Al Tapper

Education to Save Lives

Few friends of USC Shoah Foundation have supported the Institute longer than Al Tapper. In the past two decades, he has provided essential funding for the Institute’s general operations, supporting activities across our research and education initiatives, and providing seed funding for new and innovative projects.

The Tapper Research and Testing Center at the Shoah Foundation opened in the backlot of Universal Studios in 2002, allowing visiting scholars and educators to search through nearly 52,000 Holocaust eyewitness testimonies for the very first time. Since then, the Tapper Center became the model we replicated in over 240 universities and institutions around the world. Tapper has contributed to the Dimensions in Testimony program and helped launch our Testimony in Current Conflict initiative. A longtime supporter of Genocide and Holocaust Studies research, Jewish heritage preservation, and other causes, Tapper also endowed one of the first fellowships in Genocide Studies at Clark University. His philanthropy is informed by his devotion to his family’s roots in the Jewish communities of Eastern Europe, and by his belief in the power of the testimony of survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides to combat hate.

“It’s really all we can do,” Tapper says of the Institute’s work. “Collecting testimonies, preserving them, using them for educational purposes. These are the only tools that we have to push back against antisemitism and intolerance, to try to stop genocide from happening in places like Yemen and Burma. I believe that it has the power to change hearts and save lives.”