USC Shoah Foundation will toast the humanitarian work of actor George Clooney at its Ambassadors for Humanity gala on Thursday, but it will also offer two unique showcases of its educational work in schools around the world.
This year’s Ambassadors for Humanity gala will be held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The evening is hosted by Jon Stewart with a special appearance by Sandra Bullock and a musical performance by Norah Jones. Clooney will receive USC Shoah Foundation’s Ambassador for Humanity award.
Before the gala’s cocktail hour, USC Shoah Foundation board members will attend the classroom experience “An Enduring Voice: A Father’s Legacy for Education” at The Computer School in Manhattan. Sandy Rubenstein, a USC Shoah Foundation Master Teacher from Horace Mann School and the daughter of Holocaust survivors, will share with New York-area students clips of her father’s testimony from the Visual History Archive. Rubenstein’s presentation is an opportunity for board members to witness the powerful impact testimony from the Visual History Archive can have in classrooms.
At the cocktail hour before the gala, all guests will be able to meet students who are using IWitness right in New York City. Brooklyn English teacher Liz Bommarito assigned her senior students at Midwood High School the IWitness Video Challenge, which invites students to create videos telling the story of how the testimonies in IWitness inspired them to do something positive in their own communities. The five students with the best videos, as voted by the class, will attend the gala. At the cocktail hour, the students will mingle with guests and show their winning videos on tablets.
IWitness is USC Shoah Foundation’s award-winning educational website. It contains 1,300 testimonies from the Visual History Archive, activities and a built-in video editor for students to create their own projects. The Visual History Archive contains 52,000 testimonies of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides. The testimonies were conducted in 57 countries and in 33 languages.