Survivor Speaks 2020-2021

Beloved, Holocaust Survivor and Writer, Elie Wiesel once said, “When you listen to a witness, you become a witness.”

The Holocaust Council’s Survivors Speak program has served our area for the past fifteen years, and has made a tremendous impact on thousands of students and adults who have heard from our speakers. The program consists of either a Holocaust Survivor, World War II veterans, POW's or 2nd and 3rd generation survivor, along with a moderator, telling their story in an interactive conversation with the audience. Our speakers are chosen for the diversity of their experiences during the Holocaust as the intent is to make listeners aware that there are all different types of stories that come from the Holocaust and it is important to remember and retell these stories in the days and years to come. The moderator introduces the speaker, provides historical context, keeps the speaker to his or her allotted times, and moderates the ‘Question and Answer’ session that follows the talks. Survivors Speak helps students meet STAJE Standards.

Survivors Speak works well in classrooms or large auditoriums, depending on the number of attendees. We can tailor this program for elementary, middle or high school students, as well as for Houses of Worship, organizations, law enforcement departments and others that are interested in hearing these incredible stories of survival. The program is an hour long in length, but we suggest you allow extra time as many students want to meet, shake hands with the survivors and even get their autographs.

Our requirements are:

  • A table and 2 chairs
  • At least one microphone (two are preferable)
  • Some water for the speakers

We can provide online resources and introductions beforehand for teachers that would like to give students some preparation beforehand.

Due to the COVID-19 era we are also offering our Survivor Speaks program to you virtually. As if we were live in your building we will provide the same quality program with a moderator, Holocaust Survivor and Q&A. We will host on your virtual platform and work within your time requirements. The honorarium for a virtual Survivor Speak is $150.00.

For more information or to book a program, please contact Jamie Carus at 973.929.3194 or

Holocaust Council of Greater MetroWest Speakers’ Bureau


Does the school need to provide anything the day of?
If possible, we’d like a table, two chairs, a microphone (or mics) and some water.

To whom should the check be written?
The check is to the Holocaust Council of MetroWest. If your school requires a voucher for payment or a tax I.D. number, please let us know and we will send it. We request an honorarium of $350 per engagement; $500 for schools that are located outside MetroWest (Essex, Sussex, Morris and Union counties.) This is a request, not an absolute requirement. Let us know if you have trouble meeting the request.

What else do I need to know?
It helps if the students have had had a prior introduction to the Holocaust. After the presentation, we ask that students do some form of response to the survivors, e.g. letters, poems, artwork. It’s an excellent way for the students to process what they’ve heard. The responses can be mailed to us in one envelope and we’ll forward them to the survivors. These are always very meaningful to the survivors.
Is there anything we should do to prepare before?
While we do not suggest telling the story before, we think the speakers do this the best, if you are looking for some materials to help prepare you students before the visit, please reach out to our Director of Holocaust Education, Ilyse Shainbrown, at

Contact Us

Ilyse Shainbrown
Director of Holocaust Education & Newark Initiatives
(973) 929-3080

Jamie Carus
Program Manager
(973) 929-3067