impact.

Stay after the conversation for a light dessert reception and book signing.

Noah Lederman is the author of the memoir, A World Erased: A Grandson’s Search for His Family’s Holocaust Secrets. The Philadelphia Inquirer selected the memoir as one of the best books of the year and Booklist called A World Erased “a vital contribution to Holocaust collections.” His writing has been featured in the Economist, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the Miami Herald, Tablet Magazine, Slate, the New Republic, the Times of Israel, JTA, the Jerusalem Post Magazine, and elsewhere. He writes the blog Somewhere Or Bust and tweets @SomewhereOrBust.

Elaine Culbertson is the chair of the Pennsylvania Holocaust Education Council, a statewide organization of teachers, survivors, and liberators who volunteer to keep the lessons of the Holocaust alive in the schools of the state. Elaine represented the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as a Museum Teacher Fellow and a Regional Educational Consultant in the Mid-Atlantic. She is a member of the Act 70 Committee that supports Holocaust education in Pennsylvania classrooms. At present, she provides professional development to assist teachers in implementing the ADL’s Echoes and Reflections Holocaust resource.

Elaine retired as the director of Curriculum and Instruction in the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District in 2006, ending a 36 year career in public school education, 30 years of which was in the School District of Philadelphia. She has worked as a consultant to the Philadelphia School District on issues of high school reform, and has been the director of a center for teacher coaching. She taught English methods courses at the University of Pennsylvania for Teach for America Masters’ candidates. Her interest in literacy developed into a post-retirement job devising and delivering professional development for teachers on using technology to support literacy in the classroom.

Elaine is the executive director of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants. For the past twelve years she has served as program director of the Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Teachers’ Program, a seminar based in Poland and Germany, that has provided professional development to more than 1100 teachers in its 33 year existence. She works with teachers and students to connect the events of the past with the genocides of the present day. Elaine has written chapters in five different books on Holocaust teaching methods and lectured across the United States, using the story of her own parents’ survival as the basis for her presentations on developmentally appropriate and morally responsible pedagogy. She is presently working on a memoir that will reflect her experiences growing up as the daughter of two Holocaust survivors.


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