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Every once in a while, I have a moment when seemingly disconnected ideas collide in peculiar relief, bringing clarity and making sense – admittedly sometimes only to me. I had one of those days recently when I was looking at the calendar and realized that International Women’s Day on March 8 was approaching.
Women's History Month, International Women's Day, March 8, Grey Anatomy, testimony, Feminism, iwitness, op-eds / Wednesday, March 2, 2016
For Women’s History Month, bring the unique voices of women who survived or stood up against some of the worst atrocities of the 20th century into your classroom. Facing History is partnering with USC Shoah Foundation to help educators access more than 1,500 video testimonies of survivors and witnesses to the Holocaust and other genocides using the Institute’s online learning tool, IWitness.
facing history, Women's History Month, iwitness, op-eds / Thursday, March 10, 2016
This year I focused on eyewitness testimony to the Holocaust and it changed the experience for my students and for me.
GAM, op-eds / Thursday, March 31, 2016
I attended the event “Melodies of Auschwitz” at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington D.C. on Thursday, March 10, 2016, hosted by PNC Bank to recognize USC Shoah Foundation for its work in genocide education and preserving testimony of genocides around the world. The event was educational and meaningful, bringing together PNC clients, employees, and all other guests into a conversation about the importance of preserving testimony and what USC Shoah Foundation is all about.
Auschwitz70, music, students, interns, op-eds / Tuesday, March 29, 2016
April is Genocide Awareness Month, a time to reflect on atrocities of the past while ensuring that we avoid acts of mass murder in the future. The urgency of this mandate was highlighted just weeks ago when the U.S. House of Representatives and the State Department officially recognized that ISIS is committing genocide in the Middle East.
GAM, Genocide Awareness, op-eds / Friday, April 1, 2016
Never forget. Never again. These are common phrases used in Holocaust and genocide education. These are important statements especially when they evoke the real reason to study, learn, and teach about genocide. We must bring this content to students to empower them and encourage them to see beyond themselves. If done right, students become aware of the steps that lead to such atrocities. Teaching about genocide is the only way to have a lasting impact on our students, to affect their worldview, to help them understand that they can make a difference.
GAM, iwitness, education, Educator Resource, op-eds / Friday, March 25, 2016
In 2015 , I traveled to Guatemala with a small team from USC Shoah Foundation to train staff from a local organization called the Fundación de Antropología Forence de Guatemala (FAFG) to begin collecting voices from survivors to the Guatemalan Genocide.
GAM, Guatemala, Guatemalan Genocide, cagr, op-eds, cagr / Friday, April 8, 2016
To help introduce your students to the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda explore testimonies and activities in IWitness.
GAM, op-eds / Thursday, April 7, 2016
While the average USC student was dragging themselves out of bed to make it to their first class after Spring Break, I was--rather jet-lagged--sitting in an 800 year old room cloaked in paintings of old intellectuals and world renowned writers in a tiny corridor of Hertford College at Oxford University, wondering how on Earth I could be so lucky to miss a week of school to hang out at one of the oldest, most prestigious centers of learning in the history of Western Civilization.
testimony, students, human rights, International Studies, op-eds / Monday, April 4, 2016
As the indexer for USC Shoah Foundation’s Armenian Genocide Testimony Collection, I have to listen carefully to hundreds of testimonies assigning keywords to each minute so that these stories will be accessible in the Visual History Archive. Now just in time for the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide we will be integrating an additional 155 indexed testimonies into the Archive. I thought this would be a fitting time to highlight some of the most interesting aspects of the 245 testimonies that will be available in the Visual History Archive Online.
GAM, Armenian Genocide, op-eds / Wednesday, April 20, 2016
This month – National Poetry Month in the U.S. – is a great time to explore just how powerful words can be. When it comes to understanding difficult moments in history, poetry and writing can help students process and express their own thoughts about the world. Explore these three ways you can bring poetry into your classroom using tools from Facing History’s partner, USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education.
iwitness, Teacher Resource, Poetry Month, op-eds / Thursday, April 14, 2016
Passover, Bergen-Belsen, 1945. These two thoughts do not belong together: Bergen-Belsen, the epitome of captivity; Passover, the celebration of freedom from slavery.
passover, religion, bergen-belsen, op-eds / Friday, April 22, 2016
News of the deadly bombs that ripped apart the Brussels airport terminal last month sent a shockwave through me. I know that line, that place. I have stood in that spot. The “what if” scenario is not what troubles me most, however.
GAM, Tolerance, education, op-eds / Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom HaShoah as it’s known in Hebrew, commemorates and honors the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. This year, people around the world will remember the victims of the Holocaust May 4-5, 2016.
GAM, holocaust, Rememberance, yom hashoah, iwitness, op-eds / Tuesday, May 3, 2016
As the son of two survivors of the Shoah and the husband of a daughter of two survivors, identifying as the Next Generation has been the essence of who I am. It is the prism through which I see and evaluate all worldly events. It was particularly my father’s life that affected me the most. He truly was a “survivor." He survived the war running for his life through Russia, Siberian labor camps and other lands in Asia. He survived losing his parents, five of his sisters their husbands and children. He escaped from his hometown in the Russian sector to a displaced person camp in in the American sector. He survived as a refugee in Belgium and then as an immigrant in the United States. He survived the loss of his wife at a young age raising three children as a single parent in a foreign land.
yom hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Next Generation, beginswithme, op-eds / Thursday, May 5, 2016
A few weeks ago, a student I was interviewing for a profile I was writing on him for USC Shoah Foundation’s website said something interesting: “Growing up Jewish, the Holocaust is pretty much always there.” I could identify. As someone who went to Hebrew school twice a week, every week, from the age of 5 to 13, the Holocaust was something I was always aware of. I was taught about it frequently, both in religious and regular school.
holocaust, education, usc, Israel, op-eds / Thursday, May 5, 2016
In just a few days, I’ll be graduating with my bachelors in International Relations from USC. As I sit here writing this piece, I have a chance to reflect on these three years of fundamental personal and academic growth, and in particular, on my incredibly rewarding intern experience at USC Shoah Foundation.
USCGrad, usc, Graudation, intern, reflection, op-eds / Wednesday, May 11, 2016
You never know what you will find in the Visual History Archive. You hear stories of survival, death, life, hope and even friendship amidst the chaos of genocide. Sidney Shafner and Marcel Levy have remained friends for over 70 years – since the liberation of the concentration camp Dachau.
testimony, friendship, Sidney Shafner, Marcel Levy, liberation, op-eds / Wednesday, May 18, 2016
The young Nazi approached 13-year-old Szulem Czygielmamn as he walked on the sidewalk of Lubartowska Street in Lublin, Poland, and shoved him off the sidewalk. Szulem was lucky; Jews had died for less.
Israel, holocaust survivor, résistance, op-eds / Friday, May 27, 2016
Bertram Schaffner’s story is a unique one because of the multiple roles he played as a gay German American during the period that saw the rise of Nazi Germany and the outbreak of World War II.
gay, homosexual, paragraph 175, gay rights, gay pride, Bertram Schaffner, op-eds / Tuesday, June 7, 2016
“Oskar Schindler saved my life but Steven Spielberg gave me a voice,” Holocaust survivor Celina Biniaz.
schindlers list, celina biniaz, memory, op-eds / Tuesday, June 14, 2016
June 20th is recognized by the United Nations as International Refugee Day to raise awareness of the plight of the refugees around the world. In the Visual History Archive, the testimonies of genocide survivors include their personal experiences as refugees. As of now, the world is facing the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. To shed light on the current and past refugee crisis explore 10 interesting facts about the refugee experience.
World Refugee Day, op-eds / Friday, June 17, 2016
At its physical core, USC Shoah Foundation is an impressive bank of computers and programs that bring the testimony of genocide survivors to people around the world. It’s a complicated and mysterious process for those who don’t have advanced degrees. But beyond the connections of wires and microchips, there is something far more mysterious and complicated going on: the human connection that takes place between people from different times, different places and different backgrounds when they engage with testimony.
op-eds / Tuesday, June 28, 2016
I see two pictures of America. One that is open, free, respectful, fun-loving. The other which is divisive, fearful, angry, and violent. These two Americas have much that sets them apart, but they share missing elements, because neither America is integrated, fair, multicultural, embracing, or color-blind. Not in practice anyhow.
civil rights, Stephen Smith, op-eds / Tuesday, July 12, 2016
As the sun sets on the Danube River, I felt the need to pinch myself. I am really here in Budapest? It doesn’t feel so far away from my home in Los Angeles. But looking at the architecture and the castle in the distance, I fall in love with the romance of this old European city.
master teacher, budapest, History, holocaust, op-eds / Thursday, July 14, 2016
Summer might be a break for students, but as an educator, I know teachers are busy enhancing their skills and knowledge to improve their curriculum and students’ overall experience in their classrooms. As you contemplate lesson plans for the upcoming year, will you be planning a unit or lesson about the Holocaust? Do you feel you have enough knowledge about the topic to teach it well? How will you introduce your students to that history and experiences? What readings and resources will you use? What approach will you take with this sensitive topic?
echoes and reflections, back to school, iwitness, backtoschoolwithIWitness, op-eds / Thursday, June 15, 2017
Aristides de Sousa Mendes was a Portuguese diplomat stationed in Bordeaux in the late 1930s who issued tens of thousands of visas to Jewish families, in direct violation of anti-Jewish laws instituted by Portugal’s fascist government at the time. For this act of resistance, Sousa Mendes faced trials and conviction, leaving him to live out the rest of his life in poverty and disgrace, and his 15 children scattered all over Europe and the U.S.
aristides de sousa mendes, upstander, GAM, résistance, op-eds / Friday, August 5, 2016
Maximilian Kolbe, born in Poland in 1894, was a Franciscan friar and Catholic priest. He spent most of his life studying theology and dedicating himself to the church, traveling across Europe and Asia during his lifetime.
St Kolbe, résistance, GAM, op-eds / Friday, August 12, 2016
Poland’s new right-wing government wants to change the way children in that country learn about the Holocaust, casting Poles as only victims or heroes. In this new narration, the Polish people were always helping the weak, were good neighbors and cared about minorities.
education, poland, Kielce, Jedwabne, GAM, op-eds / Monday, August 15, 2016
Odpowiedzialność i prawdomówność nie są przywilejami, ale obowiązkami, szczególnie jak się jest nauczycielem
Polski nowy, prawicowy rząd chce zmienić sposób nauczania polskich uczniów o Zagładzie Żydów, kreując Polaków na wyłącznie ofiary lub bohaterów. W tej nowej narracji Polacy zawsze pomagali słabszym, byli dobrymi sąsiadami i dbali o mniejszości.
poland, Eduction, blog, op-eds / Monday, August 15, 2016