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

We are thankful and relieved that after a harrowing day all hostages at Congregation Beth Israel are out and safe. This incident is a potent reminder of the threat antisemitism poses to civil society and to Jewish communities around the world. 

As antisemitic violence escalated around the world in recent years, USC Shoah Foundation responded by launching the Countering Antisemitism Through Testimony Program. This collection of testimony documents personal stories of antisemitism, from its often-subtle origins to its most violent consequences.  

We invite you to learn more here: https://sfi.usc.edu/focalpoint/antisemitism

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

Another year dominated by the ongoing pandemic draws to a close. From producing animated films to conducting interviews, forging new partnerships and sharing incredible testimonies, 2021 was a year to remember. Here are some of the highlights of the work the Institute has accomplished. Read More
Thursday, December 16, 2021 - 12:30pm
USC Shoah Foundation and The Conscious Kid are partnering to develop and implement a series of grade K-5 resources and education initiatives to counter antisemitism and raise awareness to appreciate cultural, ethnic and religious diversity. The Conscious Kid was founded in 2016 by Katie Ishizuka and Ramon Stephens, both parents of color who found a lack of diverse representation in children’s literature at their local library when looking for reading material for their young sons. Read More
Monday, December 13, 2021 - 9:27am
USC Shoah Foundation and The Willesden Project today launch the premiere of Music Dreams, an animated short film story telling the story of Lisa Jura, a young Holocaust survivor who in 1938 escaped from Vienna to London on the Kindertransport. Read More
Friday, December 10, 2021 - 10:11am
It was 83 years ago this week that 13-year-old Lisa Jura boarded a Kindertransport train from Vienna to London, the first step in a journey that would be memorably depicted by her daughter Mona Golabek in the acclaimed The Children of Willesden Lane books. A series of rescue efforts organized by Sir Nicholas Winton, the Kindertransport helped nearly 10,000 Jewish children escape from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia to safety in the United Kingdom. Read More
Tuesday, December 7, 2021 - 4:47pm
Today marks the 83rd anniversary of the arrival of the first Kindertransport to the United Kingdom. This rescue operation saved 10,000 child refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe. As part of the commemoration, USC Shoah Foundation has produced an animated short film, “Music Dreams,” based on the story of Lisa Jura, a young Holocaust survivor who in 1938 escaped from Vienna to London on the Kindertransport. Read More
Thursday, December 2, 2021 - 11:30am
Longtime USC Shoah Foundation Executive Committee and Board of Councilors member Mickey Shapiro has provided a major endowed gift to create an inaugural academic chair at the Institute that will be dedicated to deepening the study of the impact of Holocaust education. Read More
Monday, November 29, 2021 - 1:40pm

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.