Midwest Center for Holocaust Education, Inc.
5801 W. 115th St.
Suite 106
Overland Park KS 66211-1800
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (913) 3278191
Mission Statement
The Midwest Center for Holocaust Education (MCHE) teaches the history of the Holocaust, applying its lessons to counter indifference, intolerance, and genocide.
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Jean G. Zeldin
Board Chair Mr. Steve Flekier
Board Chair Company Affiliation CPA - CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1993
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement The Midwest Center for Holocaust Education (MCHE) teaches the history of the Holocaust, applying its lessons to counter indifference, intolerance, and genocide.
Background Statement
Holocaust survivors Isak Federman (of blessed memory) and Jack Mandelbaum founded the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education (MCHE) in 1993. Located at the Jewish Community Campus in Overland Park, MCHE reaches and teaches both youths and adults through school and community outreach programs, often offered in cooperation with other non-profits. In this way, MCHE builds bridges to the non-Jewish community. This priority is reflected in 26-member our board of directors, eight of whom are not Jewish.
MCHE is a member of the Association of Holocaust Organizations (AHO). Jean Zeldin, MCHE’s founding Executive Director, serves on the AHO board of directors, providing her with access to renowned to scholars and a network of other Holocaust education centers. She also serves on the Kansas Holocaust Commission, which plans the state observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day each spring. 
Although MCHE is not a museum, we do sponsor and/or co-sponsor traveling exhibitions with community partners. 
Impact Statement
  1. Added 14 portraits to our photographic collection of Holocaust survivors --- including five of Russian speakers who endured both Nazism and Communism --- and displayed these in the Jewish Community Campus Gallery.
  2. Launched a Living Voices series, one-actor multi-media performances exploring the experiences of minority groups still marginalized in our society. This is offered in partnership with the Jewish Community Center in conjunction with their Wall of Diversity art project. Presentations are also scheduled at the American Jazz Museum and at Guadalupe Center. 
  3. New initiative: "pop up" monument tours focusing on text and images on the Memorial to the Six Million at the Jewish Community Campus. This is an outgrowth of the featured program from the 2017 Holocaust Remembrance Service.


Goals for this year:
  1. Plan for our 25th anniversary celebration, scheduled for October 28, 2018, offering 25 programs prior to that event.   
  2. Display our full collection of survivor portraits under the title "Honoring the Past." 
  3. Offer a regional academic conference.
  4. Revisit the mission and goals for our teaching cadre.
  5. Increase participation in our Certificate in Holocaust Studies program for college and university students.
Needs Statement
  1. Secure major sponsors for our 25th Anniversary Celebration, including a $50,000 presenting sponsor.
  2. Secure underwriting for the 2017-2018 White Rose Student Essay Contest (approximately $7,500)
  3. Develop a new 3-year strategic plan, including a succession plan to be implemented during 2019
  4. Develop strategies for engaging schools in the urban core
Service Categories
Educational Services
Areas of Service
KS - Lawrence
KS - Wyandotte County
MO - Jackson County
MO - Clay County
MO - Platte County
KS - Johnson County
MO - Cass County
MO - Liberty
KS - Leavenworth County
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
MO - Cass County
MO - Eastern Jackson Co
Our immediate audience is drawn from the Greater Kansas City  area, but we are increasingly serving schools beyond those boundaries. Eligibility for our essay contest, once limited to the metro area, now extends from eastern Kansas through western Missouri, and our director of education has conducted workshops in Abilene and Hays, Kansas, and in Jefferson City, Missouri.  Upon request, we have arranged skyped presentations by children of Holocaust survivors.
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
MCHE is dedicated to ensuring that our children and their children remember and apply lessons of the Holocaust and continue to honor the memory of the survivors. This responsibility becomes more critical as the number of eyewitnesses diminishes, but through their recorded testimonies and presentations by their children, we strive to maintain the personal connections to this history. As the Holocaust becomes more distant, it is critically important to ensure the accuracy and preservation of Holocaust memory, securing its place in history and applying its lessons. 
I am most proud of two particular areas:
  1. Recording and utilizing narratives by Holocaust survivors, both in print and orally. These are dynamic documents. From them, we have produced 8 films, worked with The Kansas City Star to create a coffee-table book, and posted 73 testimonies to our website.  Full length testimonies are available for on-site viewing at our library, which includes a witness archive.
  2. Our second major success is the breadth and depth of partnerships we have developed over 24 years with other community nonprofits. These include most major arts organizations, at least 8 universities, the Truman and Eisenhower Presidential museums, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, American Jazz Museum, National World War I Museum, National Archives at Kansas City, and Union Station.
A looming challenge is to develop a succession plan that will provide for a smooth transition of leadership sometime in 2019, allowing adequate opportunity for a transfer of information and processes.
Description The Midwest Center for Holocaust Education engages professional educators as volunteers in the Isak Federman Holocaust Teaching Cadre as our ambassadors of Holocaust education. Meeting monthly, they have served as teacher trainers, curriculum designers, bloggers, and as an educational focus group. In addition, MCHE offers graduate level courses and after-school workshops covering both pedagogy and historical content.
Program Budget $70,000.00
Category Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Population Served Adults, ,
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success
    1. Cadre members will become familiar enough with individual experiences of local survivors whose testimonies were recorded by MCHE tol share these stories with other teachers and with the community.
    2. We will expand cadre membership and improve attendance at meetings.
    3. Educators enrolling in our courses will complete evaluations, indicating an average satisfaction rate of 4 out of 5 when asked whether they learned new information and whether the course met their expectations. 
    Long-Term Success
    1. MCHE's teaching cadre has been in existence since 1995. Through retirements and resignations, we have maintained a core of committed educators who volunteer as mentors to others and serve as our primary focus group and sounding boards on matters regarding teacher education.  
    2. To meet the needs of classroom educators, we conduct bi-annual, online surveys of secondary school teachers. Based on their most recent feedback, we have made changes to our course structure. For those programs, our goal is that participants will avail themselves of other MCHE programs and resources. 
    Program Success Monitored By

    Statistics are compiled from written evaluations at the end of each course. 

    In the case of the cardre, we track attendance and completion of tasks. Of late, despite holding individual conferences with cadre members last summer (2016), we are experiencing a downward turn in attendance, and the current project timeline was extended to accommodate slower performance than anticipated. During our strategic planning process, we will address these issues, which may be part of an overall morale and burnout problem among teachers in general. 
    Examples of Program Success
    Since 2000, MCHE has been recognized by the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous in New York as a Center of Excellence. This qualifies us to receive special resources from the JFR and to recommend educators to attend their summer institute in New York. In addition, several Holocaust centers nationwide have adopted our model and formed their own teaching cadres. 
    The Midwest Center for Holocaust Education offers a free multi-part monthly program series featuring films that focus on a particular Holocaust theme.  We welcome sponsors for either the series ($500-$1,000) or for individual films ($150).                    
    Program Budget $12,000.00
    Category Education, General/Other Education, General/Other
    Population Served Adults, ,
    Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
    Program Frequently Assessed Yes
    Short-Term Success Viewing these films in the context of an educational setting, with introductions and discussion led by our public historian, will add to each person’s understanding not only of the Holocaust but also of the changing nature of how American culture has approached this history. One may view earlier films and wonder how much Americans actually knew about what was happening. Those produced just after the war may have examined antisemitism without showing the true horror of what happened. Even more recent films based on unrealistic characters or situations may be viewed as attempts to avoid the reality that by then had come to be known as the Holocaust. Providing both Jews and non-Jews with this viewing perspective contributes to a greater understanding of Jewish history and how it is represented.
    Long-Term Success As part of MCHE’s ongoing outreach efforts to educate the community about the nature and importance of Holocaust memory, the film series represents an appealing and publicly accessible vehicle for engaging individuals of diverse interests and backgrounds. If successful, this project will reach beyond our traditional audiences, serving as an entry point for individuals to utilize other services and resources that MCHE offers. 
    Program Success Monitored By
    Since reservations are recommended, we are able to record emails and oftentimes addresses of attendees and add them to our newsletter and e-blast recipient lists. 
    Audience members will be asked to complete short online surveys to assess what new information or perspectives they acquired as a result of coming to the events and what types of films and programs they would like to see MCHE offer in the future. These will be compiled by MCHE staff and shared with the board of directors. 
    Last year's survey indicated that the free nature of the series (with free snacks) appealed to the vast majority of the attendees and that they would prefer that we show the films in the social hall rather than in the theater, which would necessitate a ticket cost. 
    Examples of Program Success
    • At least 75% of respondents will indicate that the films and/or discussions provided them with new information.
    • At least 20 new constituents will be added to our email data base as a result of online registrations.  
    In February 2016, MCHE offered its first adult education series, taught for 5 consecutive weeks by our public historian, Dr. Shelly Cline. The topic that year focused on ghettos. Based on demand, we are offering both a fall and spring course this year. We are completing the fall course that examined various types of documents. The spring course, which we expect to be fully subscribed, is "Auschwitz and Beyond: A Comparative Look at the Camp System."
    Program Budget $14,000.00
    Category Education, General/Other Adult Education
    Population Served Adults, ,
    Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
    Program Frequently Assessed Yes
    Short-Term Success Those enrolled in the course will complete online surveys to assess what they learned, their overall satisfaction with the course and the presenter, and their suggestions for future topics. Future enrollment will be a factor in determining the program's success. 
    Long-Term Success Demand will continue for the course and those completing the class will attend future MCHE programs.
    Program Success Monitored By A written evaluation will assess the short term goal. Reservation records for other programs, including future Lunch and Learn courses, will serve as documentation of future program interest. 
    Examples of Program Success
    • Short term: Those completing the course will indicate learning and satisfaction levels of 4 out of 5.  
    • Long term: 50% of those completing the course will attend another MCHE program within 12 months. 

    Adult children of Holocaust survivors describe their parents' experiences, either at individual schools or as a panel presentation for school groups at the Jewish Community Campus. Many incorporate Power Points and/or portions of their parents' narratives in their presentations, thus personalizing the accounts by reflecting the faces and voices of the survivors.

    Individual presentations are also offered for civic, corporate and religious groups upon request. 
    There is no charge to the schools for programs at their institutions. Twice annually, MCHE offers Second Generation panels at our location, and for this, the schools are charged a minimal fee per student to assure their attendance. The program budget allows for those to be presented in the White Theatre of the Jewish Community Center, where there are additional costs.   
    Program Budget $5,500.00
    Category Education, General/Other Educational Programs
    Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years), ,
    Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
    Program Frequently Assessed Yes
    Short-Term Success Ideally, students will develop greater compassion for those who experienced the Holocaust and for those who are victims today of bigotry and hatred. These presentations can also help students counter claims by Holocaust deniers.
    Long-Term Success Due to the declining population of Holocaust survivors, our center transitioned nearly a decade ago from a survivor-based speakers bureau to one that is comprised solely of their children. While it took time and effort on our part to convince teachers of the importance of this perspective, these speakers are now in demand.  Panel programs in the spring have been fully subscribed, and we have engaged additional volunteers to accommodate the growing demand. Because teachers need to provide us with information about their Holocaust curriculum, this program is not viewed simply as "entertainment" or a random field trip. Rather, it is meant to build upon their classroom instruction, encouraging better preparation for students. 
    Program Success Monitored By Anecdotal data by which to measure the success of this program includes attendance and attentiveness of the students. Additionally, students often write notes to the speakers and teachers often participate in other programs offered by the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education. 
    Examples of Program Success
    We will reach at least 3 new schools during any given academic year. 
    Description This annual contest, launched in 1995, encourages students in grades 8 through 12 to submit document-based essays of up to 1,200 words on a given theme, which changes annually. Essays are judged in two categories: 8-9 grade and 10-12. From the preliminary round, ten papers advance to the blue ribbon round and from there, the top 3 winners in each category are determined at a conference of judges. Contestants and their teachers are honored at a reception in May, at which first, second, and third place are announced. Each receives a cash prize, and the school represented by the top winner at each level receives a collection of Holocaust-related resources. Teachers receive vouchers that may be applied to either professional development or resource purchases. 
    Program Budget $7,500.00
    Category Education, General/Other Educational Programs
    Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years), ,
    Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
    Program Frequently Assessed Yes
    Short-Term Success
    Students will gain practice is writing document-based essays and adhering to strict requirements.  
    Teachers will be encouraged to include the Holocaust in their curricula and to encourage their students to enter the contest. Educators will see the contest as a way to address state educational standards such as document analysis and distinguishing fact from fiction. 
    Parents who attend the reception will become acquainted with the work of MCHE. 
    Volunteer judges will learn more about the Holocaust by reading and evaluating student papers.  
    Long-Term Success Students who participate in the essay contest will become life-long learners on the Holocaust and better understand the experiences of individual victims. 
    Program Success Monitored By
    Judges are asked to assess the judging process and to identify outstanding quotes from student papers. 
    We conduct an analysis of participation by new schools and reach out to those not participating.  
    Anecdotally, judges share their thoughts on the quality of the essays.  
    Examples of Program Success
    For many schools not previously involved in MCHE programs, the contest provides a gateway into a study of the Holocaust. 
    We have built a loyal cadre of volunteer judges, some of whom have participated every year and look forward to the experience.  
    CEO Comments
    Ongoing programs include an annual essay contest, an academic round table of college and university professors, and teacher education, including graduate level courses and a volunteer cadre of professional educators who serve as teacher-trainers. We also offer special lectures and exhibits as well as programs to honor survivors and commemorate milestone events. Our resource center houses over 3,000 titles which are available for free loan, including testimonies by local survivors.

    We publish a semi-annual newsletter and are on the web at www.mchekc.org. MCHE has created resources to preserve local connections to the Holocaust: videotaped testimonies, documentary film based on survivor testimonies, a photographic exhibit published in book form (From the Heart) by Kansas City Star Books, and “Mosaic of Memories,” a CD-ROM that provides an overview of the Holocaust through faces and experiences of survivors from our community. Writing projects have included those for survivors (The Memory Project) and their children and grandchildren (Collective Voices).
    To meet teachers' changing needs, we reconfigured and updated our 150-pound resource chests and now offer collections of resources in "roller bags" that teachers may borrow for up to 4 weeks. Each is organized around one of three themes most often the key elements in area classrooms: Elie Wiesel's "Night," Anne Frank, and local survivor testimony. 
    In this time of rising antisemitism and hate speech, these programs and others remind us of the consequences of apathy, inaction, and unchallenged bigotry. Since most of our constituents are non-Jews, we have the opportunity to dispel myths and misinformation by educating them about Jewish history and tradition, exploring not only the atrocities of the Holocaust but also prewar Jewish culture and the resilience of those who survived.
    Executive Director/CEO
    Executive Director Mrs. Jean G. Zeldin
    Term Start Aug 1993
    Compensation $100,001 - $125,000
    Jean Zeldin, MCHE’s founding executive director, is a career educator, holding a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She taught junior high and middle school social studies and language arts for 24 years in the Shawnee Mission School District and (concurrently) served as principal of The New Reform Temple Sunday School.
    As a volunteer, Jean chaired an adult literacy program at the Gillis Home for the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri and served on the board of directors and as chair of the education committee for the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy. In her professional capacity, Jean serves as treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Association of Holocaust Organizations and as an appointed member of the Kansas Holocaust Commission.
    Co-CEO/Executive Director
    Term Start 0
    Compensation Last Year
    Senior Staff
    Title Director of School Programs and Teacher Education
    Experience/Biography Jessica Rockhold, School Outreach Coordinator (2003): B.A. European History and M.A. Museum Studies, (emphasis in Holocaust history), University of Kansas; Research Intern, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Title Public Historian
    Paid Full-Time Staff 3
    Paid Part-Time Staff 2
    Volunteers 75
    Paid Contractors 3
    Retention Rate 80%
    Staff Diversity (Gender)
    Female 5
    Male 0
    Formal Evaluations
    CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
    CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Bi-Annually
    Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
    Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
    Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
    Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
    Plans & Policies
    Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Under Development
    Organization Has a Strategic Plan Under Development
    Management Succession Plan Under Development
    Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
    Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
    Whistleblower Policy Yes
    Document Destruction Policy No
    We participate with other area nonprofits on specific programs. These partners have included the National Archives at Kansas City, National World War I Museum, Truman Presidential Museum and Library, Eisenhower Library, Center for Practical Bioethics, University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Kansas, Kansas City Art Institute, Coterie Theatre, and the Kansas City Public Library. We are a partner agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City and an active member of the Association of Holocaust Organizations.
    Center of ExcellenceJewish Foundation for the Righteous0
    Philly Award - Unique Concept for Collective VoicesNonProfit Connect2012
    Government Licenses
    Is your organization licensed by the government? No
    CEO Comments
    Our greatest challenge, of course, is the diminishing survivor population, which currently numbers just under 50. While nothing will replace first person testimony and having eyewitnesses speak directly to young people and adults, we have been preparing for this time since our founding through oral testimonies, photography and writing projects,  involvement of children of survivors in our speakers bureau, and posting of 73 testimonies by local Holocaust survivors on our website. 
    In these divisive times, the Holocaust has become more relevant as a touchstone for understanding the outcomes of unchallenged bigotry. While no one historical event is "just like" any other and hatred does not necessarily lead to genocide, we can explore the early stages of Nazism as a means of identifying warning signs that may result in tragic consequences for any marginalized group. Learning about the Holocaust is a reference point for taking action when those signs first appear. 
    Board Chair
    Board Chair Mr. Steve Flekier
    Company Affiliation CPA - CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
    Term June 2017 to June 2019
    Email Steve.Flekier@claconnect.com>
    Board Members
    Mrs. Alice Jacks Achtenberg Attorney - Department of Labor
    Mrs. Robynn Andraczek Burns and McDonnell
    Mr. Christopher Beal Public Policy and Advocacy, Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals
    Mrs. Stacy Van Der Tuuk Benson Educator
    Mrs. Susan Bernstein Community Volunteer
    Mrs. Cathy Blake Retired Educator
    Mr. Steve Cole Businessman
    Ms. Katherine DeBruce Community Volunteer
    Mr. Steve Flekier CPA - CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
    Mrs. Gail Gutovitz Retired Educator
    Mr. G. Richard Hastings Retired CEO, St. Luke's Health System
    Mrs. Stephanie Herman Community Volunteer
    Dr. Eddie Herman Retired
    Mrs. Jackie Hermanson American Century Investments
    Mrs. Joyce Hess Controller - Mission Hills Country Club
    Ms. Barbra Porter Hill Community Volunteer
    Mr. Lynn C Hoover Retired
    Mrs. Laurie Horn
    Mrs. Kerry Kuluva Preschool Teacher
    Mrs. Sharon Epstein Pase Pase Insurance
    Dr. Ronald Sleptiza President, Avila University
    Mr. David Sosland Photographer
    Mrs. Rita Sudhalter Retired Educator
    Mrs. Evy Tilzer Community Volunteer
    Mr. Chuck Udell
    Mr. Karl Zobrist Attorney - Sonnenschein
    Board Demographics - Ethnicity
    African American/Black 1
    Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
    Caucasian 25
    Hispanic/Latino 0
    Native American/American Indian 0
    Other 0
    Board Demographics - Gender
    Male 10
    Female 16
    Unspecified 0
    Board Term Lengths 2
    Board Term Limits 3
    Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
    Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
    Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
    Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 0%
    Constituency Includes Client Representation No
    Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 5
    Standing Committees
    Board Development / Board Orientation
    Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
    CEO Comments
    In the case of the death or disability of the executive director, the president of the board shall assume those duties until a suitable replacement can be hired or until the executive director is able to return to her duties. Beginning in July 2017, we will develop a succession plan, to be implemented sometime in 2019. 
    Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2017
    Fiscal Year End June 30, 2018
    Projected Revenue $420,876
    Projected Expenses $420,090
    Endowment Value $1,814,596
    Spending Policy Percentage
    Percentage 5
    Foundation Comments
    • FYE 6/30/2016, 2015, 2014: Financial data reported using the IRS Form 990.
    • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
    Detailed Financials
    Expense Allocation
    Fiscal Year201620152014
    Program Expense$227,650$350,217$225,227
    Administration Expense$160,132$133,143$182,253
    Fundraising Expense$28,591$12,245$16,659
    Payments to Affiliates------
    Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.611.041.29
    Program Expense/Total Expenses55%71%53%
    Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue13%4%4%
    Assets and Liabilities
    Fiscal Year201620152014
    Total Assets$2,411,516$2,599,208$2,687,031
    Current Assets$81,614$165,635$164,399
    Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
    Current Liabilities$867$7,372$871
    Total Net Assets$2,410,649$2,591,836$2,686,160
    Short-Term Solvency
    Fiscal Year201620152014
    Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities94.1322.47188.75
    Long-Term Solvency
    Fiscal Year201620152014
    Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
    Top Funding Sources
    Fiscal Year201620152014
    Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountJewish Federation of Greater Kansas City $37,500 -- --
    Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountAnonymous $10,000 -- --
    Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountAnonymous $10,000 -- --
    Capital Campaign
    Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
    Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
    Organization Comments
    Our audit for fiscal year 2017 begins on November 13. Financial information for fiscal year 2016 is the most recent available. 
    In addition to the permanent endowment, we have a "board-designated" endowment valued at $402,673 as of June 30, 2016. Funds from this pool may be allocated to the annual budget by the board of directors when a deficit is anticipated or realized. With no special fundraiser planned during this fiscal year, use of the contingency funds depends upon our success with grant applications and membership.
    Organization Name Midwest Center for Holocaust Education, Inc.
    Address 5801 W. 115th St.
    Suite 106
    Overland Park, KS 662111800
    Primary Phone (913) 3278191
    Contact Email Info@mchekc.org
    CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Jean G. Zeldin
    Board Chair Mr. Steve Flekier
    Board Chair Company Affiliation CPA - CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
    Year of Incorporation 1993