“Traveling Trunk” Teaching Resources

CHAI is constantly working to create and share materials that will bring survivor stories to life, support a variety of learning styles, and make the lessons of the Holocaust relevant to contemporary audiences.

We offer educators valuable, tangible resources, including lesson plans, one-on-one lesson consultation and teaching support, and guidance for utilizing teaching tools. CHAI provides media to classrooms and the broader community, supporting Holocaust education by providing teachers with level-appropriate content that best suits for their participants. Below is a sampling of what we offer to help share these lessons.


To honor the legacy of the Holocaust, CHAI has created publications that produce meaningful connections with readers. These books are available through the Federation, along with teaching guides, lesson plans, and opportunities to meet with some of the authors and inspirations behind the stories. 


Angie’s Story
Angie Suss Paull was a survivor of the Lodz Ghetto and the Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps. She shared her positive message of courage, dignity, and compassion throughout upstate NY until her death in 2007. Her story lives on through her book and via our educator’s guide.

Perilous Journeys
Ten Rochester survivors from Germany and Austria shared their stories in this book designed specifically for the classroom.

Survival in the Shadows
Rochester locals, Ellen and Erich Arndt, managed to remain together by hiding underground in Hitler’s Berlin. This excellent tool for teaching resistance and personal responsibility highlights the couple’s incredible courage, as well as the importance of their  50+ “helpers” who did not stand idly by.

The Weinbachs’ Escape
This memoir shares the remarkable story of a German three-star general who helped the Weinbach family leave Austria, fleeing from Vienna to China. Kurt Weinbach, who spoke in local Rochester schools until his passing in 2010, recounts his family’s journey from Nazi Germany to their new home in Rochester.

Lost Childhood
Henry Silberstern survived Terezin, then Auschwitz-Birkenau, as one of Mengele’s “Birkenau Boys,” who served as slave laborers in the camp. Silberstien’s story, which he shared for many years until his death in 2016, lives on in this book.

A Tribute to Mom, We Survived Together
CHAI speaker Sam Rind’s memoir, as told to Janet Goldman, tells his story of being a young child surviving the horrors of the Holocaust with his mother. Sam still speaks in area schools.

Online Resources for Teachers 

In addition to CHAI, many organizations offer timelines, videos, and various other materials that can help your Holocaust lessons come to life in the classroom.

  • United States Holocaust Memorial Museum 
  • Echoes & Reflections
  • Zekelman Holocaust Center
  • International Holocaust Rememberance Alliance 

Survivor Testimonies

Over the years, CHAI has worked to produce, organize, and partner with outside organizations to make ensure that the experiences of Holocaust survivors are preserved to be shared with future generations. 


Rochester Holocaust Survivors Archive
The robust digital archive includes 35 years of interviews and materials gathered by CHAI. The experience also houses copies of all Rochester survivor interviews filmed for Steven Spielberg's The Institute for Visual History and Education (formerly Survivors of the SHOAH Foundation's Visual History Project), as well as survivor profiles and photographs made available from Monroe Community College's Holocaust Genocide and Human Rights Project.

Other Media
CHAI’s “Traveling Trunk” contains reproductions of actual photographs, passports, armbands, and other materials that pertain to local Survivors’ stories. Lesson plans are included; these lend beautifully to student group work, critical thinking, inquiry, and thinking beyond the lesson. Please contact CHAI on 585.241.8628 to bring the Traveling Trunk to your classroom.

Contact Us


Sapir Soble

Director, Center for Holocaust Awareness and Information


Ways to Give

Every day, we work to provide compassionate, strategic, and comprehensive support, no matter the situation. There is no organization better positioned to do this than the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester.