Holocaust Education Center

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"If you don't know at least part of the story, if you don't know that there is a story, then we shall bequeath upon our descendants a sense of shame. We could not save those who died but we can save them from dying again because to forget is to kill them again. So why should the next generation in the 21st century live with that shame? For the dead and the living, we must bear witness."


Elie Wiesel

Come see the Courage to Remember exhibit in Gibson City!

About Us


The CUJF Holocaust Education Center serves as a resource to help school systems comply with the 1990 Illinois state mandate to teach about the Holocaust in fifth, eight, and tenth grades. (Public Act 86-780)


The committee is also dedicated to providing assistance to all individuals in the greater Champaign-Urbana area who wish to address the universal lessons to be learned from the Holocaust.


The committee sends information about the Holocaust to public school teachers and college students majoring in education; sponsors and grants scholarships for in-service teacher training programs; provides videos, books, and newspapers to local libraries and schools and speakers to area classrooms.

Holocaust Education Trunks


Holocaust Education Trunks provide materials and ready-to-use units that vary in readability and format, are grade-appropriate, and are relevant to all learning styles.


  • Teacher Reference Books
  • Lesson Plans
  • Fiction and Non-fiction Books (classroom sets)
  • Videos and DVDs; CD-ROMS
  • Poetry and Scripts for Plays
  • Artifact Kits

Holocaust Education Center Library



Holocaust and Genocide Education

Download Public Act 094-0478


In 1990 Illinois became the first state in the country to mandate each public elementary school and high school to include in its curriculum a study of Holocaust history. In 2005 The mandate, Public Act 094-0478, was expanded to include other cases of genocide.


Download Illinois Mandated Units of Study Guidance Document 


Illinois Mandated Units of Study Guidance Document serves as a guide for districts, schools, and teachers in interpreting the current mandated units of study in Illinois. 

HEC News, Events, & Announcements


Belfer National Conference for Educators

2022 Arthur and Rochelle Belfer National Conference for Educators


Conference Details. Free Virtual Sessions Monday, June 27–Wednesday, June 29 . Designed to support accurate, meaningful teaching about the Holocaust, the Belfer National Conference for Educators is the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s flagship event for secondary school educators across the country.


Through Their Eyes: A Student Exhibit on the Holocaust


In commemoration of Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day


Jewish Federation’s Holocaust Education Center is sponsoring a student exhibit featuring original works on the study of the Holocaust created by local students from Champaign and Ford Counties. The student work will promote an understanding of this horrific historical era and encourage tolerance.


The YouTube video can be viewed on HEC Library page.



The Auschwitz Experience in the Art of Prisoners  


April 27 - May 4, 2022

Illini Hillel, Cohen Center for Jewish Life 


This exhibition is comprised of artwork by 12 survivors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp who documented their experiences during the Holocaust. It features 60 pieces of art is on loan from the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum in Poland. It is our honor to premier this exhibition in the U.S.

“By observing life in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp through the memory of its inmates, you will have the opportunity to increase knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust and learn about the daily struggle for survival by the camp’s prisoners,” says Robert Lehmann, co-chair of the CUJF’s Holocaust Education Committee.

Join a docent-led tour of this rare exhibit to learn more about each artist. Examine the artworks in detail to better understand life in the concentration camp and the experiences of individuals who faced forced labor and constant dehumanization.


This exhibit is curated by the Holocaust Education Center of CUJF



Museum to host U.S. premiere of Holocaust exhibit




'We adapted': Holocaust survivor profiles his family's escape for Unity eighth-graders


TOLONO — Bill Gingold learned to count in a log cabin at a Siberian lumber camp, where the older kids, like his brother Sam, would etch numbers into sawdust on the floor.


They didn’t have school, or teachers for that matter. So the children adapted, and taught each other.


“It was much like a dry-erase board,” Gingold described to an audience of Unity Junior High eighth-graders. “We didn’t have the instructional tools you do.”




Hanukkah—the Festival of Lights


Before, During and After the Holocaust


Through photos, artifacts and personal testimony, this exhibition shares some of the ways this holiday was observed throughout Europe prior to the Holocaust, during the Holocaust years, and in the displaced persons camps and children’s homes following the war.

Torah scroll from the Bornplatz synagogue saved on Kristallnacht. Gift of Joseph A. Bamberger and family. 129.94. Image from mjhnyc.org


A Torah Scroll Saved On Kristallnacht


It was November 9, 1938, at the home of Seligmann and Else Bamberger, and their children, Hannah and Joseph, in Hamburg, Germany. None of them forgot that night, called Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) because of the shards of broken glass from the hundreds of stores, homes, and venerable synagogues that were attacked, looted, destroyed, and burned. It was the first large-scale, organized physical attack on the Jewish community by the Nazi hierarchy all across Germany and Austria.


“Gestapo, ” came the reply. “Open up. “


Two uniformed men barged in and began to search each room, closet, and even the bedclothes. Yet the person they sought was not there. Dr. Seligmann Bamberger, graduate of the University of Wuerzburg, teacher of chemistry and physics at the Jewish Carolienenstrasse school, and devoted leader of his synagogue, had been warned. He was at that moment evading the mobs and making his way through the threatening streets to the Bornplatz synagogue. His mission: To rescue the objects at the very heart of the Jewish community—the Torah scrolls. With the other synagogue leaders, he entered the darkened building and, hoping the scrolls were still there, opened the ark that held them. . . .


The Terezin Project: Music, Artwork, Poetry, Children’s Experiences


My name is Tamra Gingold, and I am the Orchestra Director at Urbana High School.  I have always been an advocate for exposing my students to a broad range of culture by using music.  I decided to do a unit on the Holocaust, focusing on the music, artwork, and poetry of Terezin, knowing that I would only be able to touch the surface as there was so much information and several of my students knew absolutely nothing about it except that it happened.   In addition to researching the music, artwork, poetry, and prisoners of Terezin, students got the opportunity to hear from survivors of the Holocaust, including my dad, Dr. William Gingold.  They learned how to play several melodies from songs composed in Terezin as well as songs written in remembrance of the 12 million+ souls whose lives were ended because of hate, ignorance, and fear. 


The Museum of Jewish Heritage Online Education Program


The Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is providing online education programs for educators and students during this time of remote learning. Online professional development for educators is offered each Monday from 3:00-4:00 pm CST. Corresponding lesson for students are offered on Tuesdays from 10:00-11:00 am CST. 




Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center


Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie offers a wide array of resources for edicators and students. 




Anti-Defamation League: Teaching the Holocaust


Echoes & Reflections website offers free online webinars and courses for educators.


“Our webinars are designed to increase participants’ knowledge of Holocaust history, explore and access classroom-ready content, and support instructional practice to promote student learning and understanding of this complex history and its lasting effect on the world.”




The Current State of Holocaust Education


Holocaust Education Chair Brian Kahn and CUJF Director Linda Bauer are discussing teaching about genocide and the Holocaust on WILL-AM 580's "The 21st" radio show: strategies and challenges of dealing with this important, evolving issue.




Holocaust Education Center Scholarships


The Holocaust Education Center of Champaign Urbana Jewish Federation proudly sponsors educators to attend professional development sessions in an effort to inform their current practice teaching the Holocaust and contemporary genocide.