Shaler Area High School teacher named Holocaust Educator of the Year
Shaler Area High School social studies teacher Nick Haberman has been recognized by the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh and named this year’s Holocaust Educator of the Year.

The award is given through the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh to a Holocaust educator from Pennsylvania, Ohio, or West Virginia who inspires critical thought and personal growth through the lessons of the Holocaust.

Mr. Haberman teaches the History of the Holocaust course, a half-year social studies elective offered during the fall and spring semesters at Shaler Area High School. The popular course is available to junior and senior students and covers the history of the Holocaust from the origins of anti-Semitism through WWII to neo-Nazism today.

Mr. Haberman makes every effort to expose students to primary documents related to the Holocaust, including videos, journals and texts, and first-hand accounts from living Holocaust survivors, like Judah Samet, and witnesses to current human rights abuses, like Dr. Pranav Shetty, a Shaler Area graduate, who both spoke to Shaler Area students this school year.

Students have multiple opportunities throughout the semester-long course to meet and interview Holocaust survivors, as well as visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., where they also have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with a survivor.

“Soon, there will be no survivors left to tell their story. After all the survivors are gone, it’s up to teachers to carry on their legacy and pass on their stories to future generations,” Mr. Haberman said. A lesson learned from Jack Sittsamer, Mr. Haberman’s first survivor guest speaker in 2007. Mr. Sittsamer passed away in 2008.  

In addition to a monetary award to expand Holocaust education at Shaler Area, Mr. Haberman also receives an all-expense-paid fellowship at Columbia University in New York City this summer to become an Alfred Lerner Fellow through the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous organization. Mr. Haberman will be one of 25 American and European teachers who have won Educator of the Year awards through other Holocaust Centers to learn from the nation’s top Holocaust professors and authors at the conference.

Upon completion of the fellowship, Mr. Haberman will be considered a “Master Teacher” in Holocaust education according to the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, the Pittsburgh Holocaust Center, and other established Holocaust Centers throughout the U.S. and Europe.  

Mr. Haberman will be recognized at the Waldman International Awards Ceremony on April 11, where he will give a speech on Children in the Holocaust, 1933-1945. Tickets are available through the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh.
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