Genocide Watch is pleased to welcome Dr. Jennifer Eve Rich as the new Executive Director for Education. Dr. Rich will work with Genocide Watch President, Dr. Elisa von Joeden-Forgey, to bring Genocide Watch to teachers and to schools across the country and to organize and host workshops, conferences, and summits related to genocide prevention education.
Jennifer Rich is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education at Rowan University in New Jersey, where she also serves as the Director of Research and Education for Rowan Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Before her work at Rowan, she spent a decade as a New York City public school teacher. Her teaching experiences at Rowan have focused on social emotional learning, social justice and democratic education, and Holocaust and Genocide education and memory. Her scholarship focuses on best practices in Holocaust and Genocide education, and the memory of the Holocaust and other genocides inculture, education, and by the children and grandchildren of survivors of genocides. She has presented on these topics nationally and internationally.
Dr. Rich’s research has been published in Holocaust Studies, and she has forthcoming articles in multiple scholarly journals, including Teacher’s College Record and The Social Studies. She recently had an op-ed published in The Washington Post about gun violence in schools, and will speak at The Atlantic Summit on Education later this spring.
Dr. Rich’s current book project, Keepers of Memory: The Holocaust and Transgenerational Memory, focuses on the ways in which society remembers the Holocaust, and how and in what ways this remembering affects individuals, particularly the descendants of survivors, today. She argues that the transmission of memory shapes the ways in which the second and third generations live and work and, more broadly, the ways in which society remembers and memorializes the Holocaust. Through a series of interviews with the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, she explores topics that include intersecting professional and personal identities, the value of education, and how stories of survival become stories of either empowerment or trauma. She has also watched taped testimony of the survivors these children and grandchildren descend from in order to understand the context of the inherited memories. When considering these stories together, they form a compelling picture of the promises and pitfalls of memory, and point to implications for memory and commemoration in the coming generations.
This research has rooted Dr. Rich in teaching complicated histories to students and teachers. In her work with these populations, she has found that they fall back on one standard version of history, and seem unwilling, or unable, to contextualize new information. It has become increasingly obvious to Dr. Rich that helping teachers grapple with their own understanding of history is critical. They, of course, need a stronger sense of multiple perspectives for themselves, but they also need to be able to teach differently in order to break the cycle of reinforcing a single narrative.
For more information about Genocide Watch's educational programs, or to partner with us, please send us an email.
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