Karen Shawn, Editor-in-Chief of PRISM Journal and a Professor at AzrieliDr. Karen Shawn, associate professor of Jewish education at Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration and editor of its publication PRISM: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Holocaust Educators, conducted two workshops recently at the Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH) for 40 master teachers chosen from around the country to participate in The Warren Fellowship and Spector/Warren Fellowship Alumni Institute, a four-day program of learning.

She spoke on the subject of the Ringelblum Oneg Shabbat Archives in a presentation titled “How Artifacts in Holocaust Testimony Prompt Learning” and introduced the participants to testimony written, and later hidden, by the doomed Warsaw Ghetto residents.

Her second presentation was an interactive workshop titled “Holocaust Literature as Exploration: Active Reading Strategies That Help Students Make Meaning from Text.” Using the latest issue of Azrieli’s publication PRISM: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Holocaust Educators, the participants chose short stories and/or poems to read and consider for classroom use. Dr. Shawn shared 10 different methods for engaging students before, during, and after reading such narratives, and the participants set to work trying each strategy with their tablemates and analyzing the outcomes.

Dr. Shawn has been a guest educator at the HMH for 10 years in each of the three Institutes sponsored by the Museum and local survivors. “The Museum is an outstanding resource, especially now that it has been revitalized and doubled in size,” Dr. Shawn said. “The Institutes are highly professional, with tours of each gallery supplemented and illustrated by related lectures and workshops conducted in stunning, state-of-the art new classrooms. It’s a joy and an honor to work with the HMH educators and the outstanding guest faculty who come from around the world to teach in these Institutes.”

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