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There has been a recent and dramatic rise in antisemitism; from the shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, to the stabbing on Hanukkah in New York. Attacks on Jews have increased globally, and locally as well. The JFCS Holocaust Center reports a 175% increase in antisemitic acts in schools and community spaces of the past year.
As leaders of the Jewish community in the Bay Area, JFCS works diligently to combat hate and antisemitism. We find that education is one of the strongest tools in this ongoing fight. The Holocaust Center continues to play a role in preventing these attacks, in part by reaching over 25,000 students, educators, and community members every year through educational programs.
The JFCS Holocaust Center has a wide variety of programming meant to combat hate and antisemitism. Along with their Survivor Speakers Bureau, Legacy Study Tours, and variety of community and school programs, they host impactful and wide-reaching events.
To commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz, The Holocaust Center is bringing the Violins of Hope to more than 5,000 students and teachers throughout the Bay Area. These restored violins tell a story of the hope and resilience of the Jewish culture.
On March 8th, the JFCS Holocaust Center will host its 18th Annual Day of Learning, a program of the JFCS Preisler Shorenstein Institute. This remains a unique opportunity for over 700 students and educators from 125 different schools all over California. They come together and engage in 18 different workshops examining the complex history of the Holocaust and modern genocide.
All attendees will hear survivor testimony; most speakers at the Day of Learning are members of the JFCS Holocaust Center’s William J. Lowenberg Speakers Bureau. The chance to meet a survivor and hear their story first-hand bridges all sorts of gaps: time, geography, and understanding.
The Speakers Bureau reaches more than 10,000 students and teachers annually and continues to match survivors with school assemblies in Northern California. Due to the age of the survivors, traveling outside the Bay Area is very challenging. The Holocaust Center is taking a creative approach in engaging these students, with virtual workshops. Just a few weeks ago, Gloria spoke to a class of 20 students 55 miles away in Brentwood, CA via video conference from the JFCS Holocaust Center. Geography is no longer a boundary for providing students with interactive Holocaust education opportunities.
This past year, the JFCS Holocaust Center has partnered with groups at Apple, Google, and an international law firm to bring survivors to these company campuses and spread their stories beyond the school level.
Holocaust education is more urgent than ever, and JFCS is proud to support Holocaust Center programming as it continues to grow and thrive as a resource for all.
The JFCS Holocaust Center is funded through generous individual support, foundation grants, and program fees. Special support and funding are made possible by the Pell Family Foundation, Preisler Shorenstein Institute for Holocaust Education/Lydia Shorenstein, The Norman Raab Foundation, Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture, and Laszlo N. Tauber Family Foundation.
We are also grateful for designated endowed funds that make possible special initiatives: Gita & Henry Baigelman Holocaust Education Fund, Libi & Ron Cape Endowment Fund, Leonie J. Darwin & Jay A. Darwin Endowment Fund, Lilly Manovill Tauber Endrei Education Fund, Joseph & Rita Friedman Family Fund, Emanuel Gelbart Memorial Fund to Combat Holocaust Denial, Holocaust Memorial Education Fund of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, William J. Lowenberg Speakers Bureau Fund, Seymour Newstat Endowment Fund for the Annual Café by the Bay Passover Seder, Gerald B. Rosenstein Endowment Fund for Holocaust Education, San Francisco Humanities Fund, Isaac Sevi Institute for the Study of Greek Jewry, Edgar P. Talmus Endowment Fund, Tauber Holocaust Library and Education Program Endowment Fund, Helen I. and Henry B. Weil Memorial Endowment Fund, Morris Weiss Yom HaShoah Award, The Mitzi and Adolf Wilner Memorial Fund, Idell & Otto Weiss Family Youth Community Service Fund, and Rozsi & Jeno Zisovich Holocaust and Tolerance Studies Scholarship Fund.
To learn more about JFCS’ services to our community or to support the JFCS Holocaust Center please contact Barbara Farber at [email protected] or 415-449-3858.