Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust


The Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust was originally established on June 16, 1999. It is a Touro-wide center that covers the full spectrum of Touro University’s many contributions to the field of human rights education and embodies Touro’s deep commitment to developing and conveying the lessons of the Holocaust.  On July 20, 2007 the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council granted the Institute special consultative status with the UN, thus providing it with unique access to global decision-makers and increasing the reach of the Institute’s message.


The Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust aims to understand, explore and evaluate contemporary mechanisms for protecting human rights and the rule of law in view of the lessons of the Holocaust and its aftermath.  Its purpose is to promote tolerance through educational programs and activities.  The Institute aims to improve our understanding of the importance of the promotion of human rights and freedoms. 

The Institute, therefore, has a dual purpose: to remember the Holocaust and its affect on the Jewish people and to use its lessons to promote human rights for all peoples. Its goals reflect the dual mission of Touro University:  to strengthen Jewish life and perpetuate the Judaic tradition on the college campus, and at the same time, to help build a better society for all through educational opportunities.

United Nations Related Activities 

The Institute's formal UN NGO accreditation allows the Institute's staff and students to attend UN meetings and to present oral and written statements at designated sessions.  In particular, Institute staff and students regularly follow the work of the United Nations concerning human rights, antisemitism, Holocaust education and Israel. Alerts on significant UN developments are sent regularly to thousands of journalists and subscribers. 


Anne BayefskyThe Director of the Institute, Professor Anne Bayefsky, is a leading expert in the field of international human rights law and combating anti-semitism. Professor Bayefsky has been a Professor at Touro University since 2005. Professor Bayefsky has served on many delegations to the UN with the government of Canada and various non-governmental organizations since 1984. She is a member of the International Law Association Committee on Human Rights Law and Practice, and Editor-in-Chief of the series "Refugees and Human Rights", published by Brill Academic Publishers. She is the author or editor of 11 books in the field of human rights. She holds a B.A., M.A. and LL.B. from the University of Toronto, an M.Litt. from Oxford University, and is a member of the Ontario Bar. You can contact her at at


Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust