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About Institute | About Resource Center 
 Our History | Our Mission | Our Programs Holocaust & Genocide Resources Holocaust Memorial  

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 The Institute for Holocaust & Genocide Studies:
It is a collaboration between the College and the Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon & Warren counties.

 Institute’s Holocaust and Genocide Resource Center:
The center was opened in 1999. It serves as the repository for the Morris and Dorothy Hirsch Research Library of Holocaust and Genocide Studies. The room offers a place for quiet study and reflection. Teaching materials, reference materials, a multi-media collection, and internet access are available. This Resource Room serves as an instructional Center for classes, workshops, lectures, and presentations.

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   Institute History:   

  Video:  30th Anniversary (5:25)
The Institute for Holocaust & Genocide Studies has offered educational programs for educators, students and the community since 1981. The goal of the Center, since its inception, has been to teach the consequences of man’s inhumanity towards man. By studying the Holocaust and Genocides, we learn critical lessons about human behavior; use and abuse of power; and being a responsible citizen when confronted with civil rights violations and/or policies of genocide. This Institute has provided thousands of educators, researchers, students, and members of the Community with programs to learn significant lessons about remaining indifferent, apathetic, or silent to the suffering of others. 



Institute Mission:  

  •  promote tolerance, understanding, and compassion to the suffering of others 
  •  share the lessons learned from The Holocaust by identifying the danger signals in prevention of other Genocides 
  •  serve as a repository of various educational materials: audio visual and literature about; Diversity, The Holocaust, and Genocides for research, study, and to provide educators with the tools to teach these complex histories. 
  •  evoke reflection and remembrance 
  •  encourage active community participation in combating bigotry and hate through social action 



 Our Programs

 Learning Through Experience:
It is the Institute’s cornerstone educational program. It began as a one-day program in 1981, and has grown into a 3-day annual event. More than 3,000 middle and high school students and educators participate in a unique series of workshops related to The Holocaust and Genocides. They listen to guest speakers who have experienced the consequences of hate and prejudice with courage in the face of adversity. This program is scheduled in the Spring around the date of Yom HaShoah, which is the time for Holocaust Remembrance and Commemoration.
 CyberHATE Lecture Photo Gallery  


Make A Difference Program:
The “Make A Difference Reception” recognizes and honors those individuals who through their actions promote tolerance and understanding in the community, and who embody the values of teaching tolerance and diversity.


Community Legacy Project: 7-minute Trailer  
The project at RVCC was initiated in 2005 as an educational project that presents the story of the Holocaust Survivors, Liberators, Rescuers and their families who are living in our community. The Legacy Project highlights the lessons of history as a way to foster discussion and create understanding about ongoing Genocides. The Community Legacy Project preserves the history for future generations and ensures that The Holocaust and Genocides are not revised, changed, or altered from the truth. As a teaching tool, the Community Legacy Project supports the Holocaust curriculum mandated by New Jersey. 

 Video Conversation with Survivors Part I:   Conversations with a Survivor and Students   (11:04) 

 This film will address some of the difficult questions and concerns students raised by students in a round-table conversation with Ursula Pawel, a survivor of Theresienstadt and Auschwitz.  When we filmed students talking to Ursula, we saw how her story of resilience and survival touched their hearts and souls. The realization that the students, who are teenagers, were close to the age of the survivors, made the experience very personal. For many, it was truly a unique life altering experience, as they better understood by it is important to learn about The Holocaust when they asked these questions: 

  •  Do you hate the Nazis? 
  •  Is it possible to reconcile this experience with your life today?
  •  How do you feel about Germans of today?
  •  Are you able to visit or return to the places you were incarcerated during The Holocaust?
  •  What messages do you have for future generations?





“Holocaust" is a word of Greek origin meaning "sacrifice by fire." The Holocaust refers to a specific genocidal event in the twentieth-century history; the state-sponsored, systematic persecution and annihilation of European Jewry by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945. Jews were the primary victims with 6 million who were murdered. Gypsies, the handicapped, and Poles were also targeted for destruction for racial, ethnic, or national reasons. Millions more, including homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Soviet prisoners of war, and political dissidents, also suffered grievous oppression and death under Nazi tyranny.”

(From the Guidelines For Teaching About the Holocaust by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum).

The term “genocide” did not exist before 1944. It is a very specific term, referring to violent crimes committed against groups with the intent to destroy the existence of the group. Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959), Jew who escaped from Poland, arrived in the United States as a refugee in 1941. In an attempt to describe the Nazi policies of systematic murder, including the destruction of the European Jews, he formed the word “genocide” from the terms: ‘geno’, from the Greek word for race or tribe, and with ‘cide’ from the Latin word for killing. On December 9, 1948, in the shadow of the Holocaust and in no small part due to the tireless efforts of Lemkin himself, the United Nations approved the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

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