Holocaust Education Center

img_Holocaust Education.jpg

"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

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


This event has been postponed due to Covid concerns. The sponsors, The Holocaust Education Center of CUJF and Illini Hillel will announce the new dates when they are determined.

The Auschwitz Experience in the Art of Prisoners  

January 27 - February 3 (weekend excluded) 


Please join us to view this prominent exhibition comprised of artwork by 12 survivors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp who documented their experiences during the Holocaust. This exhibit featuring 59 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 exhibit where you can learn more about each artist. You’ll be  able to examine each of the artworks in detail to better understand the way of life in the  concentration camp and the experiences of each individual who faced exhausting, long lasting work and constant humiliation.  


Sponsored by The Holocaust Education Center of CUJF and Illini Hillel  




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. . . .


Through Their Eyes

A virtual exhibit of students' work on the Holocaust in commemoration of Yom Hashoah, 2021
In commemoration of Yom Hashoah (April 7-8), the Holocaust Education Center of Champaign Urbana Jewish Federation (in collaboration with area teachers and schools) presents a video tour/exhibit of student work completed during a study of the Holocaust. In past years, the Through Their Eyes exhibit has been displayed in the Davis Chapel following the Yom Hashoah service. Due to the restraints place on all of us during the pandemic, we are proud to share examples of local student work but online instead.
We would like to thank the following teachers and schools who participated in this virtual exhibition:
Valerie Prescott, Barkstall Elementary School (5th grade)
Mindy Dyson, Southside Elementary School (5th grade)
Max Libman, Freshman at Academy High School
Sarah Wallace, Franklin Stem Academy (8th grade)
Patti King, Unity Junior High School (8th grade)
**Special thanks to Don Francisco for his many hours of labor and technical expertise creating this presentation for this commemorative occasion and Robin Goettel for her watchful eye and valuable suggestions during the editing process.
Beginning Friday, April 2, please visit this virtual exhibit.


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.



Our Stories

Survivor Story: Dr. William Gingold

Students in University Laboratory High School’s German 4 class were privileged to welcome Holocaust survivor Dr. William Gingold as a guest speaker in their class. Gingold, whose family fled the Warsaw Ghetto, shared his story publicly for the first time with Uni students and faculty. 


The presentation was part of teacher Jenny Robins’ unit on WWII and the Holocaust, where she brings in community members to help students better understand this difficult period in German history.


Gingold shared the story of his family’s escape, their time in a camp in Russia, his experience in a DP camp, and, finally, his family’s journey to the U.S. where they settled in Milwaukee. 


His story was illustrated by a series of photos, as well as by passing around “Tunnel, Smuggle, Collect: A Holocaust Boy”, a book about Gingold’s older brother, Sam. The book was researched and written by Gingold's nephew, Jeffrey Gingold.


Gingold’s vivid and touching account inspired both tears and hope, and the Uni community is honored to have been the first to publicly hear his story. We appreciate the efforts of Brian Kahn, director of Holocaust Education for the Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation, who facilitated the talk.

Dr. Gingold Bio


William (Baruch) Gingold, a Holocaust survivor from World War II, was born September 20, 1939, one day before the hospital, (in which he was born), was bombed and destroyed by Nazi, Germany. The Gingold’s (immediate family) were incarcerated in the Warsaw Ghetto until eventually escaping to the Russian border in January of 1942. Upon reaching the Russian encampment, they and other Jewish people were transported in trucks to trains which took them to a Siberian lumber work camp. In November of 1942 the Gingold’s were allowed to leave the camp and move about within Russia and eventually finding their way to Zhambly in Kazakhstan.


In the spring of 1945, (May 8th), Hitler was dead and Germany surrenders. Upon those events, the Gingold’s reach their goal in September of 1945 by arriving at and entering the American Sector in occupied Berlin. Shortly thereafter in May of 1946, the Gingold’s were sent to the Föehrenwald Displacement Camp. After six years living at this camp, the Gingold’s emigrate to the United States of America in May of 1951 and arrive by boat to Ellis Island, NY. Soon thereafter the Gingold’s are resettled in Milwaukee, WI, where new lives and many transitions began in their start of the American dream and way of life.


Relive the Historical Evening with Marthe Cohn


World War II spy Marthe Cohn, the author of Behind Enemy Lines: The True Story of a French Jewish Spy in Nazi Germany, is sharing her story of joining the French intelligence service, posing as a nurse, crossing enemy lines and relaying information about the Nazis back to the French.