Elaine Culbertson

Elaine Culbertson,
HAJRTP Program Director,
is a former high school English teacher and school administrator. She is the Chair of the Pennsylvania Holocaust Education Council.


Meryl Menashe

Meryl Menashe (2008)
HAJRTP Program Liaison,
is a middle school social studies teacher on Long Island.


Neil Garfinkle

Neil Garfinkle (1999)
HAJRTP Program Liaison,
teaches history at the High School for Law and Public Service in New York City.


Funding Needed for the 2016 Summer Seminar

Anyone watching the news or reading the papers cannot help but be gripped by the refugee crisis affecting thousands of people fleeing religious and political persecution. The situation seems familiar to those who have studied the Holocaust.

The Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Teachers' Program which has been in existence for more than 30 years. Over 1000 teachers representing every state in the United States have participated in this amazing experience that brings teachers to the authentic sites of the Holocaust in Europe. These teachers study the Holocaust from a different perspective, one that emphasizes spiritual resistance, the strength of the human spirit under adverse circumstances, and the ability of a people to retain their identities under the direst of circumstances.  As a result, their teaching and the education they provide to the students in their classrooms, is changed forever.

Arbeit Macht FreiThe program's existence is threatened because of funding issues. A generous donor has agreed to match funds raised up to $50,000 to make this trip a possibility once again in 2016. With your help, the program will continue to change the lives of teachers and their students.

As a daughter of Holocaust survivors, a former participant and now director of this program, I know how life-changing this experience is for its participants. I also know the impact that a dedicated teacher can have on her students.

The events of the Holocaust should never be forgotten. Eyewitnesses bring the message back in a way that no one else can. As survivors pass away, we need to insure that our nation's children will learn about what happened from teachers who have been sensitized to the event by being exposed to the places where it happened and the stories of how ordinary people rose above their circumstances in acts of everyday kindness and bravery both large and small.

Your donation, no matter how small, will help us reach our goal of $50,000. If you are a former participant, you know what this trip meant to you. If you learned about the Holocaust from one of our teachers, then you should donate as well to ensure that this trip will continue. If you are a survivor or the relative or friend of a survivor, you should donate so that the story of the Holocaust and Jewish resistance is told with appropriate dignity and respect.

You do not have to be Jewish to care about this topic. More than 80% of the teachers who have participated in the program were not Jewish. They understood the importance of teaching about the Holocaust as a matter of respect for human life.

Please give so that this important work continues! The easiest way to donate is to click on the donate button below. That will take you to our Go Fund Me webpage at

Or, if you prefer, you can make out a check to American Gathering, and mail it to
     American Gathering
     122 W. 30th St., Room 304A
     New York, NY 10001    


The 2016 Summer Seminar

Summer SunThe Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Teachers' Program provides an intensive two week summer learning and living experience in Germany and Poland for U.S. secondary school teachers who are committed to teaching about the Holocaust and Jewish resistance in their classes upon completion of the program. Our next Summer Seminar is scheduled for July, 2016. The exact dates and itinerary will be finalized soon. Summer Seminar applications are avalable HERE. The deadline for applications is Friday, March 25, 2016.

Auschwitz Guard HouseA Guard House at Auschwitz KL