Association of Holocaust Organizations’ winter conference offers insights and opportunities

by | Feb 2, 2023 | Other News

One of the first items of business when someone is new to a role is to reach out to colleagues in the field to better understand how things work and learn best practices. I was fortunate to have the beginning of my tenure as director of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Holocaust Commission coincide with the Association of Holocaust Organizations winter conference in January.

Longtime Holocaust Commission member Wendy Auerbach and I traveled to Florida to spend three days learning about the Holocaust educational landscape from experts working on various projects and from various perspectives. Though the overarching theme of the conference was how to utilize theater to educate people in and out of the classroom, lectures were presented by professors, museum professionals, community organizations, and theater groups. It was fascinating to learn how middle school drama teachers, with the assistance of theater producers, can reach students by combining survivor testimony and student-led productions.

Conference participants discussed the challenges facing the professional community. Issues of how to support teachers and students in a changing educational landscape and the reduced number of survivors who can tell their own stories were among some of the difficulties covered.

Despite the present challenges facing the world of Holocaust education and awareness, we left the AHO conference with professional contacts and great strategies that I believe will help UJFTs Holocaust Commission grow, enabling us to build upon its existing strong foundation.

To learn more about the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, visit, or contact Elka Mednick, director of UJFT’s Holocaust Commission, at or call 757-965-6112.

-Elka Mednick