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As a featured speaker at the 2014 Ambassadors for Humanity gala in Los Angeles, Michelle Sadrena Clark said that the USC Shoah Foundation had changed her life and her teaching. “We learned about that last year” is something a teacher never wants to hear her students say, but those are exactly the words Michelle Sadrena Clark heard from her students. What concerned her most was that they were talking about the Holocaust, as if it were just another history topic to cover once and then check off the list.
teacher, high school, california, mtw, Michelle Clark / Thursday, May 8, 2014
Born in Tunisia in 1940, Jacqueline Gmach left at the age of 18. Though her family was not directly in danger, the Nazi genocide remains deeply personal to her. She has devoted her career to educating people about its horrors as well as promoting the Jewish culture its executioners tried to obliterate. A scholar with degrees and credentials from institutions ranging from the Sorbonne in Paris to the University of Jerusalem and the University of Montreal, Gmach serves as project director for USC Shoah Foundation’s Testimonies of North Africa and the Middle East project.
Gmach, sephardi, mizrahi, collection, archive, vha / Friday, April 11, 2014
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.”
/ Monday, July 1, 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.
/ Friday, July 26, 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.
maayan roitfarb, research fellow, tufts / Tuesday, August 6, 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, August 12, 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.
Greg Irwin, intern / Monday, August 19, 2013
Kia Hays recently joined the research and documentation staff at USC Shoah Foundation as project specialist. She received a bachelor’s in English and international relations at Hawaii Pacific University in 2010 and a master’s in public diplomacy from the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism in May 2013. Hays was the associate editor for the online publication PDiN Monitor at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, and the editor-in-chief of the academic journal Public Diplomacy Magazine.
/ Monday, August 26, 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.
/ Wednesday, September 4, 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.
/ Monday, September 9, 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. 
/ Friday, September 13, 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.
/ Tuesday, September 17, 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 (, an online tool offered for free to any school by the nonprofit USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education.
/ Friday, September 20, 2013
Patti Giggans has been the executive director of Peace Over Violence since 1985, but her passion for social justice began before she even got her high school diploma. “As a sophomore in high school geometry class I remember reading William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” Giggans said. “I read it on my lap... I flunked geometry.”
/ Wednesday, September 25, 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.
/ Tuesday, October 1, 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 8, 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.
/ Thursday, October 10, 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.
/ Tuesday, October 22, 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.
/ Thursday, October 31, 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 4, 2013
Yehuda Bauer and Xu Xin have each led vastly different lives. But they both ended up as two of the world’s most respected and influential Holocaust scholars. For Bauer, the journey began in Czechoslovakia, where he was born in 1926. He and his family immigrated to Israel in 1939, just before World War II, and he graduated from Cardiff University in Wales after fighting in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. He received his PhD in 1960 at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and began teaching at its Institute for Contemporary Jewry the following year.
/ Wednesday, November 6, 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.
/ Monday, November 11, 2013
Bryan Kessler has made it his life’s mission to teach and memorialize the Holocaust.
/ Thursday, November 14, 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.
/ Monday, November 18, 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, 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.
/ Monday, November 25, 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.
/ Sunday, December 1, 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.
/ Wednesday, December 4, 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.
/ Sunday, December 8, 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.
/ Tuesday, December 10, 2013