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

USC Shoah Foundation and Discovery Education have announced the winners of the United Kingdom category of the 2021 international Stronger Than Hate Challenge First prize in the challenge was awarded to Elizabeth Stickland, a Year 8 (US 7th grade) student from Attleborough Academy who wrote a powerful poem about how communities can overcome prejudice. Elizabeth’s top prize is a £5,000 ($6,700) grant for her school and an iPad. Read More
Monday, November 22, 2021 - 9:55am
A cohort of forty-one new students and five returning Junior Intern Emissaries convened virtually on November 14 for the first session of the 2021-2022 William P. Lauder Junior Internship Program. The highly selective program provides a dynamic and unique learning opportunity for students in 7th–11th grades to engage with testimonies–personal stories–from survivors and witnesses of genocide to develop their own voice, learn to recognize the patterns and impact of hate, and gain work experience and academic and digital skills. Read More
Friday, November 19, 2021 - 4:05pm
On November 7th 1996, Nancy Fisher, a bundle of nerves, knocked on the door of Erika Gold’s home in Leonia, New Jersey. She was there on behalf of the Shoah Foundation to interview Erika, a Holocaust survivor. Nancy was terrified to conduct the interview. Knowing only the Nancy Fisher of today, I am shocked to hear this. Nancy exudes a calm wisdom, care, and confidence that only 25 years of Holocaust survivor interviewing could foster. Read More
Thursday, November 11, 2021 - 1:53pm
As the Covid 19 pandemic requires educators to provide their students with new and unprecedented levels of social emotional support, The Willesden Project, a partnership of USC Shoah Foundation and Hold On To Your Music, is inviting teachers to a special webinar to learn strategies and engage with experts for using music and testimony as sources of healing in the classroom. Read More
Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - 11:05am
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

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.

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
I was laying in bed one day scrolling through Instagram, lost in the endless stories that have me so addicted to my phone. I skipped some and lingered on others, navigating the echo chamber of social media like a pro before coming across my local bookstore’s account. They were sharing books to read while their doors were temporarily closed due to Coronavirus. A vibrant yellow and blue cover with the words, A Nail The Evening Hangs On, caught my eye; it was a book of poetry — a rare purchase for me, but the nod to the poet’s Cambodian history pulled me right in.
Sunday, July 19, 2020 - 12:18pm
We asked you to submit your stories to us. Each week in April, we offered a new theme: spaces/places, family, resilience and messages for the future, and we asked for your stories. Your contributions were remarkable. We received dozens upon dozens of responses from around the world — from Morocco to Argentina to Switzerland, Israel, Canada, Poland and across the United States. Some of you shared that you even had family members in our archive.
Friday, July 17, 2020 - 10:25am
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.