How can we ensure that lessons from the past continue to resonate for each new generation?
At 93 years old and as vibrant as ever, Dr. Ruth Westheimer is tackling that question, telling the story of her own experiences in Nazi Germany through books, film and conversations like this one, to combat forces of antisemitism and hate that are emerging throughout the world. Following a screening of USC Shoah Foundation’s animated short film Ruth: A Little Girl’s Big Journey — featuring Dr. Ruth’s own voice recounting how she survived the Holocaust as a young girl — Reel Pieces Moderator Annette Insdorf will introduce a conversation between Dr. Ruth and Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein. They’ll also discuss her books, including Roller Coaster Grandma, which follows the ups and downs of Dr. Ruth’s life from her escape from the Nazis at age 10 to her training as a sniper with the Hagganah in Israel, through her immigration to the US where she started as a maid and eventually became a college professor and television star. Both the book and the film speak to universal themes that young people experience today: fear, loss and loneliness, as well as grit, resilience and hope.
Ruth: A Little Girl’s Big Journey is an example of USC Shoah Foundation’s critical work to bring anti-hate education to new audiences, filling a gap in primary-level Holocaust education with developmentally appropriate content.
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