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

We lost a giant in the fight against hate yesterday - Karen Wells, educator from Midland High School in Pleasant Plains, Arkansas, Discovery Education DEN leader, and IWitness Master Educator and Teaching Fellow. The Institute joins her students, Discovery Education colleagues, educators worldwide, friends and her family in mourning her loss.
Monday, March 22, 2021 - 2:51pm
Today we mourn the murder of eight people in Georgia that includes six Asian women — and we are appalled by the increased acts of anti-Asian hate and violence across the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic.   The horrific events in Georgia underscore the importance of working to counter anti-Asian racism. At the outset of the pandemic last March, USC Pacific Asia Museum experienced increased acts of anti-Asian racism that spurred discussions about the need for a campus-wide initiative to confront the rising tide of identity-based hatred.   
Friday, March 19, 2021 - 9:51am
USC Shoah Foundation mourns the passing of Holocaust survivor and friend of the Institute, Julio Botton. Julio first recorded a testimony for the Visual History Archive in 1998 and in March 2020 recorded a Dimensions in Testimony interactive biography in Spanish. He was also an active speaker for many years with the Museo Memoria y Tolerancia in Mexico City and elsewhere. 
Tuesday, March 16, 2021 - 3:57pm
On Monday I received a voicemail from Suzan Trevor that her father Marcus Segal had passed away. I had only just met Marcus, albeit virtually, weeks before when he shared his testimony with USC Shoah Foundation on January 26th. While saddened by the news of his passing, I’m filled with immense gratitude for having had the opportunity to hear his incredible life’s story in the final weeks of his life. 
Thursday, March 11, 2021 - 2:11pm
We are very saddened to learn of the passing of Holocaust survivor Irving Roth on February 16, 2021, at the age of 91. A survivor of the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps, Roth was a dedicated educator and author who taught generations of people around the world about the horrors of the Holocaust.
Friday, February 19, 2021 - 3:17pm
USC Shoah Foundation will next week launch the U.S. premiere of The Tattooed Torah, an animated film that tells the inspirational story of a Torah rescued and restored after the Holocaust.  The film, based on Marvell Ginsburg’s beloved children’s book of the same name, recounts the true story of the rescue and restoration of a small Torah from Brno, Czechoslovakia. In the film, the Torah is described as the most “precious possession” of the Jewish people and is a symbol that represents memories tied to cultural heritage, family, hope and resilience. 
Friday, February 5, 2021 - 3:25pm

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.

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
USC Shoah Foundation’s Immersive Innovations team headed to Mexico in March of this year to spend a week with Holocaust survivors Dolly and Julio Botton. The couple, who have been together for more than 50 years, were part of the Institute’s first collection of videotaped testimonies back in the 1990s.
Tuesday, July 28, 2020 - 5:41pm
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.