JFCS San Francisco to Host Yom HaShoah Commemoration

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 5:00pm

USC Shoah Foundation Executive Director Stephen Smith will be the keynote speaker at Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS) Holocaust Center’s annual Yom HaShoah commemoration on Sunday, April 23, in San Francisco.

Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day in San Francisco is presented in partnership by Jewish Family Children's Services Holocaust Center, Lehrhaus Judaica, JCCSF, JCRC and USC Shoah Foundation.

The title of the event is “The Future of Our Past.” Smith will discuss how our Holocaust survivors' testimonies live on for future generations, followed by a memorial ceremony.

The Yom HaShoah event will also include a screening of some of the video projects created in IWitness by JFCS’s Manovill Holocaust History Fellows. The seven-month Manovill fellowship is awarded to eight high school students each year. They hear from local Holocaust survivors, pursue research on a topic of their choice, teach their peers, and participate in community events. This year’s fellows have constructed short documentary films in IWitness about local survivors.

The Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, 3200 California Street, is hosting the ceremony. Attendance is free and open to the public, but attendees can register here. A reading of names begins at 4 p.m. and will continue until 6:15. The memorial commemoration and ceremony begins at 5 p.m.

The Jewish Family and Children’s Services Holocaust Center is one of Northern California’s most premier resources for Holocaust education, and has a strong presence in the schools of the region. 

In the 1980s, the JFCS Holocaust Center collected 1,400 testimonies of Holocaust survivors. Most of the testimonies were taken on videotape that begins to deteriorate over time. In 2014, the organization, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, partnered with USC Shoah Foundation for Preserving the Legacy, an initiative that used the Institute’s state-of-the-art infrastructure to digitize, index and integrate videotaped Holocaust testimony taken by other organizations around the world into the Visual History Archive.

Since May 2016, over 900 JFCS testimonies have been viewable and fully searchable in the Visual History Archive.