South Carolina Council on the Holocaust

“The work that the SC Council on the Holocaust does is so important for our students in South Carolina. Having a chance to discuss and reflect on the past gives students the tools to be better citizens for our future.”

--Molly Spearman, State Superintendent of Education


By Marlene Roth

The South Carolina Council on the Holocaust Teacher Advisory Committee consists of teachers, professors, educators, and retirees who are committed to the idea that the Holocaust must be taught and that teachers must be trained to teach it.

The committee was formed over ten years ago by a group of teachers, led by Emily Taylor of Swansea High School. After a series of meetings, a yearly workshop, to be held in the center of the state, Columbia, was deemed the best way to reach teachers all over the state.

The theme of the workshop is different each year; however, we try each year to have a survivor or child of survivors as a keynote speaker. We have had Eva Mozes Kor, who spoke on forgiving the Nazis, Morris Glass, who spoke of life in the ghettos and camps, And Joey Korn, who spoke of his father’s life during and after the war. In addition to the keynote, we offer presentations that give teachers specific lesson plans and concrete suggestions on how to teach the Holocaust. The teachers who attend are given website information, copies of plans and visuals, and specific sources to help them plan their own lessons. They are also given time to network with educators from grades one to college level from all over the state.

The workshop is held every October at Columbia College and schools are sent the information every summer and fall. We have between 60 and 125 participants each year and some participants have attended all ten workshops.

This year was our tenth anniversary and our keynote speaker was Marion Blumenthal Lazan, survivor and author of Four Perfect Pebbles. She stayed in South Carolina for a week, speaking at schools in Greenville and Columbia, and at Beth Shalom Synagogue, an evening that was open to the public. At BSS she received a commendation from the governor, presented by Rep. Beth Bernstein and Rep. Joe Wilson. We also had survivors Sandra Brett and Roland Levi present at the workshop as well as children of survivors, Henry Goldberg and Helen Bissell. During the third session of the day Frank Baker, James Bryan, and Dr. Federica K. Clementi spoke on different aspects of the Holocaust. The teachers returned to their schools with concrete lesson plans and new information on how to teach this difficult subject.

The committee is always looking for new people, new ideas, and new programs. If you would like to join or would like more information on the workshop, please contact Emily Taylor at