Educators Conference

Each year, PHA and Arizona Jewish Historical Society work with the Bureau of Jewish Education to present an annual conference on the Holocaust for teachers. This, combined with the Speakers Bureau, brings another important educational opportunity to the community. The three organizations have a long history of working together in both local and national Holocaust education.

The primary goal with the annual educator conference is to provide an opportunity for teachers to hear from not only survivors and descendants, but experienced teachers who teach this subject. Educators have access to this and other valuable information and resources so they can incorporate study of the Holocaust in their classroom lessons. 

Speakers Bureau

Survivor Speakers

Arizona’s Holocaust survivors have long volunteered to share their personal stories with members of the community.  These important and inspiring stories are shared with schools, youth and community organizations, faith congregations, and business, civic and governmental groups. PHA speakers offer a wide variety of Holocaust-related experiences, from survivors being hidden, imprisoned in ghettos and concentration camps, engaging in multi-country odysseys to avoid capture, to how their descendants were raised and impacted in the shadows of that traumatic history.

Descendant Speakers

With the aging and death of survivors, it is more critical than ever to provide testimony of this part of history. The children and grandchildren of survivors are stepping up to share remarkable stories of their families’ resilience and forgiveness, and to remind us that the effects of genocide can last for many generations.

Those who grew up with Holocaust survivor parents or grandparents have a unique story to share. Some speak about their parents’ Holocaust experiences; a few have memorialized the stories in publications. Our trained descendant speakers share their experiences about what it was like growing up as a child of survivors and the impact it has had on their lives.

Speaker Request Form

Phoenix Holocaust Association invites teachers to visit Arizona Department of Education where state standards related to the teaching of the Holocaust and other genocides can be accessed as well as a Toolkit for teachers and students developed by the Task Force on The Holocaust and Other Genocides.

Each survivor has a poignant and unique story to tell of survival. By passing these stories on with their family and those who care about them, they make certain their story continues and the lessons of the Holocaust are not forgotten. Collectively, these stories tell the history of the Shoah, a history we must preserve and share. 

PHA highly encourages teachers to consider bringing multiple classes together when requesting a speaker in order to limit the number of presentations from one speaker on a single day.


The Phoenix Holocaust Association provides, sponsors, supports a number of Holocaust education related events and programs as well as providing speakers, materials and references to Holocaust information.

Educator Recognition

The Phoenix Holocaust Association presents the Annual Shofar Zachor Award to an individual or group who has made outstanding contributions to the teaching of the Holocaust and genocide awareness.

Over the years, recipients of the Shofar Zachor Award have made a positive impact by keeping memory of the Holocaust alive and teaching its important lessons.

Some award recipients have gone on to make Holocaust education their life’s work, not only here in Arizona but at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, throughout the country, and in other parts of the world.

Past Recipients

Heather Land, Mesa Public Schools

Sandra Flayton, Scottsdale Unified School District


Representative Alma Hernandez

Christine Harthun, Arts Education Coordinator at Scottsdale Arts


Ashley Crose, Educator

Janice Friebaum, 2G and Former PHA Vice President


The Shofar Zachor Award was presented to 54 survivors who reside in Arizona. 


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no award was given in 2020


The Arizona Republic, accepted by Phil Boas, Editorial Page Director


Anthony Fusco, Educator


Amy Drake, M.Ed., Educator


Anna Cichopek-Gajraj, PhD


John Liffiton, Scottsdale Community College Genocide Awareness Week


Steve Tepper, East Valley JCC’s Holocaust & Tolerance Museum’s Railcar Restoration Project

Robert Sutz, Artist


Ruth Callahan, PhD., Educator


Steven Johnson, Educator


Sheila Polk, Yavapai County Attorney


 Northern Arizona University’s Martin-Springer Institute


Valerie Foster, Educator


Barbara Hatch, Educator


Ed Hermanski, Educator

Carolyn Nathan, z”l, Sponsor of BJE’s conference for educators


Kim Klett, Educator


Peggy Peters, Educator

Judy Peterson, Educator

Nancy Stevenson,  Librarian


Beth Joice, Educator


Pete Fredlake, Educator


Katie McFadzen, Childsplay Theater


David Kader, Second Generation/Educator

Magda Willinger, z”l,  Survivor


Elaine Hirsch, BJE Community Library Coordinator


Helen Handler, z”l, Survivor


Harry and Ella Adler, z”l, Survivor


Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, Luke AFB (American Military Liberators)


Paul Wieser, Educator and 2006 Anti-Defamation League’s Bearing Witness Program


Anna Koenig, z”l, Survivor


Carl Ofisher, z”l, Survivor


Kae Knight, Educator


Jeffery Platt, z”l, Educator


Cameron Harper, Journalist

(z”l – deceased)

1st place: Matthew Maledon,  Brophy College Preparatory, Junior 

2nd place: Avery Shafron,  Rancho Solano Preparatory, Sophomore

3rd place: Alisa Velasquez, Dobson High School, Freshman