We have long, productive relationship with children and schools in Central Florida. Last year, over 6,500 children visited us and met with our full-time Resource Teacher. Many of them were on field trips sponsored by public, private and home schools; others were here as part of special projects like our UpStanders: Stand Up to Bullying initiative. Another 7,000 were introduced to the Holocaust and its important lessons through classroom presentations, traveling teaching trunks, and other resources.
We have a deep commitment to creating multi-faith partnerships, and provide exhibits, films and programs focused on how religious differences can create a more vibrant community where all beliefs are respected and people are welcomed.
The Center has been increasingly active and visible in building public awareness of contemporary issues of genocide and ethnic hatred. Recent efforts include an exhibit and program on Rwanda provided by the United Nations open to the public free of charge.
We continue to seek and maintain partnerships throughout the region, including sponsoring a series of events with a number of local gay/lesbian/transgender groups, display of our exhibits at the Orlando Repertory Theatre and Winter Garden Theatre, increased collaboration with the UCF Office of Diversity, and specific outreach to other non-profit organizations.
Like nearly all non-profit organizations, our most pressing need is General Operating Revenue. As fundraising become more difficult across the board, we can no longer depend on a single large fundraiser to cover basic expenses.
We have a new anti-bullying project, but cannot provide the complete program to all schools requesting it without expanding personnel and funding.
Other priorities include funding a planning grant to renovate and modernize our museum. Although it was state-of-the-art when it was built nearly 30 years ago, we want it to be more complete, more interactive, and more engaging.
Our Board recognizes a need to expand our outreach and visibility. We have not been entirely successful in recruiting members who reflect the religious, language, and cultural diversity of our community, and would like better representation at all levels.
Long-term, we hope to increase our staff by one part-time position.The demands on the full-time Orange County teacher assigned here – leading field trips, doing in-class presentations, and preparing materials for area teachers – is greater than one person can reasonably meet. We currently pay half of the teacher’s salary, but would have to assume the full cost of a second educator on staff.
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 Holocaust Center has initiated a multi-faceted project, UpStanders: Stand Up to Bullying, which addresses the issue on a number of fronts. It is based on research that tells us that both victims and bullies suffer lifelong consequences for their actions, and that the single most effective intervention to interrupt bullying behavior is peer pressure from the bully’s companions and other bystanders.
The initiative consists of an in-school program presented by John Halligan, a father whose 13 year old son committed suicide due to bullying. That is followed up by an in-school program taught by the Center’s resource teacher, who shows a clear connection between bullying, bystanders and the Holocaust. Then the students come to the Center for a field trip. That is followed by one more in-school presentation in which the students are taught how to become an UpStander while keeping themselves safe. Year two includes an anti-bullying light-and-shadows show, "The Ultimate Consequence", created by MicheLee Puppets.
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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