Teaching Through Tragedy

An overview of the Holocaust Resource Center

Features > Teaching Through Tragedy
Teaching Through Tragedy

The Holocaust Resource Center is located in the Human Rights Institute at Kean University 

Caleb Lopez

History repeats itself unless people learn from the past. When hindsight is perfect vision, people should be able to distinguish the mistakes made years before to make better decisions for years to come.

What better way than to glance back at the Holocaust to learn a myriad of valuable lessons? 

That is what the Holocaust Resource Center (HRC) specializes in. By turning back the pages of the history books and sharing the information abroad, the Holocaust Resource Center is teaching through tragedy rather than letting tragedy take control. 

The HRC spreads information and awareness about the Holocaust by compiling history from countless individuals. It offers an annual lecture series, a graduate course for teachers and an oral history program. These services allow for increased learning of the Holocaust and all its history. 

The annual lecture series is free and is available not only to Kean students, staff and faculty but also to high school students, teachers and residents from all over.

The lecture series has featured a number of notable lecturers, each drawing a large audience to the HRC. Lecturers include scholars, theologians and survivors who excel in the history of the Holocaust.

The graduate course for teachers is another free service offered by the HRC. This course fits in with the center's desire to equip teachers with the knowledge of the Holocaust.

The course titled "Teaching the Holocaust" was first offered in 1983, and it has steadily increased in enrollment over the years. It has attracted so many students to the point where a follow-up course, "Teaching Prejudice Reduction", was created in 1989. Once again, the enrollment in this course continued to increase tremendously over the years.

Both courses are three graduate credits and are available at the Union campus and the Kean Ocean campus. For more information regarding registration, contact Janice Kroposky at jkroposk@kean.edu or (908)737-4633. 

Last but not least, the HRC features an in-depth oral history program. This program has collected a mass of oral testimonies from Holocaust survivors and liberators. The oral testimony collection is so extensive that a book titled Holocaust Testimonies in New Jersey was written about them. Janice Kroposky, the Director of the Holocaust Resource Center, stressed the importance of this aspect of the HRC.

"The testimonies provide a window into the historical past while providing viewers an opportunity to draw parallels to current crises," Kroposky mentioned. Through these testimonies, students can learn from the tragic past.

Students can benefit from the HRC by attending the lectures and reading the wide collection of Holocaust material available in the Nancy Thompson Library in the center of campus. Moreover, the HRC tends to have special events open to all. As a result, individual students can learn more about the history of the Holocaust so that they do not become oblivious or ignorant of one of the greatest tragedies in history.

For more information on all that the Holocaust Resource Center has to offer, visit their website at http://www.kuhrc.org/.


about the author

Caleb Lopez

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