The Center for Holocaust Education is a nonprofit organization located in Easton, Pennsylvania. The or- ganization promotes learning and teaching about the Holocaust and, more generally, about genocide. It was founded by Nina Boscia in 2011 and continues to grow in membership base. The organization has doubled its membership each year since its inception, rising from 20 members in 2011 to 320 members in 2015. The CHE was created due to an observed decrease in number of Holocaust education courses in elementary, middle and high schools around Pennsylvania. As more classes on this topic were cancelled each year, the CHE was formed to increase remembrance, literacy and general education levels of this time period. The organization has since expanded its mission and currently focuses on promoting an environment of equality for the future. It encompasses a ten-person board of directors, a managing director and a team of interns. The CHE is funded by membership fees, individual donations and corporate contributions. Its top corporate donors are the Education Corporation of America, the United Health Foundation and Johnson & Johnson.
The Center for Holocaust Education provides several programs, including the Summer Fellowship for Communication on Holocaust Education and the Holocaust Education and Communication Conference. The Summer Fellowship for Communication on Holocaust Education was implemented in 2013 to provide an opportunity for university-enrolled communication students to become involved with Holocaust education. Research has shown that students studying history are typically those interested in learning about this time period. Therefore, the CHE hoped to expand interest to other fields by offering this program. The Holocaust Education and Communication Conference began in 2014 and will continue annually as the organization grows. Due to the success of the Summer Fellowship for Communication on Holocaust Education, the CHE created a weekend-long forum where students were able to present their research and writing to an interested audience. The conference continues to provide an opportunity for community outreach and engagement, as the second year’s attendance surpassed the first by 40 people.
The Center for Holocaust Education welcomes students and teachers from diverse backgrounds and research interests. Therefore, the CHE employs interns from seven different college majors. Additionally, the board of directors is comprised of scholars with expertise in the fields of communications, healthcare, hospitality, history, German and English. The organization believes that allowing a variety of perspectives on the Holocaust and other genocides encourages growth of the CHE, as well as opportunities for learning.
Educating for the Future, a campaign dedicated to promoting the education of past genocides in order to prevent future crimes against humanity, was launched by the Center for Holocaust Education in May of 2015. The CHE has created three documentaries and more than 20 advertisements to encourage support for this campaign. The mission of Educating for the Future is to gain funding for a community college course in the Lehigh Valley regarding a history of past genocides.
The Center for Holocaust Education works to establish available courses on the Holocaust, genocide and social responsibility at public universities. The organization has sponsored the inclusion of more than four Holocaust history courses at Penn State University, Temple University, the University of Virginia and the University of Pittsburgh. Additionally, it funded the creation of the “Social Responsibility and Genocide Studies” minor at Penn State University in 2014. The CHE consistently aims to use its funds to promote learning and teaching of this time period at the university level and hopes to fund a “Holocaust Studies” minor at Penn State University next year.
The Center for Holocaust Education promotes a specific initiative called Listen for Non- Discrimination. This initiative culminates each year during a week-long summer camp for children ages 7-17. Listen for Non-Discrimination encourages children to prevent discrimination against one another to foster a posi- tive future without an element of hatred. The summer camp focuses on learning activities for specific age groups that help children understand the elements of discrimination and the process of creating an envi- ronment based on equality. The initiative began in 2012 and has since hosted a total of 89 students at the overnight camp. Listen for Non-Discrimination features the importance of listening instead of judging groups unlike one’s own.