Education is the primary purpose of the Center. Our most valuable resource is our OHRC Speakers Bureau — those survivors, refugees, liberators and others whose lives were directly and irrevocably altered by the Holocaust — who speak directly to the students, teachers, and various other groups in Oregon and southwest Washington. Other educational programs, such as workshops, symposiums, and the Sala Kryszek Competitions create the bulk of the OHRC’s endeavors.
In the 2009-2010 academic year, speakers brought their stories to audiences totaling 35,000. These testimonies allow audiences to link the lessons of the past to current issues such as genocide, hate crimes, anti-Semitism and the marginalizing of all people.
- Survivor Chella speaking to a group of students.
OHRC makes available a wide variety of materials: books, journals, videos, DVDs, Survivor interviews and activities to teachers, schools, and districts. We house the Sylvia Frankel Library and the Shirley Tanzer Oral History library.
Traveling Education Trunks
Trunks are available to middle and high school teachers for use in their classrooms, made possible by a generous grant from the Equity Foundation’s Portland 100 Fund. The completed trunks are Kindertransport, A Name on the Wall, Safe Haven – The Dominican Republic and Rescuers. Each trunk features one or more stories from survivors who live in Oregon and Southwest Washington. We are currently working on two more trunks – Lodz Ghetto, and Auschwitz. We hope to have them all completed by the end of this school year. For Trunk descriptions, Click Here.
The OHRC participates in annual commemorations of Kristallnacht and Yom Ha’Shoah. These two important events generate community involvement within Holocaust education and remembrance. These events are also designed to address the threats to civil rights, human rights, and human dignity posed by ignorance, hatred and prejudice. The Center sponsors commemorative activities over several days and at a variety of venues to bring these important messages to all of today’s generations.
Additionally, the Center works with universities and community groups to bring meaningful programming to the community. Art exhibits, lectures, theatre productions and concerts are just a few of the types of collaborations we have participated in.
OHRC provides Library Archives and links to related Web sites for further studies.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) has some tremendous online resources, and the recent addition of the Holocaust Encyclopedia continues in this tradition. The interactive Encyclopedia includes hundreds of articles that cover topics like the Third Reich, refugees, ghettos, and the liberation of Nazi camps. Each entry contains hypertext links to other entries and relevant resources, including timelines, photo galleries, and primary source documents. Visitors can use the “Browse Articles” to get started, and they should also note that the articles are available in French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Turkish, Arabic, and six other languages.