History is an Open Book: Event Highlights

On May 10th, 2021, we hosted “History is an Open Book” with the Philadelphia Citizen and Friends Select School. This event was open to the public and brought together community leaders, elected officials, and students who read excerpts of powerful Jewish, liberal and anti-bigotry literature in defiance of the 1933 Nazi book burnings.

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Seat At the Table: Episode 1

We’re excited to introduce the first installment of “A Seat at the Table” — a video series shedding light on diversity and driving conversations around intersectionality.
In this episode, PHRF Executive Director Eszter Kutas welcomed special guests Madeleine Kessler, board member of the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation, and Bishop J Louis Felton, senior pastor and servant leader at the Mt Airy Church Of God In Christ, for a wide-ranging discussion on racism, antisemitism and how different communities can work together to create a more just society.

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Refuge in Latin America

On May 6, 2021, Christina Chavarria, Program Coordinator at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum spoke about how various countries in
Latin America supported or denied European Jews seeking refuge from
the Holocaust in the 1930s and 1940s as well as after the War.

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Film Talkback: Complicit

In 1939, the SS St. Louis left Germany and set sail for North America. Among her passengers were 937 Jewish refugees desperate to escape
Nazi persecution and gain entry to the United States through Cuba.
Upon her arrival, the ship and passengers were denied entry. After
weeks at sea pleading with the US, Canada, and Cuba governments,
the SS St. Louis had no choice but to return to Europe where it is
estimated over one quarter of her passengers perished in German
concentration camps. Complicit tells this story. On May 5, 2021, The Wassmuth Center hosted a Q&A with Creator/Producer Robert Krakow and SS St. Louis Passengers Sonja Geismar and Eva Wiene.

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Lower East Side Tenement Museum Talk and Tour

What is the Tenement Museum and what is its role in telling the stories of immigrants to New York City from the 19th century through today? Kat Lloyd, Director of Education joins the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation for a discussion and abbreviated tour, sharing how the Museum tells stories of the past and present.

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Learning through Testimony: Dr. Richard Hovannisian (4/1/21)

Richard Hovannisian is the preeminent historian of Armenia and the Armenian genocide having authored and edited many books, including the four-volume work, The Republic of Armenia, and is professor emeritus at UCLA. He oversaw the largest oral history project in the Armenian community, which amounted to 800 interviews; all of which were digitized just before the 90th anniversary of the mass killings. Professor Hovannisian discusses his work surrounding the Armenian genocide and the power of survivor testimony – as historical record and legacy in a post-survivor world.

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Testimony and the Transfer of Trauma: Elizabeth Rosner (4/1/21)/a>

As firsthand survivors of many of the twentieth century’s most monumental events—the Holocaust, Hiroshima, the Killing Fields—pass away, Survivor Café addresses urgent questions: How do we carry those stories forward? How do we collectively ensure that the horrors of the past are not forgotten? Author Elizabeth Rosner discusses her concept, research, and writing process, as well as reflect on her book.

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Spiral of Injustice (10/30/20)

On October 30, Dr. Dan Prinzing, Executive Director of the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights in Boise, ID, presented a webinar framing civic responsibility through the lens of the “Spiral of Injustice.” The Spiral presents a downward trajectory that explores injustice through the devolving sequence of language, avoidance, discrimination, violence, and elimination. As a model, the Spiral counters static images of injustice and rather presents the fluidity and/or the internal and external motions of a community in which injustice becomes publicly apparent. Is it our civic responsibility to interrupt the Spiral of Injustice?

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Exploring the Nazi Propaganda Machine (10/26/20)

On October 26th, Dr. Lindsay MacNeill, historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, joined Eszter Kutas and Sophie Don of the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation, to discuss the Nazi’s systematic use of propaganda leading up to the Holocaust and Second World War. To contextualize the conversation, the program begins with a selection from the film ‘The Path to Nazi Genocide.”

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The Nazi Titanic: The Incredible Story of a Doomed Ship in World War II (7/30/20)

In his book The Nazi Titanic: The Incredible Story of a Doomed Ship in World War II, Dr. Watson tells the riveting story of a German luxury liner ship – the Cap Arcona, meant to rival the English Titanic – which, after starring in a failed German propaganda movie, was repurposed as a seaborne concentration camp. When the British Royal Air Force mistakenly bombed the Cap Arcona, most of its prisoners were killed in this last major tragedy of the Holocaust and one of history’s worst maritime disasters. This webinar discusses not only the story, but Dr. Watson’s incredible process of discovering the evidence to prove it, hidden from view for over 60 years.


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Allies and Activists: Perspectives on Social Justice (7/24/20)

“What can I do?” It is an important question as we witness a moment in time becoming a movement for justice. Is there a place of intersection that unites the spectrum of communities in attaining a free and just society? Join this panel of Idaho-based educators and experts as they grapple with these questions.

This webinar’s panelists include:

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A Conversation with Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff about Antisemitism Today, In Light of Dr. Deborah Lipstadt’s talk ‘Antisemitism: Here and Now’ (5/14/20)

Sometimes called the oldest hatred, the roots of contemporary antisemitism stretch back millennia. Using excerpts from Dr. Deborah Lipstadt’s April 29th recorded conversation with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum to structure their conversation. Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff and our Executive Director, Eszter Kutas, share their thoughts, life experiences, and knowledge around antisemitism in the United States and in Europe.

Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff is a Child Holocaust Survivor and Director of The University of Miami Holocaust Institute and the Curriculum Specialist Miami Dade County Schools.

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A Conversation on Hope with 3 Rabbis

A Conversation on Hope with 3 Rabbis

What can Jewish tradition teach us about hope? In this webinar, 3 rabbis discuss their differing perspectives on hope, and perseverance despite struggle and difficulty. Learn about Jewish text as well as custom, and how rabbis from 3 different regions from 3 movements of Judaism perceive the Jewish responsibility to continue working for the good of the community, even when presented with extraordinary obstacles.

Rabbi Hirshi Sputz, Chabad of Fairmount, Philadelphia, PA
Rabbi Abby Jacobson, Emanuel Synagogue, Oklahoma City, OK
Rabbi Dan Fink, Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel, Boise, ID
Moderated by Dan Prinzing, Executive Director of the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights

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Memento Park: How Hungary Uses Communist Statues to Teach Democracy (June 23, 2020)

As the United States reckons with memorials and monuments that no longer represent the values our nation wishes to uphold, we may ask ourselves: what have other countries done to remedy this issue? In Budapest, Hungary, Memento Park is an open-air museum displaying 45 pieces of art from the Communist era between 1945 and 1989, which had previously been displayed throughout Hungary. By collecting the statues in a central, respectful location, Memento Park encourages visitors to think freely about dictatorship – and, by extension, democracy. Learn how Memento Park was formed, how visitors engage with these larger-than-life monuments to Communism, and what lessons we can learn from this unique space.

This webinar was recorded Thursday, 7/23/20, in partnership with Memento Park (<a href=”http://www.mementopark.hu/”>http://www.mementopark.hu/</a>)

The presenters are Judit Holp (Memento Park) and Eszter Kutas (Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation).

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Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff, Child Survivor and Holocaust Educator, Shares Her Story (4/22/20)

In this 1-hour webinar, Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff discusses her experience of fleeing, hiding, and running as a small child from Nazi-occupied Slovakia and Hungary.

Dr. Miriam is a child Holocaust survivor and Holocaust education expert. Dr. Miriam serves as the Director of Holocaust Studies at the University of Miami and the Education Specialist for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. She shares her story as a means of connecting with students, parents, and educators around the importance of remembrance and comprehensive Holocaust education.

This webinar is appropriate for children ages 14 and older.

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