Our Mission

The Midwest Center for Holocaust Education teaches the history of the Holocaust, applying its lessons to counter indifference, intolerance, and genocide.

Our History

The Midwest Center for Holocaust Education (MCHE) was founded in 1993 by Holocaust survivors Jack Mandelbaum and Isak Federman. We teach the history of the Holocaust, applying its lessons to counter indifference, intolerance, and genocide.

Jack and Isak’s founding vision was of an outreach center focusing all resources on education. Because of this, MCHE is not a museum, but rather a nimble, responsive organization that is able to adapt to the audience and their need.

Through a study of the Holocaust and the testimonies of the people who experienced it, MCHE seeks to increase empathy and understanding. We teach the lessons of the Holocaust, demonstrating what can happen within a democratic society when hatred and bigotry go unchecked.

MCHE’s earliest work focused on the preservation of survivor testimonies which are now housed in the Witnesses to the Holocaust Archive. Our work over the next 30 years focused on teaching the history. Now, as we enter the next phase of our growth, it is our goal to help our audiences seriously consider the lessons of the Holocaust and their relevance in the world today. To date the world has not succeeded with “Never Again,” but it remains our driving purpose.


Who We Are

We provide programming and resources for a diverse population throughout the Midwest – including general audiences, school groups, educators, corporate groups, law enforcement, non-profit partners, the families of survivors, and more.

Our dedicated team is comprised of:

  • Jessica Rockhold – Executive Director and CEO
  • Dr. Shelly Cline – Historian and Director of Education
  • Dana Smith – Account Manager
  • Laura Patton – Program Associate
  • Ronda Hassig – Librarian

MCHE’s first executive director was Jean G. Zeldin who served from 1993 until her retirement in December 2019.

Community partnerships reflect the scope of our mission. These have included the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum, Union Station Kansas City, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, universities throughout the Midwest, and more. MCHE is a member of the Association of Holocaust Organizations (AHO).

In 2021, the documentary all these delicate sorrows, featuring MCHE’s team and survivors from the Witnesses to the Holocaust Archive, was nominated for an Emmy Award. MCHE’s newsletter was honored in 2002 by the Black Chamber of Commerce with its North Star Beacon of Freedom Award and was the recipient of the Council on Philanthropy’s 2006 Philly Award for best non-profit communication. The MCHE publication “Collective Voices” received a Philly Award in 2012 in the Unique Concept category.

Located at the Jewish Community Campus in Overland Park, MCHE reaches thousands of students and adults each year through school and community outreach programs. More than 400 individuals are current members of MCHE. An operating endowment is prudently invested to ensure the future operations of the organization. We are a 501(c)(3) organization, and donations to MCHE are fully tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Our Programs & Resources

Our programs include presentations by children of survivors, an annual White Rose Research Contest, the lunch and learn series, the film series, teacher education programs, including a cadre of professional educators who serve as teacher-trainers and mentors, an academic round-table of college and university faculty, commemorative programs, and special lectures and exhibits. Our library houses a witness archive and more than 3,000 titles available for free loan.

MCHE has developed resources to preserve local connections to the Holocaust. Our Witnesses to the Holocaust project resulted in the taping of nearly fifty eyewitness testimonies and production of two award-winning video documentaries. MCHE’s Portrait exhibit includes 72 black and white photographs with accompanying text based on audio-taped interviews. In 2001, Kansas City Star books published From the Heart: Life Before and After the Holocaust ~ A Mosaic of Memories, based on Portrait 2000. More than 70 testimonies by local Holocaust survivors are available by clicking here.

Board of Directors and Council of Advocates

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Newsletters

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Photo Galleries

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Community Partners

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Be a part of our future.

Our mission is to teach the history of the Holocaust, applying its lessons to counter indifference, intolerance, and genocide.

Consider making a gift today.

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Get in touch with us.

5801 West 115th Street STE #106,
Overland Park, KS 66211

(913) 327-8192

info@mchekc.org

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