Education and Parenting: Holocaust Education

Dr. Shay Pilnik

The grandson of Holocaust survivors from Lithuania and Poland, who immigrated to Israel from the USSR about a decade after the founding of the Jewish state, Dr. Pilnik is the new director of the Emil and Jenny A. Fish Holocaust and Genocide Studies Center at YU. Prior to landing this position, he was the executive director of the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center (HERC) in Milwaukee between 2014 and early 2020. Under his leadership, the organization doubled both its outreach and capacity, serving schools and communities across the state of Wisconsin with programming, lectures, teacher workshops, study abroad trips and more. Pilnik earned his bachelor’s degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, majoring in Comparative Literature and Jewish Thought; an MA in Jewish Studies from McGill University and a doctoral degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary in the field of Modern Jewish Studies, which he earned in 2013.  His PhD dissertation dealt with the commemoration of the Babi Yar Massacre in Soviet Russian and Yiddish literature.  From 2008-2014, he was an adjunct instructor at the Universities of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Oshkosh, lecturing on a variety of topics including the Holocaust, modern Jewish history and culture, Judaism, Hebrew Bible, and the religions of the world.   Sample Titles ‘Don’t Ever Say the End is Near & Hope is Gone:’ Jewish Armed Resistance during the Holocaust Holocaust in Context: A Multi-faceted Exploration of the Shoah against the background of Modernity, Anti-Judaism and the rise of Modern German Culture Unbroken Silence: The Commemoration of the Holocaust in the Soviet Union and the Story of Babi Yar Bearing Witness to those who Bore Witness: Teaching the Holocaust in a Survivorless...


Dr. Karen Shawn

Karen Shawn, Ph.D., is Visiting Associate Professor of Jewish Education at the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration of Yeshiva University, Senior Fellow of Azrieli’s Institute for University-School Partnership, and co-editor of PRISM: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Holocaust Educators, a publication of Yeshiva University. A former public school English teacher, she was the middle school assistant principal for secular studies at the Moriah School. She taught for a decade at the Yad Vashem Summer Institute for Educators from Abroad and served at the same time as the educational consultant for the American Friends of the Ghetto Fighters’ Museum. The founder of the Holocaust Educators’ Consortium, an international, interreligious Community of Practice, she has lectured and written extensively on Holocaust education. The author of the widely-used text The End of Innocence: Anne Frank and the Holocaust (1992, NY; ADL), her most recent edited volumes are an anthology of Holocaust narratives and an accompanying teacher’s guide entitled The Call of Memory: Learning about the Holocaust Through Narrative (Shawn & Goldfrad, 2008, Teaneck, NJ: Ben Yehuda Press). Sample Titles The Call of Memory: Teaching About the Holocaust Through Narrative Stories of Jewish Heroism During the Holocaust The Holocaust and Heroism: True Stories of Jewish Defense and Defiance Beyond Candles: Commemorating the Holocaust Through Education What Makes a ‘Good Film’ Good? Teaching About the Holocaust Through Literature and Film The Sequential Holocaust...

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