Steven Spielberg, the founder of USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education, dedicated a plaque Thursday that honors the members of the Institute’s Founder’s Circle.
The unveiling took place at the Universal Studios lot the day after the successful Ambassadors for Humanity gala the Institute hosts each year.
On hand for the brief ceremony were not only members of the Founder’s Circle, but also the Institute’s Board of Councilors and Next Generation Council.
The Founder’s Circle comprises those who have been invaluable supporters of the institute over the past 20 years. The Institute, which was formed in 1994, is commemorating its 20th anniversary this year.
The unveiling was a bittersweet moment for Spielberg, who said he was confident the Institute would still be thriving in the next 20 years, but also expressed sadness that such a place would always be necessary.
And while he said he was surprised at how quickly two decades have elapsed, he thanked those who helped make the Institute a successful academic and educational resource.
“It’s easy to say it’s hard to believe that we’re still standing after 20 years, but knowing all of you who began this with me and knowing all of you who have continued our work, it doesn’t surprise me that we’re still around because there’s one thing we all share in common: We have have dedication to tikkun olam — fixing the world. Whether we’re Jews or we’re not Jews, we have all come to realize that everybody has a voice, everybody can make a difference, and the worst thing we can do is to do nothing. And this is the least do-nothing crowd I’ve ever seen in my life.”
When completed, the plaque will be installed at the Institute on USC campus.