New Mickey Shapiro Academic Chair to Deepen, Expand Study of Holocaust Education

Wed, 03/29/2023 - 3:27pm

USC Shoah Foundation and USC Rossier School of Education and its Centers EDGE and CANDLES yesterday held a special public convening to recognize the Mickey Shapiro Endowed Chair in Holocaust Education Research.

At a time of surging antisemitism in the United States and around the world, the new research chair will ensure the continuation of groundbreaking academic research into how testimony-based education can deepen and expand the study of Holocaust education worldwide.

The first Mickey Shapiro Endowed Chair in Holocaust Education Research is expected to be seated in early 2025. In the intervening time, USCSF will bring together a small group of talented and innovative educational researchers to collaboratively take on the key question of how the passing of Holocaust survivors—the majority of whom are now in their 90’s—will change the way the Holocaust is taught.  

Mickey Shapiro is a long-time member of USC Shoah Foundation’s Executive Committee and Board of Councilors. His previous gifts to the Institute include the Sara and Asa Shapiro Visitor’s Lounge and the endowment of the Sara and Asa Shapiro Annual Holocaust Testimony Scholar and Lecture Fund.

“It is with great purpose and conviction that my family supports the creation of this inaugural academic chair at the USC Shoah Foundation,” Shapiro said. “The testimonies in USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive are unrivaled in quality and number, and this gift will ensure that they continue to impact people everywhere.”

USC Shoah Foundation Finci-Viterbi Executive Director, Chair Dr. Robert Williams said Shapiro’s latest gift enables the Institute to expand its academic and research footprint at a time when new data shows year-over-year increases in rates of anti-Jewish hate crimes nationwide.

“There is no better antidote to antisemitism than the testimonies of those who have experienced its worst manifestations,” Dr. Williams said. “This tremendous investment will help disseminate these survivor and witness voices and shape Holocaust education.”

Dr. Pedro Noguera, the Emery Stoops and Joyce King Stoops Dean of the Rossier School of Education, welcomed Mickey Shapiro’s latest gift.

“I am excited about the possibility of bringing a world-class scholar to USC to hold the Mickey Shapiro Endowed Chair in Holocaust Education Research,” Dean Noguera said. “Hatred and bigotry are on the increase in the US and throughout the world.  We must commit ourselves to understanding its roots so that we can know how it can be resisted and defeated.  With this new chair we are well on our way to having a scholar who can take the lead in guiding us in this important work.”

The first in a range of events and programs prior to seating the new Mickey Shapiro Endowed Chair in Holocaust Education Research took place yesterday with a keynote address by distinguished USC scholar Mary Helen Immordino-Yang entitled How Neuroscience Can Help Us Reimagine Learning About the Holocaust.