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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ashley Crose, Educator
Janice Friebaum, 2G and Former PHA Vice President
The Shofar Zachor Award was presented to 54 survivors who reside in Arizona. (list in alphabetical order)
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