Morgan Blum Schneider, MA


Morgan has been an instrumental leader in the development and success of the Holocaust Center since 2005. She teaches seminars, mentors high school and university students through advanced fellowships, and develops curriculum. Morgan also leads educator workshops and study tours to Europe and Israel. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Clark University in history (specializing in Holocaust and genocide studies) she went on to Deakin University in Australia where she focused her Masters thesis on the forced removal of Aboriginal children as a case of genocide. A staunch advocate for innovative and interactive Holocaust education, Morgan has published several articles on the patterns of genocide, best practices for teaching the Holocaust, and the future of Holocaust education in the post-survivor era. Morgan is an active member of the San Francisco Bay Area Darfur Coalition and sits on the advisory board of the Genocide Education Project. She is a Bay Area native.

Leslie White

Director of Education

Leslie is proud to represent the JFCS Holocaust Center and hopes to inspire Bay Area students and teachers alike with her passion for Holocaust education. Most recently, Leslie was a faculty member at Tarbut V’Torah Community Day School in Irvine, where she taught Holocaust Studies and accompanied her students on study trips to Poland and Israel. Leslie received her BA in History (with a focus on Holocaust Studies) from Loyola Marymount University, where she studied under world renowned Holocaust scholar, Dr. Michael Berenbaum. Leslie has worked as a museum educator for both the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance and the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. Merging her two passions for theatre and history, she has also served as a historical consultant for multiple high school productions of “The Diary of Anne Frank,” one of which she directed herself. Leslie is a graduate of the Orange County/Long Beach Anti-Defamation League’s Glass Leadership Institute and was selected as an educational consultant for Chapman University’s Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education. She was honored to be chosen by the OC Register as one of Orange County’s Most Influential 2019 for her ongoing work with high school students in combatting antisemitism.  Leslie comes to the Bay Area from her native Southern California.

Yedida Kanfer, PhD

Director of Community Education

Yedida teaches high school students, educators, and the larger community about the Holocaust and patterns of genocide. She also manages the Tauber Holocaust Library and Archives. Prior to her position at the JFCS Holocaust Center, Yedida served as a research scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and worked for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, D.C. Yedida received her PhD in East European and Jewish history from Yale University in 2011; over the course of her studies she lived in Russia, Ukraine and Poland. Having studied Russian, Polish, Hebrew and German languages for research purposes, her favorite language is Yiddish, which she speaks and writes fluently.

Penny Savryn

Program Coordinator

Penny manages the William J. Lowenberg Survivor Speakers Bureau, working closely with Holocaust survivors and their descendants to spread their stories all over the Bay Area.  She coordinates with teachers and community organizers to ensure successful programming.  Before joining the JFCS Holocaust Center, Penny was an assistant teacher in Madrid, Spain, helping students in secondary school develop English language skills throughout their curriculum.  She has also taught writing to university and community college students.  Penny received her BA with Distinction and High Honors in History of Art from the University of Michigan and speaks Spanish fluently.


2019-2020 University Fellows

Christy David, Manovill University Fellow

Christy works with the Manovill Holocaust History Fellowship.  She is a student at the University of San Francisco where she majors in International Studies with a minor in Jewish Studies and Social Justice. She is passionate about international education, which manifests in her work at USF’s Center for Global Education, where she assists other students hoping to study abroad. She also loves research, and is currently writing an Honors Thesis on the impact of Birthright trips on college campuses across the United States.

Jessica Pate, Pell University Fellow

Jessica works with The Next Chapter.  She is currently seeking her Bachelor’s degree in History at the University of California, Berkeley. Her focus is in the social and cultural implications and aspects of history. She is interested in the patterns of genocide and the Holocaust.

Carolina Samayoa, Pell University Fellow

Carolina works with The Next Chapter. She is a student at the University of San Francisco in the Dual Degree Teaching Program, majoring in History and obtaining her Master’s in Teaching. She currently works for the John Muir Community School Beacon in the Western Addition, supporting students and their families. She is passionate about teaching and serving her community and is excited to have her own classroom soon.



The JFCS Holocaust Center is a program of Jewish Family and Children’s Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties. For more information about JFCS and its leadership, please visit

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