As a longtime donor to USC Shoah Foundation, Pennsylvania-based The Snider Foundation has supported a variety of Institute programs, including the Countering Antisemitism Through Testimony initiative. According to Jay Snider, President of The Snider Foundation, “Our Dad [founder Ed Snider] grew up in the shadow of the Holocaust, and the survival of the Jewish people was of utmost importance to him. He shared his values with us and asked our family to work together to combat antisemitism through The Snider Foundation.” The Snider family has put Ed’s values into practice through continued generosity towards the Institute, led by Lindy Snider, a long-time member of the Institute’s Next Generation Council.
After a recent visit to the Institute’s new headquarters, members of the Snider family were moved to expand their generosity to support the Immersive and Interactive Testimony Experiences fund, which supports the Institute’s pursuit of technological advancements in order to find new and exciting ways to engage audiences with testimony. According to Foundation Vice President Tina Snider, “Our entire family was moved by the poignant content and experience USC Shoah Foundation provides to learners.” The interactive aspects of both Pinchas Gutter’s Dimensions in Testimony exhibit and the Virtual Reality film The Last Goodbye resonated with family members of all generations, allowing them to witness the power that technology has to further the Institute’s mission. “The Institute has done an amazing job developing innovative, interactive technology experiences to tell critical stories of human experience and tragedy,” added Jamie Snider.
For Jamie, the Dimensions in Testimony exhibit was most powerful: “Dimensions in Testimony is the kind of two-way experience that is very natural for younger, technology-fluent audiences, and will help us reach people as we get further removed from the Holocaust and all living survivors are gone.” Sarena Snider enjoyed the interactive walls of testimony, and was “blown away” after watching The Last Goodbye in virtual reality.
This latest visit left the Snider family energized and enthusiastic about the future of the Institute. According to Tina, “The Institute has been a leader in identifying ways to reach and engage people of various learning styles, ages, backgrounds and preferences, and that is one reason its work has been so influential.” With continued support of The Snider Foundation, the Institute will further push technological boundaries to find new ways to create engaging and moving programs that increase empathy using survivor testimony.