The Holocaust Center’s Board of Directors developed a strategic plan in April 2014 with the vision of changing our Central Florida community and the world one person at a time. Using the history and lessons of the Holocaust we teach about the impact of hate and prejudice while planting the seeds of respect and supporting diversity.
In 1994, the Florida Legislature mandated that instruction on the Holocaust be included in all public schools because it:
Cultivates respect for human rights and dignity for all people
Warns us of the dangers of racism and prejudice
Empowers us to reject bigotry
Helps us to recognize how propaganda reinforces stereotypes
Strengthens our willingness to defend victims of discrimination
Reminds us of the need to support and defend democratic values and institutions
Last year 14,000 students either visited the Holocaust Center on a field trip orparticipated in an in-school presentation. All of our Holocaust education programs are facilitated by our full-time Resource Teacher.
We have developed the necessary educational resources and programs to help teachers bring the lessons of the Holocaust to the next generation.
Monthly educational forums allow teachers to learn about a specific topic related to the Holocaust
5-day, 40-hour Summer Teachers Institute on Holocaust Studies
Because of our UpStanders: Stand Up To Bullying initiative, launched in 2010 with a grant from the Central Florida Foundation, students have the courage, confidence and tools to stand up for themselves and their peers, and to be proud of the things that make them unique. During the 2013-14 academic year, almost 5000 students at 15 schools in Seminole County and the Orlando Catholic Diocese participated in this 2-year, multi-phase program. The UpStanders initiative has been regularly evaluated since its inception by the Eripio Institute. By the end of the third program year, student survey results showed the following findings:
8% increase in students who feel they are treated with respect by other students
6% increase in students who believe that if they are bullied they “know someone who
will stand up” for them
7% increase in students reporting a willingness to “act as an UpStander so that
everyone feels respected”
30% increase in students who “know what an UpStander is”
Our cultural season of exhibits, films and community programs brings a human face and individual voice to the Holocaust; each Victim, Survivor, Rescuer or Bystander has a unique story that must be told, shared and remembered. We have a demonstrated a genuine commitment to creating multi-faith and multi-cultural partnerships in order to create a more vibrant community where all beliefs, traditions and cultures are respected. The Center has also been increasingly active and visible in building community collaborations around contemporary issues and commemorative anniversaries.
In 2013 the Holocaust Center spearheaded a community commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, which brought together a remarkable group of arts and cultural organizations that included the Bach Festival Society, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Enzian Theater, Global Peace Film Festival, Interfaith Council of Central Florida, Maitland Library, Negro Spiritual Scholarship Foundation, Orange County Library System and the Winter Park Institute. A series of programs were offered that explored the history and importance of respect, diversity and speaking out against injustice.
In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, the Holocaust Center has once again initiated a community collaboration in order to facilitate conversations about the continuing role of discrimination in our everyday lives and to ask the deepest questions about marginalization. Over 50 arts, cultural, religious, educational and civil organizations attended a collaborative design session to develop a series of programs that will be offered throughout Central Florida.
The Holocaust Center seeks passionate volunteers, leaders, and financial support to advance its mission through these top priority areas set by the Board of Directors:
Staffing: As a small organization our staff wear many hats and too often, too many hats. One of the biggest need of the Holocaust Center is to add at least one additional staff member to our team to plan and oversee our growing cultural season and partnerships.
Board of Directors: The Holocaust Center seeks a diverse board that represents the cultural and religious diversity of our community and that will actively participate in and financially support the organization’s mission, vision and goals.
Marketing/Visibility/Awareness: Create a long term strategic marketing plan and social media strategy
Technology: Audit all operational hardware and software, including museum, operations, education, fundraising and accessibility.
Reaching more schools and new teachers: Create a comprehensive outreach strategy for Holocaust education programming to reach new schools and teachers. Develop a strategic plan to expand the UpStanders program that will include a focus on the website and securing a corporate underwriter for this critical program that changes lives by positively impacting school behavioral climate.
Accessibility: Accessibility is an overarching goal that will be considered in the implementation of all of our goals.
Fundraising and Development: The Holocaust Center’s development plan is designed to diversify our fundraising. We are continuing our efforts , which were begin a few years ago, to use program underwriting and sponsorships as a means of increasing individual investment in our Center. While our annual Dinner of Tribute is extremely successful, we are always seeking new and creative opportunities to bring new friends and funds to our Center.
The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida is indeed a very big and long name for an organization, however it reminds us every day of the many ways in which we meet the needs and enrich our Central Florida community.
We began as one of the first Holocaust Centers in the nation, founded by Survivors who were determined that the atrocities of the Holocaust must always be remembered. The Holocaust – its names, its images, and the lessons we must learn from them – marked the starting point of our efforts.
We are a Memorial. We have memorial lights, never extinguished, that quietly reflect our duty to remember. We have artifacts that recall the lives of a few of the Six Million. Their books, photographs, letters and everyday objects recognize the humanity of all those who were lost.
We are a resource. Our library, our museum, our exhibits and our staff are dedicated to the mission of creating a community free of prejudice and bigotry. We do not charge admission to our programs, and the use of our library is free to anyone who wants to learn. We’ve been told that free admission is not a good business model, but we want to be sure that no one is excluded from an opportunity to visit and to be touch by our efforts.
We are an Education Center unparalleled and unduplicated in our community. We offer programs for students, teachers and the public; for people who know a great deal about the Holocaust and for those who have only a glimmer of information. We use the history of the Holocaust to teach real and important lessons, ones that can inform us about today’s world and give us hope for a more compassionate world in the future.
It’s a big name. It’s a big mission. But we are making a difference, one day, one word, one person at a time.
I am privileged and honored to serve as the President of the Holocaust Memorial Research and Education Center of Florida. As the oldest Holocaust Centers in the Southeast, we continue our to educate our Central Florida community through outreach, community partnerships and innovative programming.
We are proud of the significant progress we have made in our Upstanders Stand Up to Bullying program, which targets middle school students, and the ongoing expansion of that program. We look forward to leading other community partners this year in celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act with many thought provoking events.
We truly believe that by "preserving the past to protect the future", we will bring positive change to our community and the world.
Jeffrey Miller, President
The Holocaust Center’s Board of Directors participated in a strategic planning session in April 2014 that resulted in the developing the following goals:
Create a long term strategic marketing plan to increase awareness and visibility for both the Holocaust Center and its programs
Audit all operational hardware and software, including museum, operations, education, fundraising and accessibility
Develop a comprehensive outreach strategy to reach new schools and teachers with regards to Holocaust education AND create a strategic plan to expand the UpStanders initiative and secure a long-term funding source
Accessibility is an overarching goal that should be considered in the implementation of all goals, in particular, adding an audio museum guide with bilingual capabilities
Last and certainly not least, is the board’s biggest goal of a “Center of the Future.”
Each member of the Holocaust Center’s Board of Directors will participate in one or more task force that will address each of these big goal areas. In addition, a special task force comprised of both Board Members and Community Leaders has been assembled to begin exploring opportunities for realizing our Center of the Future. Ultimately a 10 year plan will be developed.
The third week of June each year the Holocaust Center offers a five-day, 40-hour, hands-on course of study for area teachers. This institute was created to help educators meet the mandates of the Florida State Curriculum, which requires that the history of the Holocaust be taught to every student, and presented in way that leads to an investigation of human behavior, and understanding of the ramifications of prejudice, racism and stereotyping, and an examination of what it means to be a responsible, respectful person. (Florida Statute #1003.42).
ANTICIPATED PROGRAM OUTCOMES
Twenty teachers completed an 8-point evaluation of the 2008 Teachers Institute with the following results:
Since 1985 we have provided a cultural season that includes world-class arts exhibits, important films, and community observances: Kristallnacht (the night of destruction that historians identify as the beginning of the genocide) and Yom HaShoah, a day of remembrance honoring the 6 million Jews who died.
These programs are carefully chosen for artistic and cultural appeal, and are aimed at attracting the attention of a diverse community, thereby helping us build support for our mission. With powerful images and poignant messages, these arts programs have been an effective vehicle to teach courage and acceptance, and to inspire each of us to value and nurture diversity in our community.
We take particular care to choose images and themes that are not repugnant or that show death and mutilation up close, but instead focus on images that remind us of the people, communities and cultures that have been lost. Particular care is taken to identify resources that connect the horrors of the Nazi era with the threats and challenges to justice in today’s world.
Field trip guides, developed by our onsite teacher, examine ways each exhibit supports the Center’s mission. Our goal is to create a community in which all people feel welcome and safe regardless of religion, race, culture or lifestyle. This ideal community can come about only when there is universal acknowledgement of the impact of prejudice, racism and stereotyping; a deeper understanding of that it means to be a responsible, respectful person; an appreciation of diversity in a pluralistic society; and acceptance of the role of individual responsibility in nurturing and protecting the values and institutions we cherish.
Each year over 6,000 students participate in field trips to our Center, where our on-site Resource Teacher guides them through the facility. Students are given time to examine artifacts, original works of art, documentary photographs, and video testimonies of survivors and liberators. Lectures focus on the connection between the Nazi era and contemporary genocide and ethnic hatred, and include thought-provoking discussion on moral character and the need for individuals to take personal responsibility for the safety and security of others. This focus -- the need for each of to be "upstanders" and come to the aid of others -- is a key part of our anti-bullying initiative. Programs are flexible according to the needs of each student group, based on a pre-visit conference with the teacher.
An addition 5,500 students are introduced to the lessons of the Holocaust through in-class presentations by our resident educator and through the use of materials supplied by the Center. Schools throughout Central Florida can request Traveling Teaching Trunks at no cost.
Each trunk contains all the books, posters, maps and audio-visual resources needed for a classroom of up to 35 students. These hands-on resources are designed to help students understand the history and the impact of the Nazi era. Teachers’ guides are included.
Since 1984, the Center has been helping local schools teach about the Holocaust in ways that are effective, respectful, and accurate. Florida is one of just a handful of states that requires that all students be taught about the Holocaust, with a specific focus on using the lessons of the Holocaust to examine issues of prejudice, racism, and good citizenship. This mandate can play a critical role in character development. There is no requirement for specific training to teach this sensitive subject, so schools must depend on outside sources like the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center to provide much-needed support.
Short-tem objectives for Holocaust education include:
The broad goal of Holocaust education is to help younger generations recognize the impact of prejudice, racism and stereotyping. We seek to go beyond mere ‘tolerance’, hoping to create a diverse community in which every person feels understood and accepted.
Teachers are provided with a guide to field trips prior to the visit, and then are asked if the tour met their expectations and if it had a significant impact on the students. Classes using teaching trunks are asked to return an evaluation form that asks what materials were most and least useful, and what recommendations they may have for updating materials available.
The most significant measurements of success are letters and cards created by student groups after field trips, expressing their appreciation for the experience and reflecting on how their visit improved their understanding of both the events and the lessons of the Holocaust.
Each year we increase the number of schools using the resources of the Center, and have more comments from teachers who see Holocaust education as a key resource for character development and a tool for creating models of good citizenship.
The UpStanders: Stand Up to Bullying Initiative provides students with
the knowledge they need to be positive change agents in their school. Students
are empowered to stand up and speak out if they witness bullying. As 9 out of
10 bullying incidents occur when no adults are present, students play a vital
role in both bullying prevention and the promotion of a positive school
Approximately 1 in every 4 students experiences bullying as either a
target or bully, and nearly all students witness bullying. Research shows that
bullying can cause depression, substance abuse, poor health, delinquency, and
poor academic performance. The key to any bullying prevention program is the
ability to strengthen a school’s climate so that safety and positive
relationships are seen as priorities for parents, administration, teachers, and
especially, students. Since its inauguration in 2010, the UpStanders: Stand Up
to Bullying Initiative has served close to 8,000 students in Central Florida.
Evaluation results from the Eripio Institute indicate that 99% of students
learned how to prevent bullying as a result of the UpStanders Initiative. The
initiative, which provides teacher
training as well, also resulted in a 13% increase in students who feel there is
a caring adult at their school that they can go to about bullying issues.
in Holocaust education, the UpStanders Initiative encourages students to
explore why people behave the way they do. Long before the Final Solution,
the Nazis and their collaborators used language to insult, demean, isolate and
dehumanize their victims, much like bullies treat their targets. The program is
meant to inspire students to realize that they have the ability to make a difference
for good; to be a positive influence in the lives of others, and while doing so
to improve and enrich their school community.
The first year of the project
During the program’s second year, the project expanded to five
Osceola County Schools, with 1812 new students participating, and an Osceola
County evening presentation that brought in just over 100 adults. It also
increased by four the number of participating Orange County Schools (1,600 students)
and two additional Orange County evening presentations were attended by about
The Center is partnering in a parallel project in Seminole County. It is based
on the same vision of reducing bullying behaviors through peer pressure and
At every presentation brief evaluations are distributed and
collected. So far they uniformly suggest that participants are more
knowledgeable about the dynamics of bullying, more clear about the role of bystanders
and upstanders in a variety of situations, and more confident in their ability
to make a difference. Perhaps of greater importance, their written comments
show how deeply touched many of them are by personal stories, particularly the
suicide of Ryan Halligan. Many audience responses include their declarations
that they will do what they can to interrupt bullying whenever and wherever
they see it.
Although a relatively new initiative, this project has
already had significant impact. It has been the catalyst for a broad community
to adopt the term ‘upstander’ and to address – in all forms of media – the
responsibilities of bystanders to interrupt bullying. The Center has initiated a quarterly summit
on bullying, inviting representatives of schools, youth groups, law enforcement
and others to meet, share resources, and collaborate on projects. It has spun
off at least two “UpStander Clubs” in schools with requests for help in others
interested in creating their own school-based program.
Ultimately, the goal is to minimize bullying and
cyberbullying -- including adult and
workplace bullying – by changing passive bystanders into people who have the
insight, incentive and courage to intervene and interrupt.
Before this project was launched the Center contracted with
a PhD social scientist with expertise in process measurement. Benchmarks for
longitudinal shifts in existing measures of school climate had already been established.
After the program had been in existence for one year a formative evaluation was
published. Identified measures include attendance rates, growth indicators,
audience engagement, and targeted improvements in school climate using written
surveys, interviews, focus groups and participant observations.
Output objectives measure the number of school presentations
and community events, number of participating students, and creation and
availability of program-specific materials. Outcome objectives measure increase
in reported sense of attending a safe, respectful learning environment,
decrease in harassment and bullying, and increase in awareness of what it means
to be an upstander.
The most important and most gratifying indication of the
program’s success is in the written comments of students who have participated
in it, particularly those who have responded to John Halligan’s presentations:
Next time I see or
hear of someone being made fun of or bullied I will do my best to stop it.
PAMELA CASH KANCHER, M.S.W.
HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL RESOURCE AND EDUCATION CENTER OF FLORIDA, Maitland Florida 2006 – PresentThe Holocaust Center is dedicated to preserving the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust and to educating the larger community against the dangers of racism, prejudice and intoleranceExecutive Director
LEGACY DONOR FOUNDATION New Orleans, Louisiana 2004-2006Small non-profit organization that promotes the critical need for organ and tissue donation in Louisiana through extensive educational and awareness activitiesExecutive Director
THE NOCCA INSTITUTE New Orleans, Louisiana 1999-2004The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) is Louisiana’s preprofessional arts training center for high school students. The NOCCA Institute is the non-profit support organization that founded the school and now provides support and funding.Director of Development
TOURO INFIRMARY FOUNDATION New Orleans, Louisiana 1997-1999 One of only two non-profit hospitals in New Orleans Foundation Associate
JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER New Orleans, Louisiana 1990-1997 Development Director
JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER New Orleans, Louisiana 1985-1990 Supervisor, Group Services and Day Camp Director
CATHOLIC DEAF CENTER New Orleans, Louisiana 1980-1981 Coordinator, Social Services
JEFFERSON PARISH SCHOOL BOARD Gretna, Louisiana 1978-1980 Special Education Social Worker
JEFFERSON PARISH HEALTH UNIT Metairie, Louisiana 1977-1978 Social Worker
TULANE UNIVERSITY, New Orleans, Louisiana, Master of Social Work, 1977WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, St. Louis, Missouri, Bachelor of Arts, 1976
Louisiana State Board of Board Certified Social Work ExaminersLicense #1243, 1980-1997
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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