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January 5, 2010

La Salle University Professor Robert Vogel One of 15 American Scholars Invited to Study the Holocaust in Israel

Bob VogelLa Salle University Education Professor Robert Vogel is one of 15 American university professors invited to study at a seminar on the Holocaust this January in Israel, as part of a joint venture of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the USC Shoah Program, and Yad Vashem University in Jerusalem.

This seminar, designed for a select group of specialists in higher education, will be held at the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem from January 5 to 13, 2010.

The scholars were recommended by regional ADL executive directors and submitted to the national office for selection. “I did not know I was recommended until I was invited to participate,” said Vogel, who is also co-director of the Leadership and Global Understanding program at La Salle. “I was honored to be chosen and look forward to working with colleagues from many universities around the country.”

“From this, I hope to develop a travel-study course that examines the larger issues of the Holocaust and contemporary aspects of genocide that impact the student as a global citizen,” said Vogel. “The travel study to Israel would provide La Salle students the opportunity to meet and dialogue with Israeli and Palestinian students to create a better understanding of issues facing both groups of people.”

He added that, “One of the major goals is to develop a dynamic network of university professors to encourage university and school-based programs to remember the important messages of the Holocaust and to connect to current global situations for the purpose of taking some personal responsibility as a global citizen.” In addition, Vogel said he wants to integrate lessons of the Holocaust into his ‘Writers Matter” program. This program involves middle school students from 12 Philadelphia public and Catholic schools with La Salle University students serving as writing mentors.

Vogel has been to Israel three times, once, when he was 35, as part of a Young Leadership group, another in which he participated in a 300-mile bike ride to raise money for the Arava Institute, which trains and supports Israeli and Arab students to work cooperatively on environmental and sustainability issues on the Mideast, and a third time that was on a family vacation.

This program, says Vogel, explores all aspects of the Holocaust studies and as a result of the Professors’ Study Tour, participants will:

Strengthen their knowledge about this complex and difficult subject matter; foster a commitment to teach about the Holocaust and combat Holocaust denial on their campuses; interweave the Echoes and Reflections program into pre- and in-service university-affiliated programs as well as other possible frameworks; identify ways to implement various Holocaust-education programs on their college campuses (e.g., e-learning, videoconferences); and build a network of university professionals to share strategies and resources and to plan collaborative projects.