On Yom Hashoah, April 7, 2013, USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education remembered the victims of the Holocaust at a unique observance at Mount Sinai Memorial Park in Simi Valley, California.
The day began with the official launch of the Six Million Coins™ fundraising initiative, which Mount Sinai Memorial Parks and Mortuaries has started to provide for Holocaust survivors and rescuers in need of basic necessities. The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and TRIBE Media Corporation have partnered with Mount Sinai to collect the coins; to inspire public support for the initiative, the Institute has provided video testimony from its Visual History Archive in which Holocaust survivors share their thoughts about giving to others.
Stephen D. Smith, the Institute’s Executive Director, joined a panel of speakers that included Carl Wilkens, Director of World Outside My Shoes; Andrew Stevens, a Wallenberg survivor/rescuer; and Lizzie Scheja, Director of the Association for Jewish Culture in Sweden. Rabbi Ed Feinstein of Valley Beth Shalom and Cantor Marcus Feldman of Sinai Temple led a Yom Hashoah commemorative service, with a special orchestral performance of Transformation of Memory by the USC Thornton School of Music under the direction of Nick Strimple.