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

The Shoah Foundation Story

Watch our video introduction to learn about the Institute's history and its current mission at the University of Southern California.

Latest News

It was really just a coincidence that in her efforts to reduce racism, hatred, and violence, some of Ceci Chan’s earliest work with USC Shoah Foundation involved the Nanjing Massacre. Chan, a strategic investor and philanthropist, had been funding projects around Holocaust education for 13 years when she met USC Shoah Foundation Finci-Viterbi Executive Director Stephen Smith at a Shabbat dinner while both were attending the USC Global Conference in Hong Kong in the fall of 2011. Read More
Thursday, November 4, 2021 - 10:36am
When the Coronavirus pandemic banished students and teachers from classrooms in March 2020, Liza Manoyan scrambled to shift to distance learning. Figuring out the technology was one thing. But she faced another challenge. “There are not a lot of digital resources for teaching in Armenian,” she said. Read More
Tuesday, November 2, 2021 - 5:12pm
The Willesden Project, a partnership program of USC Shoah Foundation and Hold On To Your Music, today announced a new collaboration with the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) to promote literacy and education through a variety of programs and activities over this school year. Read More
Friday, October 29, 2021 - 12:57pm
November 9 and 10 marks the anniversary of the 1938 Kristallnacht (“The Night of Broken Glass”) pogrom, the first major public and government-sanctioned display of antisemitic violence against Jews in Germany. Orchestrated by the Nazis in retaliation for the assassination of a German embassy official in Paris by a seventeen-year-old Jewish youth named Herschel Grynzspan, 1,400 synagogues and 7,000 businesses were destroyed, almost 100 Jews were killed, and 30,000 were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Read More
Friday, October 29, 2021 - 10:08am
Holocaust Survivor Judah Samet first gave testimony to USC Shoah Foundation in 1997. In 2019, as part of the CATT testimony collection, he spoke to us again. This time Judah wasn’t talking about his experiences in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. Read More
Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - 1:33pm
USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education (USC Shoah Foundation), and Discovery Education today announced the winners of the 2021 Stronger Than Hate Challenge. The 2021 winners exemplify the power of youth voices to connect communities and the role of social-emotional learning in empowering students to overcome hate. Read More
Monday, October 18, 2021 - 11:26am

Creative Storytelling

Our storytelling projects are both based on and inspired by the more than 55,000 testimonies in the Institute’s archive. They offer a deeper look into the emotional complexities of our survivor stories and told through the written word, video, audio and photography. They are opportunities 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.

The Willesden Project

Inspired by the power of story to transform lives, this groundbreaking initiative available in IWitness combines testimony, technology and music to reshape Holocaust education.

Our 2020 Annual Report is Available

See how your support helped us make a measurable change.

You can help us make a difference
Our education programs bring the voices of survivors into classrooms, impacting future generations to build a better world based on empathy, understanding and respect.