Geni Tours the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles

Posted April 18, 2011 by Geni | No Comment

We were lucky enough to be given a tour of the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles by Sunny Lee-Goodman, Director, Tools for Tolerance® for Law Enforcement. This guest post is written by her:

The Museum of Tolerance, the only museum of its kind in the world, is the educational arm of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an internationally renowned human rights organization dedicated to promoting respect and mutual understanding, through education, community partnerships , and civic engagement. Visitors become witnesses to history and explore the dynamics of bigotry and discrimination that are still embedded in society today. Through interactive exhibits, special events, and customized programs for youths and adults, the Museum engages visitors’ hearts and minds, while challenging them to assume personal responsibility for positive change. Perhaps no other institution offers such a motivational mix of historical discovery and personal empowerment.

Upcoming Events at the Museum of Tolerance include:
5/1 Family Sunday – Yom HaShoah Join us as we commemorate the 6 million Jews who perished in the Holocaust and honor the legacy of those who suffered, those who fought and those who died. Programming includes:

· Holocaust Survivor Testimonies – Hear Holocaust survivors share their stories of perseverance and survival during the Holocaust.

· The Butterfly Project – Paint ceramic butterflies in remembrance of the 1.5 million Jewish children who were killed during the Holocaust.

· Remembering Anne Frank – Learn more about Anne Frank’s life through online exploration of the Secret Annex in which she was hidden. Using quotations from Anne’s diary, create personal diaries inspired by her enduring spirit.

· Honor the Past – View Holocaust survivor portraits, learn more about the children of the Holocaust, visit our Reading Corner and more.

5/1 Book Signing – The Heavens Are Empty. The Museum of Tolerance and the Jewish Genealogical Society present, The Heavens Are Empty: Discovering the Lost Town of Trochenbrod an afternoon with author Avrom Bendavid-Val. In the 19th century most of Europe’s five Million Jews lived in Shtetls in the shadow of town’s with oppressive anti-Jewish laws, but not Trochenbrod. Trochenbrod was the only fully realized Jewish town in history. In 130 years it would grow from a row of houses to a bustling marketplace. But in 1943, Trochenbrod vanished. Her residents slaughtered, the town razed to the ground. The Nazis, however, could not destroy its spirit. Trochenbrod lives on in stories and legends and this little bit of heaven deep in the forest comes alive in The Heavens Are Empty.

5/2 Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day “Hakarat Hatov – Recogizing the Good”. A program honoring the courage of people from three monotheistic religions whose righteous deeds during and after the Holocaust reflect their faith in humanity : Jewish Holocaust survivors, Albanian Muslims who saved Jews, and Pope John Paul II

5/2 Exhibit Opening – Besa: Albanian Muslims Who Saved Jews During the Holocaust. This photographic exhibit by Norman Gershman is the subtle portraiture and personal stories by rescuers, renowned photographer Norman Gershman communicates the honor, faith and altruism of Albanian Muslims who saved Jews during the Holocaust. The exhibit will run through August 19, 2011

5/22 Family Sunday – Asian Pacific Heritage. Join us for a Family Sunday honoring Asian Pacific Heritage month. Experience art activities and live presentations with an Asian Pacific focus.

6/2 Film Screening of Nuremberg. Made for the U.S. Dept of War in 1948, this historic film about the first Nuremberg trial was widely shown in Germany but suppressed in the U.S. Why was it banned? Come see for yourself and discover why one of the most important and dramatic films of our time was buried for more than 60 years. Co-sponsored by the Beverly Hills Bar Association.

Additional Film Screenings:
5/3 Prisoner of Her Past – Prisoner of Her Past tells the haunting story of a secret childhood trauma resurfacing, sixty years later, to unravel the life of Holocaust survivor Sonia Reich. The film follows her son, Chicago Tribune jazz critic Howard Reich, as he journeys across the United States and Eastern Europe to uncover why his mother believes the world is conspiring to kill her. Along the way, he finds a family he never knew he had. This film is the first to illuminate a little-known illness, late-onset Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Prisoner of Her Past examines the disorder’s devastating effect on victims and their families. In addition, the film highlights programs that are aiding young trauma survivors of Hurricane Katrina, in New Orleans–and how such early interventions may have helped Howard’s mother. Q & A following the screening with Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune Arts Critic featured in the film and Joanna Rudnick, producer.

5/4 Iron Cross – Iron Cross was honored with two awards from the Boston Film Festival – the visionary filmmaker award for director Joshua Newton and the “Best Young Actor” award for Alexander Newton. The movie thriller stars the late Roy Scheider as Joseph, a retired New York Police office and Holocaust survivor, who travels to Nuremberg following the death of his wife to reconcile with his son Ronnie (Scott Cohen). The reunion is quickly overshadowed by Joseph’s insistence that living in the apartment above, under a false name, is the now aging SS commander (Helmut Berger) who murdered Joseph’s entire family during WWII. Certain of the neighbor’s true identity, Joseph draws his reluctant son into a plan to exact justice and vengeance. With flashbacks to the past, revealing young Joseph’s (Alexander Newton) narrow escape from the massacre and his teenage love for a heroic Polish girl, Kashka (Sarah Bolger), the story reaches a gripping and unforgettable climax.Q & A with filmmaker Joshua Newton and cast member Alexander Newton following the screening.

5/9 There Once Was – There Once Was tells the inspiring story of Catholic school teacher, Gyöngyi Mago’s fight to have her town’s Jewish history officially acknowledged and to chart a new course of tolerance in conflict-riddden Hungary, where the Nazi party is presently growing an alarming rate. Q&A following the screening with flimmaker Gabor Kalman and the subject of the film Gyöngyi Mago

Personal Testimonies:
CAST – The MOT is proud to partner with CAST (Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking) to present the stories of survivors of human trafficking. Speakers are at the MOT on every second Sunday of the month at 2:00 p.m. Their one-hour presentation is included in museum admission. Upcoming 2011 Dates : June 12, July 10, August 14, September 11, October 9, November 13, December 11.

From Hate to Hope – is a remarkable true story of the reconciliation of a perpetrator and victim of a hate crime. Featuring Matthew Boger and Tim Zaal, this presentation examines the roots of prejudice and discrimination and the ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Using a Question and Answer session, Matthew and Tim engage the audience in a discussion of redemption and the power of forgiveness. Matthew and Tim present their extraordinary story at 3:00 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month.

Special Exhibition:
Para Todos Los Ninos, Fighting Segregation in California – Many people know of desegregation as it happened in the American South, but this exhibition shares the story of the landmark struggles of Latino families in Southern California almost ten years before Brown v. Board of Education. This exhibit shows the history of segregation and discrimination in California that targeted all non-White citizens, in housing, jobs, and schools. Participants learn the dramatic story of Mendez v. Westminster and the broad multi-racial grassroots efforts, including lawyers and activists, to end school segregation in rural Orange County. Participants will learn of their impact in closing not only “Mexican schools” but in battling segregated schools for all.