Wednesday, July 24  ⚬ Thursday, July 25, 2024
8:30 AM - 3:00 PM




Salem Middle School
2380 Lynnhaven Pkwy, Virginia Beach
8:30 am to 3:00 pm




Bus trip from Virginia Beach to Richmond
7:30 am to 5:00 pm, approximately

Conference at a Glance

A History of the 16th Biennial Educators’ Conference

The Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater began hosting its educators' conferences in 1996 to serve the needs of teachers, counselors, and education advocates in the Hampton Roads community.  

Commitment to Educators

The Holocaust Commission and the Jewish Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater are committed to providing relevant and applicable tools and resources for teachers and school staff during the 2024-2025 school year and beyond. The seminars will provide critical resources for teaching weighty subjects accurately while nurturing empathy and understanding. 

Conference Goals

  • Provide educators with invaluable tools for addressing antisemitism, bigotry, and prejudice in and out of the classroom.
  • Empower teachers to understand and define antisemitism.   
  • Learn to build a classroom environment of respect and open dialogue for all students.  
  • Explore the newly renovated Virginia Holocaust Museum and the opportunities it provides to educators and students throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.  

Why attend the 16th Biennial Educators’ Conference?

The Holocaust stands as a tragic example of the consequences of hatred left unchecked. By deepening one's knowledge, conference attendees can inspire the next generation to reject bigotry, antisemitism, and prejudice in all forms, and become upstanders. 

Major Themes and Topics

  • Educators have a profound responsibility to teach difficult topics like the Holocaust with sensitivity, accuracy, and impact. 
  • The value of oral histories and first-person narratives. 
  • Exploring modern manifestations of antisemitism and the importance of combatting bigotry.  
  • Setting positive expectations for the classroom and school community. 
  • Docent-led tour of the newly renovated Virginia Holocaust Museum
  • Review the Stars Among Us lesson plans
  • and more 

Cost + Benefits

  • $90,  $60 if registered by 7/10
  • $9 special price for pre-service teachers
  • 15 Continuing Education hours
  • Books and resources for classrooms
  • Bus trip to Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond 
  • Breakfast and Lunch on day 1
  • Lunch on day 2

For More Information

Please contact Elka Mednick, Director of the Holocaust Commission at 757-965-6100 or

Expert Speakers and Organizations Include


Jonathan C. Zur is President & CEO of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC), an organization that works with schools, businesses, and communities to achieve success through inclusion. Jonathan, an experienced facilitator and consultant, was appointed by the Governor of Virginia to the Commonwealth Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, formed in the aftermath of the tragedy in Charlottesville in August 2017.  In 2016, Jonathan spoke at the inaugural White House Summit on Diversity and Inclusion in Government. Jonathan earned his B.A. from the University of Richmond and received a Certificate in Nonprofit Executive Leadership from the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.  



Echoes & Reflections is dedicated to reshaping the way that teachers and students understand, process, and navigate the world through the events of the Holocaust. The Holocaust is more than a historical event; it’s part of the larger human story. Educating students about its significance is a great responsibility. We partner with educators to help them introduce students to the complex themes of the Holocaust and to understand its lasting effect on the world. Founded in 2005, Echoes & Reflections utilizes unparalleled expertise and resources from three world leaders in Holocaust education, The ADL, USC Shoah Foundation and Yad Vashem.



Dr. Amy K. Milligan is the Batten Endowed Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and Women's and Gender Studies and the director of the Institute for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding. She is an ethnographer and folklorist who specializes in the study of small or marginalized Jewish communities with a concentration on the American South and Alabama. Her work considers the nuances of the body, gender, and sexuality, while simultaneously exploring the intersections of memory, culture, and history. Ultimately, her research brings forward the often overlooked voices of women, small community Jews, and those who exist and thrive on cultural margins.



Dr. Elsie Harold Lans is the inaugural Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Cape Henry Collegiate. Prior to this new role, she was the Executive Director of Student Support Services for Norfolk Public Schools. Elsie has also served in roles in Portsmouth Public Schools and Virginia Beach City Public Schools.



Dr. Scott Debb is the Robert Nusbaum Honors College Senior Fellow at Norfolk State University Norfolk State University, and the Director of the CyberPsychology Lab. He serves as a member of the graduate faculty at the Virginia Consortium Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology. Dr. Debb is a Licensed Professional Counselor, psychology professor, and Cyberpsychology Researcher. In his work Dr. Debb examines the intersection of human behavior and technology. Outside of his academic work, Dr. Debb sees patients in private practice. 



Dr. Craig Wansink is Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies and the Joan P. and Macon F. Brock, Jr. Director of the Robert Nusbaum Center at Virginia Wesleyan University. He has his PhD in New Testament and Ancient Christianity from Yale University. Dr. Wansink studied economics as an undergraduate at Morningside University, and received his Master of Divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and served churches in Illinois and Virginia. He is a member of the CIVIC Leadership Institute (2004), he serves on the Board of Trustees at Morningside University



Erika Lowery is in her 27th year in education. Before joining ICS, she taught middle school and high school geography courses and was a Secondary Social Studies Coordinator. She was awarded the National Council for Geographic Education Distinguished Teaching Achievement award in 2013. She has been President of Texas Council for the Social Studies and President of the National Social Studies Supervisors Association. Erika was honored as the Dr. Rosemary Morrow TSSSA Supervisor of the Year in 2022. She received her Bachelor of Science in Social Studies Education from The Florida State University, was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus in the College of Education in 2020, and a Master of Education Leadership from National Louis University.



Founded in 1997, the Virginia Holocaust Museum (VHM) is a place for Holocaust remembrance, preservation, and education. With more than 120,000 square feet of space, the Museum uses its unique exhibits, programming, and outreach to teach about the dangers of hate, prejudice, and indifference.


For more information or to get involved, contact Elka Mednick, Holocaust Commission Director, at or (757)965-6100.