The Memorial Library
The mission of the Memorial Library is to support Holocaust education and to help teachers from across the United States promote an agenda for social justice in their classrooms and communities. In addition to its twelve-day Summer Seminar, the Library offers mini-grants to participating teachers for innovative projects. The Library also sponsors Satellite Seminars, shorter programs modeled on the Summer Seminar.
The Memorial Library was founded in 1962 by Auschwitz survivor Olga Lengyel as a repository for World War II memorabilia. After Olga’s death in 2001, the Board of Directors turned its attention toward teacher education, contacting Dr. Sondra Perl at Lehman College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. With the Library’s support, Dr. Perl created the Holocaust Educators Network, a nationwide program designed to bring the lessons of the Holocaust into today’s world. Beginning in the summer of 2006 with 21 teachers, HEN now numbers over 700 teachers in 40 states.
To enrich its programs and to support other important work in Holocaust education, the Memorial Library has built relationships with colleges and universities as well as Holocaust organizations and museums. The Memorial Library works closely with Lehman College and The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, the National Writing Project at the University of California at Berkeley, Florida Atlantic University, Facing History and Ourselves, the Anti-Defamation League, the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. In particular, the Library helps to support two ongoing outreach efforts: The Holocaust Studies Summer Institute at FAU and the Bearing Witness Advanced Program of the ADL. In the Fall of 2012, The Memorial Library also sponsored a five-day seminar for school administrators in Surdoc, Romania together with the local chapter of the Elie Wiesel Foundation.
The Memorial Library is located at 58 East 79th Street in Manhattan.