WEDU Volunteer Questionnaire

To help you learn your family stories
(If you have any questions, please email us at

To ensure the success of the program, it is important that each volunteer is prepared and comfortable in discussing his or her family story. We have created a questionnaire that will help you organize your family story.

This questionnaire is mapped into two distinct sections: your Family Story, and your own Personal Experience. In the Family Story section, there are questions about your grandparent’s experiences before, during and after the Holocaust.

These stories are not exclusive to grandparents. You are welcome to learn and tell the story of any family member. You are also welcome to use more than one form for multiple family members.

If necessary, find out details about life for your grandparent(s) and their family before, during and after the Holocaust. The following can help guide you in learning your family story:

Please provide as much detail as possible

1) Please state the name(s) of your grandparent(s) who survived.

2) Where did your grandparent(s) live in Europe before the war? Be as specific as possible.
(consider: urban, rural, traditional, cosmopolitan)

3) Describe the type of life and their place in society; their professions; level of religious observance; relationship with community/neighbors.

4) Additional information:

Please provide as much detail as possible

5) When did your grandparent(s) first experience Nazi persecution? Explain in as much detail as possible.

6) How did your grandparent(s) survive the war? Please provide, in chronological order, as much detail as possible. (You may want to create a timeline to help organize this history.)

7) Describe the family circumstances during this time. (Was the family split up, deported together, in hiding together, etc.)

8.) Is there any aspect of your grandparent’s story that you wish to emphasize? (i.e. lesson they wish to convey, such as confronting intolerance)


Please provide as much detail as possible

9) Who liberated your grandparent(s)? From where were they liberated?

10) How was your grandparent’s family affected? Did the family survive intact?

11) What were your family’s options after the war? Where did they go? Why? How?

12) How did your grandparents meet?

13) How did you learn about your grandparent’s story?

14) How did you learn about the Holocaust?

15) How does your family feel about discussing the Holocaust? Has your grandparent been open in speaking about his/her experiences? Please explain.


1) Have you spoken – publicly or privately – about the Holocaust and your family’s story before? If so, please explain.

2) Do you have family artifacts (e.g. pictures, video clips, heirlooms, personal effects, documents, etc.) to share in your classroom presentation? If so, please list.

3) Additional information:


1) What do I do when I get to the school?

We will inform you who to contact and where to go before being placed in any school.

2) How will I work with the classroom teacher?

Prior to your school visit, we will arrange for you to reach out to the teacher and discuss the logistics and content of your lesson plan.

3) What if students ask a question I do not know how to answer?

If students ask a question that you are unable to answer, it is okay that you do not know the answer. Do your best to explain what you do know and try to provide additional resources that help answer the question. For Holocaust related questions, you can refer students to the Yad Vashem or United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website.

4) What if a student asks a personal question that I feel uncomfortable answering?

Be honest that you are not sure how to answer that question. You may want to ask the student to clarify the question.

5) After my visit, will I maintain a relationship with these students?

This is entirely a personal decision. You are in no way obligated to provide your personal information to students. We do encourage you to leave your personal information with the classroom teacher in case of follow-up questions.

6) How often can I volunteer?

There is no minimum participant commitment. You are able to volunteer as many times as your schedule permits. 3GNY is looking to provide our members with continual opportunities to educate others. The overall number of volunteer opportunities will be based on our organizational needs.

7) How can I provide feedback about my experience?

3GNY will follow up with each participant following their school visit. 3GNY welcomes all volunteers to provide informal feedback throughout their experience.

8.) Are there any expenses to me?

3GNY will provide all educational resources to volunteer participants. Volunteers may be responsible for their own transportation costs. Nearly all schools are accessible via New York City and MTA transit.

9) How long is each school visit?

Generally we ask that volunteers arrive thirty minutes before their first presentation. Each lesson is tailored to last 45 minutes. You should specify how many classes you want to present to in one day.

10) Do I go alone?

3GNY is happy to pair participants up with a 3GNY organizer.