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FAQs about hosting a member of the Speakers Bureau

Who are the speakers?

Our Speakers Bureau includes Holocaust survivors and Legacy Speakers. Legacy Speakers are children and grandchildren of survivors, children of liberators, and children of rescuers (Righteous Among the Nations). Learn more about our speakers at the “Meet the Speakers” web page.  Please note that we cannot guarantee specific speakers; please do not request specific individuals in your application.

What does a Speakers Bureau presentation consist of?

Speakers share their memories, or those of their family members, of the Holocaust with students. These stories may include experiences of discrimination, segregation, separation from and loss of family, life in hiding, the ghettos, concentration camps, liberation, and immigration. Although many speakers are well informed about some aspects of the Holocaust outside of their own experiences or those of their family, few are expert historians. Their presentations are offered as personal, eyewitness accounts. Most are accompanied by visual aids in the form of PowerPoints with primary sources, photos, maps, and video clips.

Why should I book a speaker?

Outcomes for students: From our extensive work with students, we know that hearing personal stories from survivors or Legacy Speakers is the most powerful way to learn about the Holocaust.

How long is a presentation?

Presentations are, at minimum, about 40 minutes long. The longest talks can be over an hour. We recommend at least 10-15 additional minutes for Q&A with the speaker, meaning a presentation time frame must be, at the very least, 50 minutes (this does not include set-up time and time to introduce the speaker).

When can a speaker be booked?

Speakers can usually be booked to start their presentation anytime from 9 AM to 7 PM on most dates except major federal and major religious (primarily Jewish) holidays.

Who are the presentations suitable for?

Groups of 20 or more, students of grades 5 and above, as well as adult groups.

What is the fee?

Speaker fee is usually just reimbursement of travel expenses, often gas mileage. Hosts will receive an invoice from the Holocaust Center, and payment must be submitted to the Center, which in turn reimburses speakers quarterly. If a speaker needs to travel a longer distance by car or plane, appropriate overnight lodging and meals should be provided by the host organization. An honorarium in addition to travel expenses is encouraged, especially for businesses and adult groups, but optional. Typical honoraria are anywhere between $25 and $200.

How do I book a speaker?

Please apply to host a speaker by submitting an Application Form. If you have questions or concerns about booking details, please contact Julia Thompson, Education Resource Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

How do I best prepare students?

The Holocaust Center has many resources for this! Borrow a Teaching Trunk, schedule a field trip, use other materials and lessons available on our website, and review the “Preparing and Debriefing Students” document found here.

What can I do if I’m not able to bring a speaker to my school or community, but still want to share a firsthand story?

In some cases a speaker can present virtually via Skype or similar video chat. The Holocaust Center’s website also has dozens of survivor stories and video clips to explore, watch, and learn from.

Can speakers do interviews with students, or one-on-one projects?

On a case-by-case basis, the Center can help arrange for a speaker to meet with one student or a small group. Please contact us for more information.

How can students, teachers, or others get more involved with the Holocaust Center?

There are many ways to get involved. Use our other resources, consider joining the Student Leadership Board, Teacher Advisory Board, or Board of Directors. Train to become a docent at the Center, or volunteer at events. Spread the word and encourage your peers and colleagues to host a speaker!

Can I become a member of your Speakers Bureau?

The Center is always working with potential speakers to develop and research their stories and presentations. Due to the intensive process, there may be a waitlist to work with Center staff to join the Bureau. Learn more with this informational handout, or contact Laurie Warshal Cohen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Questions?

Email Julia Thompson, Education Resource Coordinator - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The development of Legacy Speakers is made possible with the generous support of Debbie Killinger; the Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, Inc; and the Norcliffe Foundation. Funding for Women's' Voices in History was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.