Past Events

Franci’s War (Monday, Sep. 14)

Author and journalist Helen Epstein discussed her mother’s powerful memoir, the testimony of an incredibly strong young woman who endured the horrors of the Holocaust and survived. Franci Rabinek was a Prague dress designer when the war began. She lied to Dr. Mengele at her Auschwitz selection, saying she was an electrician, an occupation that both endangered and saved her life. Her memoir gives an intense, candid, and sometimes funny account of those dark years, with the women prisoners in her tight-knit circle of friends.

To order the book, please click here.

Fighting Back Against Hate (Wednesday, Sep. 2)

An online Film and Conversation with Alexandra Kauffman Horowitz and Rabbi Rachel Schmelkin

Three years ago white supremacists came to Charlottesville chanting neo-Nazi slogans and rallying just outside the city’s only synagogue. Since then, members of Charlottesville’s Jewish community have been on a journey against hate. At times, the journey required self-reflection. At times, it required communal action. But no matter what form it took, Charlottesville’s Jews found that standing up for themselves meant standing up for justice in the broader community.

Documentary short Reawakening recounts their journey. Through interviews with rabbis and congregants, the film explores how the white supremacy they experienced transformed their understanding of themselves and their city — and how it intensified their commitment to racial justice.

Rabbi Rachel Schmelkin served as associate rabbi for Charlottesville’s Congregation Beth Israel from 2016-2020. During her time in Charlottesville she was active in Charlottesville’s interfaith and social justice community. Alexandra Kauffman Horowitz is a former Senior Producer at CNN International covering business and economics. She now works as a writer, director, and producer of documentary shorts for non-profits, often on subjects related to Judaism.

A very special thank you to our program supporters:

A Virtual Celebration of Dr. Guy Stern and his New Memoir, Invisible Ink (Wednesday, Aug. 19)

World-renowned Holocaust scholar Dr. Michael Berenbaum interviewed Dr. Guy Stern in an online Zoom webinar about Guy’s remarkable life and his new memoir. Born in Germany, Guy was the only one in his family to escape from the Holocaust. He landed in Normandy 3 days after D-Day as a member of a special military intelligence unit and earned a Bronze Star Medal for his work interrogating German prisoners of war. Today, Guy is the HMC’s Director of the Harry and Wanda Zekelman International Institute of the Righteous and a Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at Wayne State University.

  • To purchase Invisible Ink, email

Dr. Stern’s memoir Invisible Ink is published by Wayne State University Press (Wayne State University Press).

Interview With Miriam Ferber

A hidden child during the Holocaust, Miriam was smuggled as an infant out of the Srodula ghetto by a righteous gentile couple who adopted her. Her immediate family perished in the Holocaust and Miriam learned that she was Jewish when she was 16 years old.

The Holocaust in Yiddish Literature with Dr. Anita Norich (June 16, 2020)

Yiddish literature grappled with the questions the Holocaust raised for the Jews and the wider world. How did they understand what was happening? What did it mean to be “the chosen people?” Were the promises of the Enlightenment—liberty, equality, fraternity—now at an end for Jews? In this lecture, Dr. Anita Norich discusses a range of Yiddish literary responses to these questions in an online Zoom Webinar.

Thank you to our program supporters: Robin & Leo Eisenberg, Gerald & Betsy (z”l) Loomus, Denise & Peter Rodgers, Shelley & Joel Tauber and the PNC Foundation.

Heroes of Holocaust Justice: The True Story of the Band of Spies who Hunted Down Adolf Eichmann (May 11, 2020)

On the 60th anniversary of the the Israeli secret mission to capture the architect of the Holocaust, Adolf Eichmann, the Holocaust Memorial Center hosted our first Facebook Live event featuring New York Times Best-Selling Author Neal Bascomb and moderated by Multimedia Journalist and former WXYZ TV 7 anchor Stephen Clark.

Click here to view the recording of the event.


Yom HaShoah Commemoration Broadcast (April 26, 2020)

The Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus hosted its annual community-wide Yom HaShoah commemoration on Sun. April 26 at 2 pm. For the first time, the Holocaust Memorial Center’s Yom HaShoah commemoration was hosted online while the museum is closed to the public in accordance with Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order.

Board member Steven R. Weisberg offered opening remarks, while Rabbi Yonatan Dahlen and Hazzan David Propis of Shaarey Zedek led the commemoration.

Unto Every Person There Is A Name (April 23, 2020)

As part of this year’s Yom HaShoah commemoration, the Holocaust Memorial Center continues our tradition of participating in “Unto Every Person There Is A Name” in a new, innovative way. Volunteers sent videos of themselves reading the names of Holocaust victims from their homes. Thank you to all of our volunteers for working together with us to ensure the victims of the Holocaust are never forgotten.

Click here to see a list of everyone who sent in videos for this special project to perpetuate the memory of the Six Million, and see below to watch the entire program.

Creating Operation Finale (Jan. 26, 2020)

The Grand Opening of Our Current Special Exhibit

Avner Avraham, Shula Bahat and Patrick Gallagher join the Holocaust Memorial Center to kick off the “Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann” exhibit’s last stop in the United States.