USC Shoah Foundation Partners with Hold On To Your Music to Create Groundbreaking Resources in Holocaust Education with $10 Million Koret Foundation Grant

Wed, 02/05/2020 - 9:35am

USC Shoah Foundation —The Institute for Visual History and Education (USC Shoah Foundation) today announced a $10 million grant from the Koret Foundation to develop and implement a new global holocaust educational curriculum in partnership with Hold On To Your Music Foundation (Hold On To Your Music). This new curriculum will combine testimony, technology, and music, and alter the field of Holocaust education for primary and secondary school aged children around the world. This unique program will reach 25,000 educators and 8 million students through the delivery of educational programming, professional development, innovative educational tools, and live, virtual and immersive performances. “USC Shoah Foundation is a leader in Holocaust education with proven impact throughout the world. Hold On To Your Music and the story of the Children of Willesden Lane is a story of resilience and hope that inspires all of us to learn more about the lessons of Holocaust. We are gratified to provide major funding for this interdisciplinary, multi-dimensional educational initiative and are proud partners in this global effort.” Dr. Anita Friedman, Koret Foundation Board President.

The shared commitment of USC Shoah Foundation and Hold On To Your Music to educate, inspire and empower educators and students is at the core of the collaboration. Framing the work of this partnership is the testimony and the story of Lisa Jura, a child Holocaust survivor brought to London on the Kinder-transport. Internationally acclaimed concert pianist Mona Golabek, the daughter of Lisa Jura and Founder and President of Hold On To Your Music, tells Lisa’s universal story of survival and resilience by pairing the best-selling novel, the Children of Willesden Lane, with her mother’s greatest passion and through her own musical talents as a concert pianist.

“I’m honored to partner with USC Shoah Foundation and profoundly grateful to the Koret Foundation, for their transformational support, enabling us to tell my mother’s story of resilience and survival as never before. Together, we will reach an unprecedented number of students around the world – students from every background, culture and circumstance – to remind them that with courage and an open heart, their dreams will inspire and make a difference. We must always cherish the stories of man's humanity to man," said Golabek.

Leveraging USC Shoah Foundation’s cutting-edge technologies, the program will develop testimony-based interactive experiences using the power of music and Lisa Jura’s story to reach young people globally and contribute to their development as empathetic, knowledgeable and resilient individuals. This will be the first Holocaust education program of its kind and the first to be centered on a second generation Holocaust survivor.

“Music, testimony and remembrance all come together in Mona Golabek’s moving retelling of her mother’s escape and survival during the Holocaust. ‘Hold on to Your Music’ gives voice to the second generation of Holocaust survivors and, now through lessons on IWitness, can reach millions of students in language arts, history, music, social studies and more,” said Stephen D. Smith, PhD, Finci-Viterbi Executive Director of USC Shoah Foundation and UNESCO Chair on Genocide Education.

This collaboration will help extend the impact each organization seeks to realize in the world, including empowering educators and young people to build their knowledge about the past through story and the arts, develop positive attitudes and dispositions, and have the skills and abilities to act as responsible and active citizens in their communities.

About the Koret Foundation

The Koret Foundation is committed to strengthening the Bay Area and supporting the Jewish community in the U.S. and Israel through strategic grantmaking to outstanding organizations. Grounded in historical Jewish principles and traditions, and dedicated to humanitarian values, the Foundation is committed to innovation, testing new ideas, and serving as a catalyst by bringing people and organizations together to help solve societal and systemic problems of common concern. Learn more about the Koret Foundation and its grantees at

About Hold On To Your Music

Inspired by the life of Lisa Jura, Hold On To Your Music seeks to expand awareness and understanding of the ethical implications of world events such as the Holocaust, and the power of the arts, especially music, to embolden the human spirit in the face of adversity. Hold On To Your Music was established in 2003 by Mona Golabek to share the story of her mother, Lisa Jura, as told in Ms. Golabek and Lee Cohen's book, The Children of Willesden Lane, and to disseminate the book and accompanying educational materials to students and teachers everywhere.