Liam Neeson will be attending USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education’s special 20th anniversary benefit screening of Schindler’s List that will be held in Philadelphia on Thursday, September 12. Neeson played the starring role of German industrialist Oskar Schindler in the film, for which he received an Academy Award nomination.
The screening will be held at the historic Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia, and marks the first of a series of special screenings that will be held around the country to benefit the USC Shoah Foundation. It will also be the first major film event to highlight the re-opening of the iconic venue, spearheaded and funded by The Karen & Herb Lotman Foundation. All proceeds will benefit the USC Shoah Foundation.
Tickets for the Philadelphia benefit range from $100 to $1000 for individual tickets. There are also $2500 packages available and as a gesture of tzedakah (Hebrew for charity), sponsors unable to utilize their tickets can donate them to local educators, students and others who would be interested in seeing the film. Top ticket donors will have the opportunity to attend a private reception with Neeson prior to the screening. For tickets, visit www.benefitscreening.org or call the Benefit Line at 215-665-7208.
Steven Spielberg founded the USC Shoah Foundation (sfi.usc.edu) in 1994 after his experience making Schindler’s List. The Institute is dedicated to making audio-visual interviews with survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides a compelling voice for education and action. The Institute currently features nearly 52,000 eyewitness testimonies in its Visual History Archive (VHA) that were taken in 57 countries and 33 languages. The Visual History Archive is the largest digital collection of its kind in the world.
Philadelphia has and continues to play a prominent role in the work of the Institute. The University of Pennsylvania is one of 44 sites around the world that has full research access to the Visual History Archive; and it was here that the foundation piloted one of its newest initiatives, IWitness (iwitness.usc.edu) to schools and educators. IWitness is the Institute’s educational website that provides students and teachers access to 1,400 testimonies for guided exploration and multimedia projects. IWitness was recognized in 2012 as one of the “Best Websites for Teaching and Learning” by the American Association of School Librarians. By integrating testimony-based education with the development of digital literacy and other 21st-century competencies, IWitness encourages critical thinking and self-reflection, and helps students get a sense of their own place in history and of the profound impact their words and actions can have on the lives of others.
As part of the IWitness program launch, Main Line Reform Temple Beth Elohim, located just outside Philadelphia, will be the first synagogue religious school in the country to begin implementing IWitness this year.
Two decades after Schindler’s List premiered in theaters, the benefit screening offers the opportunity to introduce the film to a new generation of viewers. The film’s themes of tolerance and one man making a difference are as important today as when the film was originally released.