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Project Neshamah invites B’nai Mitzvah students to honor, remember, and connect with a teen or child who was killed in the Holocaust and who has living connections to Washington State. 

"Neshamah" (Hebrew:  נשמה ) is the Hebrew word for soul, or breath. By recognizing each individual, we carry on their memories. By saying their name out loud, we keep these memories alive. 

The Holocaust Center for Humanity will provide the B’nai Mitzvah student with a name of a child and information about them. 

Below are a few suggestions for how the B’nai Mitzvah may choose to remember this child. There are many acts of remembrance and respect and we encourage B’nai Mitzvah students to find ways that are meaningful to them. 

  • Do a mitzvah in the name of the child
  • Mention the child in a speech or dvar Torah
  • Light a yahrzeit candle
  • Share their name and story with others
  • Research the child’s story

 

To request a name, please complete the form below. 

REQUEST A NAME

 

Not a Bar/Bat Mitzvah student, but want to participate in this project?  Or do you have a name of a family member who was a child/teen killed in the Holocaust that you would like remembred? Email Ilana Cone Kennedy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Over the course of 2021, the Holocaust Center for Humanity's Lunch-and-Learn virtual program has featured a variety of authors and their books that inform and enrich our understanding of antisemitism, the Holocaust, racism, and other topics of exclusion and oppression, as well as hope.

Below are selected titles featured at our Lunch-and-Learns that can provide you with background and education on these topics. We encourage you to ask your local bookseller or check out the library for these titles:


 

Horse Crazy

By Sarah Maslin Nir. It may surprise you to learn that there are over seven million horses in America - even more thanHorse Crazy cover when they were the only means of transportation - and nearly two million horse owners. Acclaimed journalist and avid equestrian Sarah Maslin Nir is one of them; she began riding horses when she was just two years old and hasn’t stopped since. Horse Crazy is a fascinating, funny, and moving love letter to these graceful animals and the people who - like her - are obsessed with them. It is also a coming-of-age story of Nir growing up an outsider within the world’s most elite inner circles, and finding her true north in horses.

Woven into these compelling character studies, Nir shares her own moving personal narrative. She details her father’s harrowing tale of surviving the Holocaust, and describes an enchanted but deeply lonely upbringing in Manhattan, where horses became her family. She found them even in the middle of the city, in a stable disguised in an old townhouse and in Central Park, when she chased down truants as an auxiliary mounted patrol officer. And she speaks candidly of how horses have helped her overcome heartbreak and loss. - Simon & Schuster

 

 

Unstoppable: Siggi B. Wilzig's Astonishing Journey from Auschwitz Survivor and Penniless Immigrant to Wall Street Legend 

approved unstoppable book cover flat May3 2021By Joshua Greene. Unstoppable is the ultimate immigrant story and an epic David-and-Goliath adventure. In Auschwitz, Siggi used his wits to stay alive, pretending to have trade skills the Nazis could exploit to run the camp. After two death marches and near starvation, he was liberated from camp Mauthausen and went to work for the US Army hunting Nazis, a service that earned him a visa to America. On arrival, he made three vows: to never go hungry again, to support the Jewish people, and to speak out against injustice. From these humble beginnings, he became President, Chairman and CEO of a New York Stock Exchange-listed oil company and grew a full-service commercial bank to more than $4 billion in assets. Siggi’s ascent from the darkest of yesterdays to the brightest of tomorrows holds sway over the imagination in this riveting narrative of grit, cunning, luck, and the determination to live life to the fullest. - unstoppablesiggi.com

 

 

Chief Seattle and the Town that Took His Name

By David Buerge. Chief Seattle wrote nothing down during his life, yet his words—both real and imagined—are knownChief Seattle cover throughout the world. The result is a man-made up of both historical and fictional aspects, from which conflicting messages can be gleaned. Buerge’s latest book, published by Sasquatch Books, is the first biography of Chief Seattle intended for adults. 

This is the first thorough historical account of Chief Seattle and his times—the story of a half-century of tremendous flux, turmoil, and violence, during which a native American war leader became an advocate for peace and strove to create a successful hybrid racial community. - Penguin Random House

 

 

One Voice, Two Lives

By Cantor David S. Wisnia. David Wisnia was the middle child in a Jewish family of five and a child singing star, but1V2L COVER 206x300 tragedy was soon to begin. After David’s Bar Mitzvah, Germany occupies Poland, Jews were quarantined in the Warsaw Ghetto, and in an instant, David becomes an orphan and a fugitive on the run from the Nazis. Eventually rounded up by the Nazi SS, David became a prisoner of the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, where he is held for nearly 3 years. After surviving several horrors in Auschwitz, David discovered that his singing voice will ultimately save his life in the camp. Towards the end of the war, during a final death march, David mades a daring escape which leds him directly into the path of U.S. soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division. The men adopt “Little Davey,” taking him with them on their campaign of liberation through Europe. With their help, David Wisnia was able to immigrate to the U.S., where he built a new life and continued singing. - onevoicetwolives.com

 

 

A Hero of Our Own: The Story of Varian Fry

By Sheila Isenberg. The story of Varian Fry is perhaps less well known than that of Oscar Schindler, but to some hehero of our own became known as the "American Schindler" or The Artist's Schindler". In 1940, Fry was sent to France by the Emergency Rescue Committee in New York, with a list of two hundred names and only three thousand dollars in his pocket. The list was made up by the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Eleanor Roosevelt, among others. Those on the list were mainly artists, scientists and writers, sculptors who were on the Nazi black list and considered "degenerates". Outlawed and outcast, they had left their countries of origin and were living in France. - Yad Veshem

 

 

  

Among the Remnants: Josh Gortler's Journey

By Josh Gortler. When three-year-old Joshua Gortler and his family were forced from their hometown in Poland duringremnants World War II, they scrambled for safety across border after border, finding refuge at last in Europe’s Displaced Persons Camps.

Undocumented and unschooled, Gortler spent his adolescence learning to survive. When his family eventually relocated to the US, Gortler found himself starting over as teenager in a foreign land with only his spunk and sharp wits to rely on.

After teaching himself English, Gortler managed to complete high school in three years, earn an MSW, and begin what would become a distinguished career in the field of eldercare. Acknowledged as a leading pioneer in his field, Gortler dedicated his professional life to helping others stitch their torn lives back together. - Coffeetown Press

The S.S. Officer's Armchair

By Daniel Lee. Based on documents discovered concealed within a simple chair for seventy years, this grippingss officer investigation into the life of a single S.S. officer during World War Two encapsulates the tragic experience of a generation of Europeans.

In The S.S. Officer's Armchair, Lee weaves detection with biography to tell an astonishing narrative of ambition and intimacy in the Third Reich. He uncovers Griesinger's American back-story--his father was born in New Orleans and the family had ties to the plantations and music halls of nineteenth century Louisiana. As Lee follows the footsteps of a rank and file Nazi official seventy years later, and chronicles what became of him and his family at the war's end, Griesinger's role in Nazi crimes comes into focus. When Lee stumbles on an unforeseen connection between Griesinger and the murder of his own relatives in the Holocaust, he must grapple with potent questions about blame, manipulation, and responsibility. - Hachette Books

  

Think Black: A Memoir

By Clyde Ford. In this thought-provoking and heartbreaking memoir, award-winning writer Clyde Ford tells the story ofthnk black his father, John Stanley Ford, the first black software engineer at IBM, revealing how racism insidiously affected his father’s view of himself and their relationship.

Viewing the job as the opportunity of a lifetime, the elder Ford comported himself with dignity and professionalism, and relied on his community and his "street smarts" to succeed. He did not know that his hiring was meant to distract from IBM’s dubious business practices, including its involvement in the Holocaust, eugenics, and apartheid.

From his first day of work—with his wide-lapelled suit, bright red turtleneck, and huge afro—Clyde made clear he was different. Only IBM hadn’t changed. As he, too, experienced the same institutional racism, Clyde began to better understand the subtle yet daring ways his father had fought back. - Harper Collins

 

Buried by the Times: The Holocaust and America's Most Important Newspaper

By Laurel Leff. An in-depth look at how The New York Times failed in its coverage of the fate of European Jews fromburied by times 1939–45. It examines how the decisions that were made at The Times ultimately resulted in the minimizing and misunderstanding of modern history's worst genocide. Laurel Leff, a veteran journalist and professor of journalism, recounts how personal relationships at the newspaper, the assimilationist tendencies of The Times' Jewish owner, and the ethos of mid-century America, all led The Times to consistently downplay news of the Holocaust. It recalls how news of Hitler's 'final solution' was hidden from readers and - because of the newspaper's influence on other media - from America at large. Buried by The Times is required reading for anyone interested in America's response to the Holocaust and for anyone curious about how journalists determine what is newsworthy. - Cambridge University Press

 

The Family: Three Journeys into the Heart of the Twenthieth Century

By David Laskin. In tracing the roots of this family—his own family—Laskin captures the epic sweep of the twentieththe family century. A modern-day scribe, Laskin honors the traditions, the lives, and the choices of his ancestors: revolutionaries and entrepreneurs, scholars and farmers, tycoons and truck drivers. The Family is a deeply personal, dramatic, and emotional account of people caught in a cataclysmic time in world history.

With cinematic power and beauty, bestselling author David Laskin brings to life the upheavals of the twentieth century through the story of one family, three continents, two world wars, and the rise and fall of nations. - Abe Books


Facing the Mountain

facing the mountainBy Daniel James Brown. Facing the Mountain is an unforgettable chronicle of war-time America and the battlefields of Europe. Based on Daniel James Brown’s extensive interviews with the families of the protagonists as well as deep archival research, it portrays the kaleidoscopic journey of four Japanese-American families and their sons, who volunteered for 442nd Regimental Combat Team and were deployed to France, Germany, and Italy, where they were asked to do the near impossible. Foreward written by Tom Ikeda, founding Executive Director of the nonprofit, Densho. - Penguin Random House

 

Thank you for supporting the Center's 17th annual Voices for Humanity Luncheon. If you were unable to join us live, click below to watch.

 

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Questions? Call 206.582.3000 | International Guests: Click here to donate

 

2021 Tribute Book Digital

THANK YOU | CORPORATE SPONSORS

 

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Bernstein Global Wealth Management | Brown & Brown | C + C | CBIZ Berntson Porter | The Commerce Bank of Washington | Costco | Deirdre Doyle Properties, Windermere Real Estate Midtown | Dorsey & Whitney LLP | Federal Army & Navy Surplus Inc., The Schaloum Families | GLY Construction | Karr Tuttle Campbell | Morgan Stanley | Puget Sound Pipe and Supply | Wells Fargo Private Bank

 

THANK YOU | CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE 
 

PRESENTING PARTNERS: Steven Baral | Carl & Joann Bianco | George Elbaum & Mimi Jensen

VISIONARIES: Debbie Killinger | Powell Family Foundation, Nancy E. Powell & Carol P. Heller Divisions | Joe & Judy Schocken

BENEFACTORS: Steve z"l & Betty Block | Paul & Leora Bloom | Arik & Rebecca Cohen | Arlene B. Ehrlich | Bob Evans & Steve Davis | Ruth Ann & Errol Ger | The Herman & Faye Sarkowsky Charitable Foundation | Eric & Suzi LeVine | Jon Newman & Naomi Weiss Newman | Julia & Greg Schechter | Lynne & Brad Smith | Anonymous

PATRONS: Joel & Maureen Benoliel | Shelley & Larry Bensussen | Jeannie Butler & Robert Weinberg | Eric Candell & William Powell | Ted & Barbara Daniels | Elana & Andy Jassy | Krijn & Judy de Jonge | Harley & Lela Franco | Robert Frey, Lakeside Advisors | Henry & Sandra Friedman | Miriam & Jon Friedman | Ron Friedman & Lili Sacks | Richard & Beth Greene | Brad Horwtiz | Larry Benaroya Family Foundation | Marcelo Prieto & Karin Keith | Lucy & Herb Pruzan | Suzanne Ragen | Adam Rosen & Sarah Zaides Rosen | Stanley & Michele Rosen | Alan & Carol Sidell | Stanley & Iantha Sidell | The Simon Family Charitable Trust & NOVA Foundation | Allan Steinman & Diane Sigel-Steinman | Peter & Leslie Strong

LEADERS: The Alhadeff Family Charitable Fund | Ron Berenstain | Dan Brettler | Dr. Zane & Celie Brown | Zane & Melissa Brown | Mike Cohen & Laurie Warshal Cohen | Elizabeth Ebersole & Paul Sliwowicz | James & Gloria Gottesman | Josh & Renee Herst | Erica & Barry Kaplan | Grant & Elaine Kinnear | Karen Meyers Leibman & Henry Leibman | Davia Loren | Robin & Court Lorenzini | Jeremy Lott & Jessica Abramson Lott | Michal & Gordon Lotzkar | Lisa & Robert Low | Betsy Maurer & Andrew Schulman | Daphne Minkoff & Noah Tratt | Rabbi James & Julie Mirel | Jay Riffkin & Courtney Blethen Riffkin | Judy & Kermit Rosen | Jeff Silesky & Francine Gaillour | Cynthia Stroum | Alayne & Bobby Sulkin | Wolson Family Charitable Fund

PARTNERS: Michael Adler & Michelle Goldberg | Joshua & Naomi Alhadeff | Jack & Adina Almo | Robert & Roberta Baronsky | Alex Bogaard | Marc & Leah Boman | Martin & Joan Brashem | Marvin & Lisa Brashem | David & Julie Chivo | Kirk & Deborah Clothier | Marilyn Corets & Adam Mihlstin | Suzie Dadoun | John & Yenii Dex | Susan & Lewis Edelheit | Jessica & Garrett Fenton | Gina & Marc Gonchar | Miriam Gela Greenbaum | Lori & Claudio Guincher | Adam & Helen Harmetz | Robert & Diane Karl | Michael & Shari Koppel | Andrew Kwatinetz & Jennifer Emrich | Stacey & Dan Levitan | Lynda Haran Matthias | Gail Mautner & Mario Shaunette | Joe & Gloria Mayer | Natalie Mayer | Harriet Mendels | Laurie Minsk & Jerry Dunietz | Rachel Nathanson | Laura Orser | Steve Pruzan & Janet Abrams | Tali & Dan Rausch | Anita & Arny Reich | Daphna & Michael Robon | Michael & Shainie Schuffler | Debby Sigel | Helen Stusser | Alex Sytman | Betty Lou Treiger | Eva & Arthur Wahl | Barbara Adler West | Wanda Wong | Rosalie Whyel | Sue & Bennett Williams | Gillian & David Witus | Vivian Zelter

 

THANK YOU | VIRTUAL TABLE HOSTS

David Alhadeff | Steven Baral | Shelley Bensussen | Paul & Leora Bloom | Bobbe & Jon Bridge | Celie Brown & Zane Brown, Jr. | Bonnie Cape | Teri Citterman | D’Arcy Clements & Zain Clements-Hall | Arik & Rebecca Cohen | Michael Cohen & Laurie Warshal Cohen | George & Carolyn “Puddin” Cox | Cara Egan | Arlene B. Ehrlich | Sandy Ellenbogen | Bob Evans & Steve Davis | Jessica & Garrett Fenton | Stacie Foster & Lawrence Cock | Lela Franco | Rick Freedman | Henry & Sandra Friedman | Ron Friedman | Gena Gorasht | Josh Gortler | Richard & Beth Greene | Janee Hahn | Tom Ikeda / Densho | Andrea Grosso Kaempf | Ilana Cone Kennedy | Hana Kern | Andrew Kwatinetz | Holly Levin | Eric LeVine | Michal Lotzkar | Lynda Matthias | Hoda Mezistrano | Rabbi James & Julie Mirel | Rachel Nathanson | Naomi Newman | Sharon Perlin / Wells Fargo | Nancy Powell & Natalie Mayer | Steve Pruzan | Tali Rausch | Anita Reich | Daphna Robon | Shelly Rosen | Jack Schaloum | Joe & Judy Schocken | Evan & Sabina Shapiro & Beverley Silver | Amee Sherer | Dee Simon | Lynne Herer Smith & Brad Smith | Peter Sprung, Jeff Sprung, Vicky Beer, & Barbara Steinmetz | Allan Steinman & Diane Sigel-Steinman | Chuck Stempler | Alayne Sulkin | Patricia Tall-Takacs

 

2022 corporate sponsors

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The Holocaust Center for Humanity's “Stories Among Us” exhibit consists of nine stories from the Holocaust, as told through the experiences of survivors that live or have lived in Washington State. Although the Holocaust occurred in Europe, there were, and still are, impacts of the Holocaust felt in our own communities in Washington State.

Details and Frequently Asked Questions

SAU 400x600 CF2 2750Q: What is the exhibit concept?

A: Each survivor’s story in this exhibit provides a different perspective of the Holocaust – from a refugee, to a hidden child, to a camp prisoner. Through personal stories, primary sources reproduced in this exhibit, and concise, engaging text, “Stories Among Us” is an opportunity for students of all ages to explore the connections between themselves and this important piece of history.


Q: For which audiences is the exhibition appropriate?

A: “Stories Among Us” is appropriate for grades 8 and up. The exhibit may be rented by schools and universities, community centers and groups, religious congregations, libraries, and more.


Q: What’s included in the exhibit, and what is the content like?

A: Ten retractable banners with attached stands and hard cases, and nine accessory shelves. Photo: Connor Ferguson
An Introductory Panel provides a definition of the Holocaust, map of Europe, and basic information about the nine survivors featured. The remaining nine banners each depict a different Holocaust survivor who made their home in Washington:

  • Steve Adler, traveled alone on a Kindertransport from Berlin to England at the age of 8.
  • Stella DeLeon, an Auschwitz survivor from the Island of Rhodes.
  • Henry Friedman, a child hidden for 18 months by a Polis h family.
  • Ed Kaye, a Jewish partisan in the forests of Poland.
  • Hester Kool, survived as a nanny, in hiding, to three children in the Netherlands.
  • Magda Schaloum, a Hungarian survivor of Auschwitz.
  • Heinz Schwarz, a refugee who fled to Shanghai, China.
  • SAU 400x600 CF2 2823Frieda Soury, daughter of a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother, who survived two years in Terezin as a teenager.
  • Klaus and Paula Stern, a Jewish-German couple sent to Auschwitz.

Each of the nine survivor banners has an accessory shelf that may be attached to hold take-home cards with information about that survivor, replica artifacts (separate and by request), or other handouts or collateral.


Q: What kind of venue, space, or event should host the exhibit?

A: The room for the exhibit’s display should be at least 250 square feet. The exhibit can be set up in numerous configurations – it does not need to be linear. Each banner is 3 feet wide and 8 feet tall. If you have limited space or specific needs, it is possible to borrow 1-9 banners instead of the entire exhibit. The exhibit can be rented for display at a maximum of four weeks. Rental periods can be arranged for a one-time event only or for ongoing display.

 

Q: How much does it cost, and what are the expectations between the Holocaust Center and renter?

A: There is a $500 deposit. Your organization will be invoiced, and deposit must be received at least two weeks prior to loan period. Half of the deposit ($250) will be refunded when exhibit has been inventoried and evaluated for damage. The exhibit cannot be shipped: renters must be able to pick it up at the Holocaust Center and drop off after rental period. The renter is expected to take good care of the exhibit, set up the banners carefully and according to the instructions provided, disseminate information to your intended audience to encourage visitation, and include the Holocaust Center’s name and logo in public relations. In turn the Holocaust Center can help with publicity, provide accompanying programming, and coordinate pick-up and drop-off of the exhibit at the Center with renter in a timely manner. A rental contract will be drawn up and signed between the Holocaust Center for Humanity and the renter outlining all terms.

 

RENTAL REQUEST FORM

 

This exhibit is made possible in part by generous funding from the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle 2019 Ignition Grant. Special thanks to Chalkbox Creative and the Whitman College History Department.