Thank you for your interest in the Speakers Bureau! The Holocaust Center strives to fulfill all speaker requests. However, there may be circumstances in which we cannot provide a speaker. Please review the guidelines below before submitting a request to ensure you are able to meet the criteria:
- Please submit the request at least 3 weeks in advance.
- Please be prepared to meet speakers' technological needs - i.e. computer, projector, and large screen for PowerPoint, microphone, speakers, etc.
- Allow at least an hour for the presentation. Some speakers require an hour and a half.
- Speakers can only present once in a day. Since many are elderly survivors, the experience of presenting can be emotionally and physically draining.
- The Speakers Bureau is comprised of survivors, children and grandchildren of survivors and children of rescuers (Legacy Speakers), who all share authentic Holocaust experiences. Legacy Speakers have undertaken careful historical research with Holocaust Center staff support, and use primary sources to share the important history of their families. Based on your school's location, the requested date and time, students' age, Holocaust preparation, or other factors at play, we will match your group with an appropriate speaker.
- We do not accept engagement requests from students. Students may request personal interviews with speakers, provided they submit a teacher recommendation.
- Engagements are typically scheduled after 10:00am to allow for travel time—later if the location is a great distance from the speaker’s home.
- Because presentations can be emotional for both students and speakers, the requester must be present at all times during the engagement. Students should not enter and leave the room and interruptions should be kept to a minimum.
- The only fee associated with the Speakers Bureau is travel reimbursement. You will receive an invoice via email when your speaker is confirmed. You/your school are responsible for making this payment. Many schools and groups also offer an honorarium to thank the speaker for their time.
Before the Visit
When your speaker is confirmed, you will receive an email with their biography, contact information and tech needs. We suggest reviewing the biography with your students before the presentation. You could also show them the speaker’s birth place on a map, and discuss events that took place in that area.
From readings and lessons, have each student write two or three questions he or she would like to ask the speaker. Review all questions ahead of time.
At least one week before the presentation, call the speaker to introduce yourself, talk to them about your unit and class, and discuss logistics like parking, tech needs, and where to go when they arrive at your school/location.
Day of the Visit
Inform the front office of the visit and send someone (i.e. a student) to meet the speaker upon their arrival.
Remind your audience:
a. to be mindful of the speaker by listening, staying seated, and refraining from distracting activities like eating/drinking or working on homework.
b. this is an emotional process for many speakers, even though many years may have passed.
c. what a rare experience this is. They are the last generation who will be able to meet a Holocaust survivor and hear these stories first hand.
d. to be mindful of the speaker by listening, staying seated, and refraining from distracting activities like eating/drinking or working on homework.
- Provide a glass of water and a chair for the speaker.
Make sure any tech equipment has been set up and tested in advance.
Give the speaker a brief introduction.
If the engagement begins or ends during the lunch hour, make sure the speaker knows where to find lunch.
Make sure the speaker has someone to walk them out of the building.
After the Visit
Either the same day or the following day, give students a chance to debrief on the experience. This is a sensitive topic and raises many questions that may only come out later, in the comfort of peers.
Please fill out our evaluation form.
Letters of thanks to the speaker may be sent to the Holocaust Center at 2045 Second Ave, Seattle, WA 98121.
Make sure to pay gas reimbursement by sending a check to the Holocaust Center or paying online. (Pay online now!) Some schools choose to donate an honorarium to the Speaker in addition. Speakers often donate this money to the Center.