Wednesday, February 20, 2013

In Praise of our Lipper Interns

This blog is from Loren, who really enjoys working closely with our interns, and who somehow finds the time to take part in our staff book club, too.

Each spring and fall, the Museum hires 16 idealistic, intelligent, and dedicated young adults committed to taking action against genocide and social injustice.  They are Lipper Interns, a select group of students trained at the Museum to teach Holocaust education classes at public middle and high schools across the northeast.   

Since 1998, more than 450 students from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts have become Lipper Interns.  The EGL Charitable Foundation, which funds the program, envisioned a peer-to-peer learning experience that includes both classroom visits and tours of the Museum.  

Participating teachers' responses are overwhelmingly positive:

Students come away realizing the need to show tolerance and understanding towards others.       
 – Larry Laifer, R.J. Lockhart Elementary School, NY

The museum visit itself is irreplaceable. Students were very moved by the exhibits in a way that showing photos or sharing stories in class can’t replicate. – Chris Rettig, Graham and Parks Alternative Public School, MA

This program provides a comprehensive overview that is developmentally appropriate for students to delve into an emotional topic. It also emphasizes the power of staying optimistic and celebrates life. –Beth Zigmont, Radner Middle School, PA
The Museum visit was excellent.  The students learn about the Holocaust in school, but at the Museum they felt it! – Peter Ryan, Township of Ocean Intermediate School, NJ

For Lipper Interns, their semester of teaching is unforgettable. Many come back semester after semester to lead tours and help with education programs. Here's what some of our recent interns have said:

Sharing the stories of the Holocaust with a younger generation is an honor. Seeing how passionate students became makes me hopeful that the future will be a better place.
– Melissa Sedlacik (Fall 2012)

I can unequivocally say that without the Lipper Internship, I would not be nearly as effective an educator.  As I prepare to enter the Peace Corps leading HIV/AIDS community education programs, I know my Lipper training and experience will continue to serve me well.  – Daniella Montemarano (Spring 2010)

I give tours to school groups that visit historic Philadelphia. My training as a Lipper Intern taught me to ask questions and get students thinking as opposed to lecturing to them. – Lawrence McClenny (Spring 2008)

The Lipper Interns’ enthusiasm and desire to make the world a better place is an inspiration to all of us and reinforces the words we see every day in the Museum’s rotunda entrance, “There is hope for your future.” 

For more information and a link to the application, visit If you have questions, please email or call (646) 437 4273.

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