Teaching About the Holocaust

This full-day workshop will have sessions valuable to both Social Studies and English Language Arts educators and prepare Social Studies teachers to implement Act 30. Educators will receive tangible resources and lesson plans to supplement their new curriculum. Time will be set aside for educators to speak and work with one another to discuss their plans for implementing the new law. We will close out the day with a talk with award-winning author, Liza Wiemer, about her young adult novel, The Assignment.

This workshop is hosted in partnership with the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center (HERC). HERC is a program of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation dedicated to the building of a society resting on the values of tolerance and diversity, dignity and respect toward all human beings.

August 18, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. CDT

Wisconsin Idea Room
Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Program Fee: Free; pre-registration required

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Sam Goldberg

Originally from Redondo Beach, California, Sam received her Bachelor’s degree from California State University Channel Islands in Communication for Nonprofit Business. In 2019, she graduated from Uppsala University with her Master’s in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Her thesis project took her to Rwanda where she researched the impact nonprofit peace education has had on the young generation. It was this interest in genocide education that brought her to HERC, where she works to engage teachers and students to learn stories from the Holocaust so the world can confidently say ‘Never Again’.

Irene Ann Resenly

For the past seventeen years, Irene Ann Resenly has worked as a Holocaust educator in various contexts: as a middle school teacher in the US, as a secondary teacher in Poland, as a museum educator in New York City, through the office of a Holocaust survivor at Boston University, and as a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She has had the immense privilege to learn with and from fifth graders to veteran educators, supporting them in understanding Holocaust history and memory. In addition to being a classroom teacher in Middleton, Wisconsin, Irene Ann is also completing her doctoral research in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at UW–Madison. Her research focuses on Holocaust education and memory in Germany, particularly how memorial site educators at a former concentration camp site conceptualize their teaching practice and work as “mediators of memory.”

Simone Schweber

Simone Schweber is the Michael and Judy Goodman Professor of Education and Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she has conducted research and taught classes for over 20 years. She holds a BA from Swarthmore College and a Master’s and Ph.D. from Stanford University. Before becoming a professor, she served as a teacher and principal in and around the San Francisco Bay Area.


Since coming to UW, she has trained preservice teachers to teach social studies, offered professional development opportunities on a wide range of topics, and worked closely with museums and international organizations to help improve exhibits, curricula, and teacher training. Her research has focused on how people teach and learn about the Holocaust and genocide in both formal educational realms (like schools) and informal educational spaces (like museums and experiential trips).


She has published research on a broad range of projects—including how the Holocaust is taught to young children, how the Holocaust is taught in religious schools, how it is presented to public high school students, and how it appears in popular culture. She has served as the Chair of the Jewish Studies department at UW-Madison and the Chair of the Elementary Education Program in Curriculum & Instruction. Since 2016 she has served on the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Education Council.

Liza Wiemer

Liza Wiemer is an award-winning educator with over twenty years of teaching experience. Her second young adult novel, The Assignment, was published by Delacorte Press and has received numerous honors, including being named a 2021 Sydney Taylor Notable Book. To date, The Assignment has also been published in Russian, Polish, Italian, and Korean. Hello?, her debut contemporary YA novel, was named a Goodreads Best Young Adult Novel of the Month. In addition, Liza has had two adult nonfiction books published and several short stories included in the New York Times bestselling Small Miracles series. She has had articles published in various newspapers and magazines and writes a monthly kidlit column for the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle. Liza received the honor of being named one of “The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2021” by the Algemeiner. A graduate of UW-Madison, Liza has two married sons and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her husband, Jim.


Thursday, August 18th

  • 9:00 Welcome & Introductions
  • 9:00-9:30 Keynote with Simone Schweber
  • 9:30-11:45 HERC Sessions
    HERC: Activity to analyze propaganda
    Break: Using our new innovative tool, the Holocaust Education Map
    HERC: Use of survivor testimony; testimony from Eva Zaret
  • 11:45-12:45 Lunch
  • 12:45-2:45 Teaching about Resistance
    Exploration of Sources
    Curriculum Writing Time
  • 2:45-3:00 Break
  • 3:00- 3:45 Liza Wiemer and The Assignment
  • 3:45-4:00 Closing Remarks


If you have questions about Teaching About the Holocaust, please email PLACE Conference and Event Planning Services at conferences@education.wisc.edu.