Impact of Giving

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Your gifts to USC Shoah Foundation make real-world impact across the Institute’s programs and around the world. Learn more about a few of the people touched by the Institute’s work made possible because of generous donors.

  • Student

    Andres Ruiz

    Andres Ruiz, a high school sophomore from Lynwood, Calif., is a member of the Institute’s William P. Lauder Junior Intern Program for middle and high school students.

    Junior Interns meet monthly, either virtually or in-person, and use IWitness as a platform to study the attitudes that breed hatred and intolerance, how they can spread positive moral authority and how to use the Institute’s testimony collection to become active participants in civil society.

    Ruiz hopes to use what he’s learned through the program to make a positive impact on his community. “This program will help me contribute to small problems in our community and hopefully also help others realize that there’s more than one story to everyone,” Ruiz said.

    Ruiz hopes to study aerospace engineering and bring change to the world through a scientific lens. “Testimony has changed the way I look at people,” he said. “Now I look at people with many stories, not just one.”

  • Educator

    Tori Blackburn

    Alabama teacher Tori Blackburn and her seventh grade history and geography class at Pratville Christian Academy participated in USC Shoah Foundation’s 100 Days to Inspire Respect in 2017.

    Throughout the initiative, USC Shoah Foundation released a new educational resource each day on its educational website IWitness. The activities addressed themes of tolerance, human rights and empathy.

    Her students completed activities throughout the 100-day initiative and appreciated the opportunity to learn about the issues genocide survivors faced on a daily basis. Blackburn said the initiative’s message and resources were especially powerful for middle school students who struggle with bullying and accepting others.

    “It makes them look at things from a different perspective, not just the ‘me’ perspective,” she said. “That’s the biggest thing I think they’re going to get out of it, learning to be more empathetic to others.”

  • Donor

    Suzi Weiss-Fischmann

    Suzi Weiss-Fischmann supports USC Shoah Foundation’s Master Teacher program to help reverse the rising antisemitism and intolerance in her native country of Hungary. She wants no one else to ever suffer the way her mother, a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, did—or to endure an even worse fate like those family members she never knew.

    USC Shoah Foundation’s Master Teacher program in Hungary incorporates workshops, mentoring and community building to prepare educators to search for and utilize testimony from the Visual History Archive®, as well as other digital learning tools such as IWitness.

    Weiss-Fischmann believes learning directly from educators equipped with Institute training and resources can offset the negative influences of social media by promoting face-to-face dialogue. “There has to be a human connection, so young people can listen, learn and talk through their feelings,” Weiss-Fischmann says. “Programs like this are more important than ever, and USC Shoah Foundation’s work is just beginning.”

  • Researcher

    Teresa Walch

    Teresa Walch, Ph.D. candidate in modern European History at UC San Diego and recipient of USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research’s inaugural Robert J. Katz Research Fellowship in Genocide Studies, used testimony from the Visual History Archive to support the writing of her dissertation about Jewish spaces in Holocaust-era Germany. Watch her lecture.

    “As time goes on, we’re losing the ability to be able to speak to survivors,” Walch said. “I think they’re fantastic resources and it really brought the history to a personal level.”

    The Robert J. Katz Research Fellowship in Genocide Studies enables an advanced-standing Ph.D. candidate to spend up to a month in residence at USC Shoah Foundation each year. “To be at a center here at USC Shoah Foundation – it’s amazing, the resources I have and the connections I can make,” Walch said. “It’s really a fantastic place for me as a young historian to be.”

What your donation supports

Every donation counts, no matter how small. These are an example of some of the programs your donation supports.