UK-JHFE Holocaust Education Initiatve 2023- May 2024

Grants and Contracts Details


Abstract/Project Description In 2018, the Kentucky State legislature passed the Ann Klein and Fred Gross Holocaust Education Act mandating Holocaust education in Kentucky middle and high schools. However, Kentuckians who identify as Jewish make up less than 1% of the state’s population and most Kentuckians are not personally acquainted with Jewish people. Given Kentucky’s unique circumstances, this act must be implemented with care. Building on UK’s history as a leader in Holocaust education dating back to 1979, when Dr. Jeremy Popkin introduced one of the first college-level Holocaust history courses in the U.S., UK Jewish Studies Faculty are working with key partners across the Commonwealth to create high-quality middle and high school Holocaust curriculum and professional development sessions to be used in teacher training across the Commonwealth. In Stage One (2021-2022), we piloted two workshops, one at UK’s College of Education in Fall 2021 (repeated with great success in October 2022) and another at Fayette County Public Schools. Stage Two of this professional development initiative began in Summer 2022 with the creation of a Steering Committee of 10 distinguished experts and the selection of 20 Teacher-Leaders from a very competitive pool of more than double that number of applications. The Steering Committee designed and implemented a 3-day Teacher Leader Orientation which took place in late July 2022. These teacher leaders are continuing their preparation for teaching challenging Holocaust materials in bi-monthly seminars. The teacher leaders in collaboration with the Steering Committee are planning 11 teacher-led Holocaust education workshops both in-person and online for at least 250 teachers across the Commonwealth in Spring 2023. The Teacher Leaders will spend Spring 2023 working on Kentucky-relevant curricular materials that will be posted on our website: This curriculum will be created in accordance with Kentucky standards in English Language Arts and Social Studies. This targeted collaboration with teachers to meet specific teacher needs is a critical part of our innovative model. Stage Three is a two-year continuation built on the 2022-2023 model that will train 40 more teacher-leaders and 800 more teachers around the state. By the end of June 2025 we plan to haved trained more than 1000 Kentucky teachers, and to have created robust clusters of Holocaust educators around the state ready and able to continue this work beyond the end date of the project. Along with the continued work of these motivated and well-trained educators, we will also continue to build a curated library of Kentucky-centered Holocaust lesson plans and activities, maintained by the University of Kentucky, that will continue to be accessible to all teachers in the state. Stage Three also expands our reach to provide students with high quality educational experiences related to the Holocaust and we will offer opportunities for teachers who are participating in our program to compete for funding to enrich their students’ understanding through artist residencies and museum field trips.
Effective start/end date7/1/236/16/24


  • Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence: $400,000.00


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