Our mission is to develop empathy, understanding and respect through testimony.

Through our research and educational programs, the Institute harnesses the power of its archive of personal testimonies from witnesses to genocide in order to do our part to build a better world.

Latest News

We are very saddened to learn of the passing of our dear friend and valued colleague Dr. Sharon Gillerman on November 20, 2020, at the age of 60.   Sharon was a scholar in Jewish history on faculty at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC) and at USC for more than 20 years. Her scholarship focused on modern German and central European Jewish history with a particular interest in gender history, cultural studies, popular culture, and transnational history.   
Tuesday, November 24, 2020 - 10:54pm
During Florida’s Holocaust Education Week, 12,000 students and educators from school districts across the state experienced a livestreamed theatrical performance and concert with author and virtuoso concert pianist Mona Golabek. A recording of the broadcast can be viewed on Facebook.
Friday, November 20, 2020 - 4:18pm
A new FBI report says hate crimes increased dramatically last year by the highest margin since 2008. Antisemitic hate crimes rose by 14 percent with a total of 953 hate crimes recorded against Jews and Jewish institutions. Reported incidents of assault, vandalism and harassment included a white supremacist shooting at a Chabad center in Poway, California, a shooting in Jersey City, New Jersey, and a stabbing in Monsey, New York.
Friday, November 20, 2020 - 12:53pm
USC Shoah Foundation has launched a path-breaking online teaching tool to enable students and educators to ask questions that prompt real-time recorded responses from Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter. The tool will be available at no cost through a new activity in the Institute’s flagship educational website, IWitness.
Wednesday, November 11, 2020 - 1:33pm
As Americans head to the polls on Election Day, Alysa Cooper, granddaughter of Holocaust Survivor Gerda Weissmann Klein, is working hard putting her grandmother’s values into practice. Alysa is Executive Director of Citizenship Counts, a non-partisan organization started by Gerda in 2008 to educate middle and high school students on citizenship and encourage them to appreciate their rights and responsibilities as Americans.
Tuesday, November 3, 2020 - 5:24pm
Over the past five years, USC Shoah Foundation has documented the stories of experts and witnesses to contemporary antisemitism as part of our Countering Antisemitism Through Testimony Program (CATT).  
Tuesday, October 27, 2020 - 2:22pm

Creative Storytelling

Our storytelling projects are both based on and inspired by the more than 55,000 testimonies in the Institute’s archive. They are a deeper look into the emotional complexities of our survivor stories and told through the written word, video, audio and photography. They are an opportunity to explore the impact that these voices have and the way in which testimony drives our understanding of conflict and grief as well as resilience, resistance and hope.

Twenty-five years ago, in October, 1995, a then 72 year-old Fanny Starr sat down in her living room in Denver, Colorado and recorded a two-hour long testimony with USC Shoah Foundation. Fanny was born as Fala Granek in 1922 in Lodz, Poland -- a diverse city where Jewish and Polish students intermingled. Her family was modern yet traditional. They spoke Polish, kept kosher, went to public school, and celebrated the Jewish holidays; she and her four siblings were assimilated in the way that many young Jewish people in the United States are today.
Friday, October 23, 2020 - 9:39am
This past May, a friend sent me an article he knew I would appreciate. It was an opinion piece in the New York Times titled “Burying My Bubby During the Pandemic” written by a comedy writer named Eitan Levine who, like me, grew up with a grandmother who survived the Holocaust. I began to read and found myself immediately wrapped inside his writing which was so honest it was cathartic. I immediately reached out to Eitan and asked if his grandmother’s testimony was in USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive.
Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 2:06pm
“I remember lots and lots of light,” Karla Ballard told me about her childhood home just outside of Philadelphia, a community called Friends of the Fairfax. “So much light. And a beautiful, long dining room table. My father was an entrepreneur and my mom was a nurse. I just remember lots of light coming into that house and having grandparents around watching us, and having Susan, Eileen, and Max — my mother’s best friends.”
Tuesday, September 8, 2020 - 2:34pm
Together We Are Stronger Than Hate
Stronger Than Hate, an initiative that draws on the power of eyewitness testimony to help students and the general public recognize and counter antisemitism, racism, xenophobia and other forms of hatred.
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Our education programs bring the voices of survivors into classrooms, impacting future generations to build a better world based on empathy, understanding and respect.