September 20, 2021

Holocaust Education Series

With most of the country confined to their homes, three organizations – The Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation (‘PHRF’), the Boise, Idaho-based Wassmuth Center for Human Rights, and the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center (‘HERC’) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin – have joined forces to create our Holocaust Education Week programming series. Launched in April […]

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June 29, 2020

Webinar TOMORROW Celebrating Carl Lutz, and New Program Announcement

I am excited to announce two upcoming programs that directly address the ways in which we recount our past – and ultimately, how we understand our present.

The first is a webinar tomorrow, describing the life and legacy of Carl Lutz. If you have not heard of Carl Lutz, you are in good company. Unfortunately, although Carl Lutz’s rescue of over 50,000 Hungarian Jews as Vice-Consul at the Swiss Embassy in Hungary is considered the single greatest rescue operation of Jews during the Holocaust, his story is often omitted from our learning. Hosted by the Mid-Atlantic-Eurasia Business Council, tomorrow’s webinar will describe in detail Carl Lutz’s work, and will feature our own Executive Director, Eszter Kutas. Please see below for details.

The second is a new programming series scheduled between July 20th and July 24th, presenting a series of live events and resources on the topic of Reckoning with Historical Injustice. In partnership with the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights in Boise, ID, and the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center in Milwaukee, IL, this programming series will discuss how the world continues to work towards a holistic understanding of our history, and how the work to recognize the horrors of the Holocaust can inform modern attempts to accurately and fully tell our own American histories. We will be releasing additional details on this series next week.

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June 10, 2020

Next Week’s Event Schedule, Honoring Anne Frank

Last week, we wrote to tell you about our upcoming event series, hosted along with the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights and the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education and Resource Center (HERC), centered around the theme of Hope and Resilience of the Human Spirit. With events offered all next week (June 15th – June 19th), we welcome you to review our Calendar of Events, and to join us for whichever programs interest you.

This event series honors Anne Frank’s 91st birthday, coming up this Friday, June 12th. While there are any number of reasons that Anne Frank’s diary has so greatly impacted the world’s understanding of the Holocaust – her youth, her eloquent descriptions of the circumstances she lived through, her tragedy – we are inspired by her unflagging hope.

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June 5, 2020

Three New Events on Hope and Resilience

The Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation stands firmly with the protesters seeking justice for George Floyd. And, we are struck by what animates their efforts: despite long-standing – and rising – racism throughout our country, these protesters are motivated by hope for a brighter and more equitable future.

Inspired by their strength, the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation, along with the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights and the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education and Resource Center (HERC), will be offering a full week of programming between June 15th – June 19th, centered around the theme of Hope and Resilience of the Human Spirit. Read on for a description of the events we will be offering; further details will be released next week.

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May 8, 2020

Join Us Next Week for a Two Webinars and a Full Week of Content

We were so grateful to welcome over 160 viewers during yesterday’s webinar, hosted by ADL Philadelphia, describing how to use our IWalk mobile app as a tool for Holocaust education both at the Memorial Plaza and at home. If you missed this event, you can always access the recording by filling out the form on this page.

I am eager to debut the rest of this week’s programming on Confronting Antisemitism and Racism, offered in partnership with the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights in Boise, ID, and the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center (HERC) in Milwaukee, WI. Throughout the week, we will be hosting 3 additional live events, along with a variety of new anti-bigotry podcasts, articles, videos, and more.

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April 22, 2020

Yom HaShoah Memorialized Virtually Across Philly

Jewish organizations moved Yom HaShoah memorial services and educational programs online this year, but the message to never forget remained the same.

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April 20, 2020

Week of virtual programming replaces in-person Philly Holocaust remembrance ceremony

Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom HaShoah, began Monday night, but communities across the globe are honoring survivors differently this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Normally, Philadelphia draws a pretty big crowd for its annual ceremony at the Horwitz-Wasserman Holocaust Memorial Plaza on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. But not this year — social-distancing protocols replaced the ceremony with a virtual candle-lighting instead.

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April 17, 2020

Holocaust Education Week Begins April 20

The Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation announced that it has joined forces with two other nonprofit associations to create Holocaust Education Series.

In addition to live virtual events, participants will be able to access podcasts, an e-book, a graphic novel series, and several movies, designed to promote tolerance and compassion through enriching Holocaust education.

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April 9, 2020

Join Us for a Virtual Yom HaShoah Commemoration on April 20th

To offer a means of observing Yom HaShoah in these challenging circumstances, the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation has teamed up with the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights in Boise, ID, and the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center in Milwaukee, WI, to offer a week of programming between Sunday, April 19th and Friday, April 24th. This series will include three live events, as well as the debut of numerous new resources such as e-books, podcasts, and recorded content from each of our respective centers.

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February 22, 2019

Eszter Kutas Named Holocaust Foundation Director

With the Horwitz-Wasserman Holocaust Memorial Plaza complete, the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation is going through a few changes: It will transition its fundraising focus from a capital to an endowment campaign, and Eszter Kutas — a leader of the plaza project — will transition from a consultant to full-time staff member.

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February 12, 2019

When President Lincoln fought for the Jews

During Black History Month, we recognize the historical importance of President Abraham Lincoln as the foremost figure in the battle to abolish slavery. But even as Lincoln, whose 210th birthday we mark on Feb. 12, is widely known for his role fighting for equality, he may still be underappreciated. In fact, as a moral compass and a role model for liberty, his influence extends far beyond the specific events for which he is most well-known.

In Lincoln’s time, like today, the issue of equality was relevant to many minority groups. While Jews had been living in America for centuries by the time of Lincoln’s presidency, anti-Semitism was widespread, even among the abolitionists.

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January 4, 2019

Local survivors and families visit Philly’s new Holocaust Memorial Plaza

On December 5, 26 Holocaust survivors from the shore area and their families took a bus trip to Philadelphia’s Horowitz-Wasserman Holocaust Memorial Plaza on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Stockton University’s Holocaust Resource Center and Azeez Museum, along with Jewish Family Service offered the trip to the new Plaza, which opened on October 22.

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December 27, 2018

Plaza’s Name Recognizes Holocaust Survivor

As the project to create a Holocaust memorial plaza at 16th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway drew to a close, Campus Apartments Chairman Alan Horwitz decided to step up and contribute the $2 million naming gift — both as a proud father and as a devoted son.

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November 12, 2018

80 Years After Kristallnacht, Holocaust Education Is More Important Than Ever

Two-and-half-weeks ago, the Philadelphia community came together to formally open the Horwitz-Wasserman Holocaust Plaza at the first public Holocaust memorial in downtown Philadelphia. Just five days later, a gunman killed 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue, and it became tragically clear that our concern about history repeating itself was warranted.

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November 9, 2018

Greenspan helps redevelop Holocaust Memorial in Pennsylvania

In 1964, the first public memorial to the Holocaust in the United States was unveiled in Philadelphia, located along Benjamin Franklin Parkway. More than 50 years later, the area surrounding the memorial expanded and adopted technological advancements for education and further remembrance.

Ocean City resident Jerry Greenspan spent his childhood in Philadelphia, where the memorial was constructed. His father, Harold, was one of the Holocaust survivors who helped to design and dedicate the first Holocaust memorial in North America.

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October 23, 2018

‘Truth of the past’: $9 million Horwitz-Wasserman Holocaust Memorial Plaza opens to public

“I was a child at the time. But children were no longer children at the time,” Nussbaum told Philadelphia Weekly.

After arriving at Auschwitz, they were separated into two lines. Nossbaum’s newly engaged, 29-year-old aunt was born with a hip deformity, causing a slight a slight limp: she was put in the left line and sent to the gas chambers. Nossbaum and her mother were put sent to the right line and put to work.

“When we were separated, we didn’t utter a word,” Nussbaum remembered. “That haunted me for years.”

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October 23, 2018

Nation’s First Public Holocaust Memorial Expands On Ben Franklin Parkway

The first public Holocaust memorial in North America has been expanded and modernized in Philadelphia. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Monday morning at the new Holocaust Memorial Plaza located on the Ben Franklin Parkway. Fifty years ago, the original memorial was just a granite sculpture called “Six Million Jewish Martyrs.” It was unveiled in 1964.

Many attended the historic event, including a Holocaust survivor. A new interactive app will allow visitors to hear testimonies from survivors, liberators, and witnesses associated with the Philadelphia community.

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October 23, 2018

Philly Debuts New, State-of-the-Art Holocaust Memorial

The Holocaust Memorial Plaza opened Monday at a ceremony featuring Holocaust survivors and local dignitaries.

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October 23, 2018

History and art collide in Philly’s new Holocaust remembrance plaza

Itka Zymuntowicz was just a kid when she was taken from her home in Poland and sent to the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz.

“I barely survived,” she said. “I was the only one of my family, but I was determined not to give up.”

So for Zymuntowicz, attending the opening of Philadelphia’s Holocaust Memorial Plaza in Center City on Monday morning was a pretty emotional experience.

“I feel very grateful that people care enough to do it,” she said.

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October 22, 2018

1st Holocaust memorial in US merges past with new technology

In 1964, the first public memorial to the Holocaust in the United States was unveiled in a solemn ceremony in Philadelphia. The bronze-on-black granite sculpture called “Six Million Jewish Martyrs” was the work of artist Nathan Rapoport, who fled his native Poland when the Nazis invaded Warsaw. It was commissioned by a group of Philadelphia-area Holocaust survivors and Jewish civic leaders. The sculpture, which depicts images of resistance, innocence and faith, has sat unchanged on its perch along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway ever since.

Now, after more than half a century, the Holocaust Memorial Plaza has been expanded and enhanced to focus on both remembrance and education. With new displays and an interactive app, visitors can hear testimonies from survivors, liberators and witnesses associated with the Philadelphia community.

The new plaza opened Monday at a ceremony featuring local dignitaries and Holocaust survivors.

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October 22, 2018

A Holocaust Memorial Expands in Philadelphia

A new downtown plaza built around the “Monument to Six Million Jewish Martyrs,” a Nathan Rapoport sculpture that has stood on the site since 1964, opened on Monday.

The plaza adds to the memorial physical items from the Holocaust and uses technology to allow visitors to hear from survivors, some of them now residents of the Philadelphia area. The new surroundings include three sections of train track from the Treblinka camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, which are 4 to 6 feet long and have been embedded in the pavement. There, users of a free app — downloadable at the site — can hear testimonies about people’s experiences being deported by train to concentration camps.

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October 22, 2018

As solemn memorial to Holocaust opens on Parkway, a family and business bond is cemented

Thirty-three years ago, David Adelman used his bar mitzvah money to buy a $2,000 stake in Campus Apartments, the student housing business owned by his mother’s lifelong friend Alan Horwitz. It paved Adelman’s entry into what’s now a national network of student apartments that he has come to lead.

Now “Uncle Alan,” as he was once affectionately known, has returned the favor 1,000-fold with a $2 million donation to another venture currently helmed by Adelman: the plaza commemorating Holocaust victims that opens Monday on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Center City.

In return for that gift, the site will be dubbed the Horwitz-Wasserman Holocaust Plaza in honor of Horwitz and Adelman’s grandfather, Sam Wasserman, who died in 1991 at 81.

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October 19, 2018

Why we need Holocaust education now more than ever

Monday marks an important chapter in Philadelphia’s history, both as home to one of the nation’s most populous Jewish communities and our centuries-long tradition of religious tolerance and acceptance. Thanks to unprecedented philanthropic efforts that led to a multi-million renovation, Philadelphia’s Holocaust Memorial Plaza is reopening with a reimagined mission as a “living classroom,” enhancing the study of the Holocaust with modern technology. This new plaza for remembrance and learning comes at a critical time in our nation’s history, when we are seeing a disturbing uptick in anti-Semitism and hate-based attacks as well as dangerous, bigoted rhetoric in our public discourse.

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October 17, 2018

The $9 million Holocaust memorial is about to open on the Parkway

After just eight months of construction, the brand new Philadelphia Holocaust Memorial Plaza is complete. It will open Monday, Oct. 22, on the Ben Franklin Parkway as a lasting tribute to Philly’s survivors, liberators and witnesses.

The triangle of land at the intersection of 16th and Arch has hosted the Six Million Jewish Martyrs statue since 1964, when it became the first public monument of its kind in the United States. Philadelphia is the natural home for such memorials, said Eszter Kutas, acting director of the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation.

“It’s the birthplace of our democracy,” Kutas said. “We are trying through holocaust testimony as well as some physical installations to connect Philadelphia’s story with what happened in Europe during the war.”

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July 9, 2018

The Lessons of the Holocaust Are Alive in the American Spirit

Eszter Kutas is coordinating the effort to build Philadelphia’s new Holocaust memorial plaza. In an opinion piece, she discusses the “stark images of indignity” we’ve seen of migrant children being separated from their parents. “If we can continue to learn from moral errors of the past and fight against any encroachment upon life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” she writes, “we truly have a holiday worth celebrating.”

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