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Wednesday, September 4, 2013
This week, USC Shoah Foundation welcomes Olive Mukanyamurasa to its offices. Mukanyamurasa comes to Los Angeles from Aegis Trust in Rwanda, where she is project evaluator for the Rwanda Peace Education and IWitness in Rwanda programs. She previously led Aegis Trust’s Social Program, which advocates for victims of the Rwanda Tutsi Genocide including AIDS patients and orphans, led tours of genocide memorials, and attended Kigali Institute of Education.
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
By the time Lorry Black finishes his dissertation, the music of the Holocaust may very well be brought back to life. Black is finishing his first semester as a doctoral student in sacred music at the USC Thornton School of Music. He was one of USC Shoah Foundation’s summer 2013 research fellows, conducting research in the Visual History Archive for his dissertation about the music of French concentration camps during the Holocaust.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
English and composition teacher Oriana Packer, of Brockton High School in Brockton, Mass., assigned her junior students the IWitness Video Challenge. Here, three of them share what it was like to watch testimony for the first time. (In the photo, left to right: Kweku Quansah, Lucia Ugbesia, Alexandra Eugene, Oriana Packer) When did you first learn about the Holocaust?
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Lyndell Higgins wanted to teach people about the Holocaust. So, she started to dance. Higgins is the founding director of the Los Angeles-based Stretch Dance Company, which she created in 2010.  The company recently debuted its first full-length dance production, I Have Lived A Thousand Years, based on the popular memoir of Holocaust survivor Dr. Livia Bitton-Jackson. Bitton-Jackson’s testimony is in USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
As USC Shoah Foundation celebrated the launch of the 45th Visual History Archive full access site in the world at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in Hungary last week, ELTE presented George Schaeffer with its most prestigious award, the Senate Medal. Through his philanthropic organization, the George W. Schaeffer Family Foundation, Schaeffer donated the Visual History Archive’s subscription fee, allowing the archive to be accessible to students, faculty and researchers at ELTE for the next three years.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Ian McAvoy teaches English and Film Arts at University City High School in San Diego, Calif. He learned about IWitness after visiting the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust with his class. He said the IWitness Video Challenge appealed to him because his students could use the website’s editing tools largely independently, and it would require them to synthesize their diverse learning about the Holocaust (via testimony, the museum trip, Elie Wiesel’s Night, and history classes) while encouraging altruism.
Monday, November 25, 2013
By the time they’re 88 years old, most people start thinking about slowing down. But not Claude Lanzmann. The French journalist and documentarian is about to release his seventh film, The Last of the Unjust – a three hour and 40 minute examination of Rabbi Benjamin Murmelstein, the last president of the Jewish Council of the Theresienstadt ghetto in Czechoslovakia.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Liz Bommarito has been using IWitness in her English classes at Midwood High School in Brooklyn for the past two years. Her senior class is currently working on the IWitness Video Challenge, and this year each student has an extra incentive to win: The top five students, as voted by the class, will attend USC Shoah Foundation’s annual Ambassadors for Humanity Gala on Thursday.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Bryan Kessler has made it his life’s mission to teach and memorialize the Holocaust.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Cecilia De Jesus, MFA ’13, chose one of the most unlikely filmmaking materials to tell the story of Holocaust survivor Vera Gissing. But the risk paid off in a big way when her film Where Is My Home? won the 2013 Student Voices Short Film Contest.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Jakub Mlynar works with USC Shoah Foundation across the world from the majority of its staff, but his enthusiasm can be felt all the way from the Czech Republic. Mlynar is the coordinator of the Malach Center for Visual History, a Visual History Archive access site located at Charles University in Prague. He is also its 2013 teaching fellow, preparing to teach a sociology course using the Visual History Archive next winter.
Monday, August 19, 2013
Gregory Irwin ’14, an international relations major with a minor in screenwriting, has been an intern at USC Shoah Foundation since his sophomore year. He was inspired to get involved by the stories his grandmothers have told him about their experiences during the Holocaust.
Monday, November 18, 2013
Among her many accomplishments as (to name a few) a USC Levan Institute undergraduate scholar, intern at KAYA Press, singer in the USC Collegium early music program and USC Shoah Foundation intern, Orli Robin has a particularly unique bragging right. She’s the first student to begin work on USC’s brand-new Resistance to Genocide minor.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Wendy Lower began conducting research at the Shoah Foundation nearly ten years ago. Now, she’s helping bring other scholars to USC for the first-ever USC Shoah Foundation international conference.
Friday, December 27, 2013
Anoush Krikorian was interviewed by the filmmaker J. Michael Hagopian over 10 years ago about his experiences as a survivor of the Armenian Genocide. Now, Krikorian’s granddaughter is working to make sure his voice, and the voices of over 400 other survivors, are preserved in one of USC Shoah Foundation’s newest collections.
Monday, September 9, 2013
Iris Mandel teaches English for native speakers at Ulpanat Amana, a private girls’ high school in Kfar Saba, Israel. She taught in Cleveland, Ohio, for 10 years and is now in her 22nd year at Ulpanat Amana.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
As president of the Koret Foundation and chairman of Taube Philanthropies, Tad Taube has contributed millions to philanthropic causes around the world. But he says his dedication to USC Shoah Foundation is simply “a natural thing to do.” Taube and his parents fled Poland in 1939 and ultimately settled in Los Angeles. After getting his master’s in industrial engineering from Stanford, Taube was one of the creators of E-H Research Laboratories and began a career in real estate.
Friday, July 26, 2013
Lukas Binder’s civilian service commitment to his native Austria brought him to the United States—and to USC Shoah Foundation. Originally from Mödling in Lower Austria, Binder now resides in Los Angeles while he fulfills his nine-month period of duty. “I help out wherever there is a need,” he says of tasks that include creating and editing videos, as well as helping assemble the book commemorating the founding of USC Shoah Foundation 20 years ago.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Maayan Roitfarb, a master’s candidate in law and diplomacy at Tufts University, is finishing up her position as a 2013 summer research fellow and intern at USC Shoah Foundation. During her fellowship, she conducted research for her master’s thesis about forced migration, relocation and deportation using the Visual History Archive (VHA), transcribed Hebrew sonderkommando testimony, completed a survey of 140 VHA testimonies concerning cultural resistance in the camps, and conducted background research on scholarly discussions of history, memory and emotions.
Friday, September 13, 2013
Deborah Batiste has worked for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) since 1991, after teaching high school English for 16 years, and was one of the lead authors of Echoes and Reflections, the multimedia Holocaust education guide developed by Yad Vashem, USC Shoah Foundation and ADL. She is currently the Echoes and Reflections project director, facilitating or co-facilitating over 130 Echoes and Reflections training programs in 34 states and the District of Columbia since 2005, reaching 25 percent of all participants who have attended Echoes and Reflections programs. 
Monday, December 16, 2013
Oriana Packer teaches college prep freshman English and honors junior language and composition at Brockton High School in Brockton, Mass. Her junior class completed the IWitness Video Challenge, which asks students to create videos showing how they were inspired by testimony to create positive change in their communities. What attracted you to IWitness? Why did you want to use it in your classroom?
Monday, November 11, 2013
Rosalie Franks first heard about Steven Spielberg’s foundation for interviewing Holocaust survivors from an article in the Palm Beach Post in the spring of 1994. Nearly twenty years later, she says that article has transformed her life. Franks, a former fourth grade teacher and television reporter, is a professor at Rhode Island’s Roger Williams University. After reading that article in the Palm Beach Post, she applied to be an interviewer and attended a training in New York that November.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
The testimonies in USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive are used all over the world to teach about history, tolerance and human rights. But now, Glenn Fox is using testimony of Holocaust survivors to learn about something else: gratitude.
Monday, August 12, 2013
Leticia Villasenor has recently begun a 2013 summer student fellowship at USC Shoah Foundation. Villasenor is working toward her PhD in French from USC, and holds a master’s in international studies at the University of Denver and a bachelor’s in French and international relations at USC. She also interned at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris and has just returned from a year abroad, also in Paris. What research are you doing at USC Shoah Foundation?
Monday, November 4, 2013
Ian Zdanowicz is making the most out of his month at USC Shoah Foundation. Zdanowicz is the recipient of the Visiting PhD Fellowship from the USC Dornsife 2020 Genocide Resistance Research Cluster, which is led by USC Shoah Foundation executive director Stephen Smith and Wolf Gruener, Shapell-Guerin Chair in Jewish Studies and Professor of History.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Seventeen years after his grandmother Celina Biniaz gave testimony, Alex Biniaz-Harris is carrying on the family name at USC Shoah Foundation. Biniaz-Harris ’15 is a music and business double major at USC and an intern at USC Shoah Foundation. Born and raised in Washington, DC, he grew up visiting his grandparents in Southern California, and during his freshman year at USC his grandmother Celina introduced him to the USC Shoah Foundation.
Monday, July 1, 2013
Anasheh Tahmasian wanted to intern at USC Shoah Foundation, the Institute for Visual History and Education, as soon as she learned about the work it does. She toured the Institute’s facilities with fellow Armenian students during Genocide Week and recalls, “I was fascinated by the Visual History Archive and immediately recognized the impact it will have on genocide education for future generations.”
Friday, September 20, 2013
Surrounded by poverty, gangs, drugs and hunger, 25 teenagers from Cleveland High School in Seattle felt like it was all too much to do anything about. But the students in Jeff Taylor’s humanities class found the inspiration to change the world in a unique way: by participating in IWitness (iwitness.usc.edu), an online tool offered for free to any school by the nonprofit USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Jennifer Goss designed the new IWitness Information Quest activity about Kristallnacht to teach students about the complexities of one of the most important turning points of the Holocaust.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
 What started as a project for one student quickly turned into a labor of love for four of Clarissa Ngo’s creative writing pupils.

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