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In 1933, when Ilse-Lore Delman was six years old, she was kicked out of her school in Frankfurt, Germany, for being Jewish. Intuiting the threat of the growing Nazi movement within the country, her family fled for Holland in a furtive dash, leaving behind all their possessions. After a few years of peace in Tilburg, Ilse and her parents were forced into hiding after the Nazi invasion of Holland.
/ Thursday, July 16, 2020
When Nancy Fudem and her son Jonathan were contemplating ways to honor the memory of Nancy’s husband Frank, a prominent San Francisco commercial real estate broker who passed away in 2012, they considered some of his lifelong passions: family, education, and his Jewish faith. His wide range of interests, from spy novels to economic theory to Talmud study, indicated a deep and curious mind that valued the power of knowledge. “Frank credited much of his success to his start as a scholarship student at York Country Day School, and was always passionate about education,” Nancy said.
/ Thursday, July 23, 2020
Sam Pond, a member of USC Shoah Foundation’s Next Generation Council, has been a firm advocate for the Institute since being introduced to its work almost 15 years ago. “I’m not Jewish, but I hate hatred, and dislike ignorance,” Pond said, discussing his draw to the Institute’s work. “People don’t really understand how insidious antisemitism is. It’s growing worldwide, especially in the West.”
/ Thursday, July 23, 2020
Like many who support USC Shoah Foundation, Linda Wimmer was drawn to the stories of survivors and the way the Institute gives their stories both a home and a platform from which to be shared. However, her connection to the Institute is more profound than passive appreciation. In 1995, Linda’s husband Jim shared with her an article in their local Allentown, Pennsylvania, newspaper discussing Steven Spielberg’s mission to collect testimony of Holocaust survivors and witnesses. Linda immediately knew that she wanted to participate.
/ Thursday, July 23, 2020
When Marc Haves was growing up during the ’50s and ’60s in the Five Towns, a predominantly Jewish area on Long Island, one subject didn’t seem to come up during family gatherings, or in the history lessons at school, or even during conversations at his reform temple.
/ Thursday, July 23, 2020
In October 1942, when Nathan Drew and his wife Helen heard rumors that Nazis would liquidate the Łomźa Ghetto in Poland in which they lived, they escaped to Warsaw, avoiding by mere hours the forced removal of over 8,000 Jews to the Zambrow transit camp. In Warsaw, Nathan and Helen used false identification documents to live in the open as “counterfeit Poles,” hiding their Jewish heritage while navigating the harsh realities of Nazi occupation.
/ Thursday, July 23, 2020
Throughout the nearly 150 interviews she conducted of Holocaust survivors for USC Shoah Foundation, Nancy Fisher’s philosophy was simple: “I did my best to be a human being connecting with another human being.”
/ Thursday, July 23, 2020
Like memory itself, the video testimony within the Visual History Archive is not permanent. Data degradation resulting from the gradual decay of storage media can result in the eventual breakdown of video and audio, rendering a testimony worthless, even in digital form. The Institute’s newly-launched Forever Fund will provide means to ensure that testimonies will live on in whatever form the future may necessitate.
/ Thursday, July 23, 2020
For producer Richard Hall, supporting USC Shoah Foundation’s efforts to collect testimony related to the 1994 Genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda is a natural extension of his work as a documentary filmmaker. “A good interview really connects you to the humanity of others. We are all the same, but we don’t really feel it until we have the chance to bridge the language barrier and understand context for another’s experience.”
/ Thursday, July 23, 2020
As a longtime donor to USC Shoah Foundation, Pennsylvania-based The Snider Foundation has supported a variety of Institute programs, including the Countering Antisemitism Through Testimony initiative. According to Jay Snider, President of The Snider Foundation, “Our Dad [founder Ed Snider] grew up in the shadow of the Holocaust, and the survival of the Jewish people was of utmost importance to him.
/ Thursday, July 23, 2020
Few friends of USC Shoah Foundation have supported the Institute longer than Al Tapper. In the past two decades, he has provided essential funding for the Institute’s general operations, supporting activities across our research and education initiatives, and providing seed funding for new and innovative projects.
/ Wednesday, September 23, 2020
For nearly a decade, the Alpern Family Foundation has supported USC Shoah Foundation’s efforts to collect testimony and use them around the world to combat hatred and intolerance. Executive Director Rochelle Rubin says that the Alpern Family Foundation’s dedication to the Institute is motivated by its support of Holocaust education and belief that teaching tolerance and empathy is essential to counteract hatred.
/ Wednesday, September 23, 2020
For USC Rossier School of Education Professor Alan Arkatov, supporting USC Shoah Foundation is a family affair. Alan’s role started when he created USC Rossier’s Center EDGE (Engagement Driven Global Education) -- a new research center dedicated to educational innovation and cross-sector partnerships that focuses on student engagement.
/ Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Lindsey Spindle, President of the Jeff Skoll Group and a member of the Institute’s Next General Council, suggested we reach out to the team at the Skoll World Forum about our Dimensions in Testimony (DiT) program, given the obvious connection to theme of proximity. Now available in select museums, DiT is an interactive biography that enables people to ask questions of survivors and receive an appropriate reply from a selection of more than a thousand pre-recorded answers.
/ Wednesday, September 23, 2020
The story of Sara and Asa Shapiro is one of shared tragedy and shared success. Both were born in the small pre-war, predominantly Jewish town of Korets, in what was then Poland and is now Ukraine, into large Jewish families. Both survived the Holocaust. Sara escaped the ghetto and pretended to be a Ukrainian orphan while working as a maid. Asa was in a Russian Labor Camp in Siberia and then was subscripted into the Russian Army. They married, moved to America with practically nothing, settled in Detroit, and built a large family and a thriving business.
/ Wednesday, September 23, 2020
“This effort is especially important now when the world is experiencing a rise of violent antisemitism,” says Ilia Salita, CEO of Genesis Philanthropy Group. “We believe that Dimensions in Testimony will help counteract this and, more broadly, to disseminate knowledge about the tragedy of Soviet Jewry during the Shoah and the heroism of Jews who fought against the Nazis.”
/ Wednesday, September 23, 2020
“I remember President Bill Clinton speaking at our 10th anniversary gala about his regret that the Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda happened on his watch,” Liberman said. “A genocide was in the making, and I did not want this to be on our watch. The Institute immediately sent a team to record the survivors' testimonies to ensure the world heard directly from the Rohingya before it was too late.”
/ Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Barry Sternlicht’s father Maurycy was only nine years old when he fled Poland in 1938. Maurycy survived the war by hiding with Czech partisans. He related his story in the testimony he gave to USC Shoah Foundation in 1998. Sternlicht never heard his father’s story until later in life. But his father’s resilience in the face of war, his success but later the displacement he faced with business setbacks in America, inspired Sternlicht to achieve his own success as a founder of the Starwood Capital Group.
/ Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Suzi Weiss-Fischmann’s commitment to testimony-based education comes from her roots. The co-founder of OPI Products, Weiss-Fischmann was born in Hungary, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor who endured the horrors of Auschwitz. Her mother’s experiences and her own early life in Hungary reinforced the importance of education as a way of countering hatred. It’s a major reason why she has supported the Institute for more than a decade, and why she recently joined the Institute’s Board of Councilors.
/ Wednesday, September 23, 2020
While she grew up Catholic, Ceci Chan became dedicated to the Jewish concept of tikkun olam, or “repairing the world” over 20 years ago. The concept also manifests itself in the Chinese phrase that translates to “one united world,” 世界大同, which was a concept representing the highest level of the ideal social system, an equal, classless, borderless and stateless world. The concept comes from Confucius recorded in the "Book of Rites • Li Yun".
/ Friday, September 25, 2020
In 1969, Professor Richard Hovanissian started requiring students in his UCLA seminar course to record and transcribe interviews with survivors of the Armenian Genocide. Over the course of the next 50 years, his students assembled a massive library of more than 1,000 interviews, a universe of experiences that is one of the largest collections of Armenian testimonies in the world. This year, Hovanissian donated the collection to the USC Shoah Foundation, joining the testimonies in his collection to the hundreds collected by Dr. Michael Hagopian of the Armenian Film Foundation.
/ Friday, September 25, 2020
At the age of 16, Cole Kawana traveled to Rwanda for an investigative journalism trip to learn more about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. While there, he made a short film, The Kindness of Strangers. The film outlines the massacre of nearly a million people over 100 days — almost a sixth of the nation’s population at the time — and also chronicled how he helped survivors by donating filters to ensure drinkable water. This led to his founding of the Clean Water Ambassadors Foundation, which donates water filters to communities in need.
/ Friday, September 25, 2020
Marilyn Sinclair will never forget the day her father gave his testimony to USC Shoah Foundation. “It was the first time we came together as a family to discuss my father being a Holocaust survivor,” she recalls. “When he passed away in 2010, I realized the days of having actual witnesses to provide live testimony were numbered.”
/ Friday, September 25, 2020
Naomi Azrieli understands the power of the written word that enables survivors’ memories to live on and be shared. As head of the Azrieli Foundation, she oversees both its philanthropy and the publication of survivors’ memoirs in illustrated volumes made free to the public.
/ Friday, September 25, 2020
As the grandchild of four Holocaust survivors, Shael Rosenbaum, feels a duty to keep history’s flame from dimming so that the lessons of the past can remain alive and vibrant for the future. In addition to chairing the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre in Canada, he also served on USC Shoah Foundation’s Next Generation Council (NGC).
/ Friday, September 25, 2020
Tammy Anderson was first drawn to USC Shoah Foundation by her accounting firm partners Gerald Breslauer and Michael Rutman, who served on the Institute’s first board. Anderson’s involvement began with providing accounting services and blossomed into membership in the Next Generation Council (NGC).
/ Friday, September 25, 2020
Trudy Elbaum Gottesman keeps her family tree in her purse, close to her at all times, so she will always remember the names of relatives who were murdered in the Holocaust.
/ Friday, September 25, 2020
Board of Councilors member William P. Lauder has been part of USC Shoah Foundation from its very beginning, when founder Steven Spielberg asked him to support a collection of interviews with Holocaust survivors. “We met on the Amblin backlot, in a conference room with a whiteboard that had upcoming movie ideas on it,” Lauder recalls. Over the next two decades, those interviews grew into the Visual History Archive, and Lauder has steadfastly backed the Institute ever since.
/ Friday, September 25, 2020
Thanks to an extraordinary gift from the Koret Foundation, USC Shoah Foundation is partnering with the Hold On to Your Music Foundation to develop an educational program centered around The Children of Willesden Lane, a novel and musical that highlight the story of Jewish children rescued from central Europe and sent unaccompanied to Great Britain by the Kindertransport at the start of World War II.
/ Friday, October 16, 2020
Alive through oil and acrylic, the eleven survivors of Auschwitz look forward resolutely, facing the world together, bound by their shared history. The survivors are subjects depicted in an 18-foot wide portrait that served as the centerpiece of artist David Kassan’s recent exhibition Facing Survival: David Kassan at USC Fisher Museum of Art.
/ Friday, October 16, 2020

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