• Lecture: “Jewish Humor & The Holocaust: Amusing? Confusing? Offensive?”

    Jewish Humor and the Holocaust:
    Amusing? Confusing? Offensive?

    A lecture presentation by

    Dr. Linda F. Burghardt
    Scholar-in-Residence, HMTC

    Friday, November 30, 2018, at 11 a.m.

    HMTC
    Welwyn Preserve, 100 Crescent Beach Road
    Glen Cove, NY

    What made us laugh in the old days of Sid Caesar and Milton Berle is a far cry from the jokes and stories told by Larry David, Sarah Silverman and other contemporary comics today. But even if it seems like nothing is really off-limits anymore, do we want to hear Jewish comedians referencing the Holocaust for laughs? Join us on Friday, November 30 and you’ll see why figuring out what’s funny can be serious business.

    Dr. Linda F. Burghardt, the Scholar-in-Residence at HMTC, is a journalist and author from Great Neck, NY. She worked as a freelance reporter for The New York Times for 20 years and is the author of three non-fiction books. Her articles and essays have appeared in newspapers across the U.S., and she has lectured to both national and international audiences. She holds a Ph.D. from LIU Post and is the daughter of Holocaust Survivors from Vienna.

    There is a suggested donation of $10. For more information or to RSVP call (516) 571-8040 or email axelsarmiento@hmtcli.org.

  • 2nd Annual State of Antisemitism: Local & Global

    Join us at the Global Institute at Long Island University’s 2nd Annual State of Antisemitism: Local & Global at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, October 4, 2018, at 4:30 p.m. Attendance is open to the public but you must RSVP in advance to Harrison Feuer at harrison.feuer@liu.edu or (516) 299-2560.

  • Hope Holds No Borders: Children’s Art of Compassion and Inclusion

    Hope Holds No Borders:
    Children’s Arts of Compassion and Inclusion

    Saturday, May 12, 2018, at 2 p.m. 

    HMTC
    Welwyn Preserve, 100 Crescent Beach Road
    Glen Cove, NY 11542

    Eileen McGann, Director of the Arts and Creative Therapies at MercyFirst, a sanctuary for foster youth and unaccompanied minors, will present a collaborative art exhibit created by her students and Syrian refugee children in Turkey.

    “The arts are being used to united diverse people, reduce bias… and increase tolerance and acceptance.” – Eileen McGann

    $10 suggested donation. RSVP in advance to Axel Sarmiento at (516) 571-8040 or axelsarmiento@hmtcli.org.

     

  • Unknown Heroes: Chinese Rescuers During the Holocaust

    Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center
    of Nassau County

    presents

    Unknown Heroes:
    Chinese Rescuers During the Holocaust

    with keynote speaker
    Manli Ho,
    Daughter of Dr. Feng Shan H0

    Sunday, April 29, 2018, at 2 p.m.

    Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center
    Welwyn Preserve, 100 Crescent Beach Road
    Glen Cove, NY

    Chinese nationals who engaged in rescue activities include a diplomat, university president and Chinese immigrants residing in Russia. We will bring to light the histories of the heroes and the Jews they rescued.

    There will be a special exhibition in conjunction with this program, “The Wings of The Phoenix: Dr. Feng Shan Ho and the Rescue of the Austrian Jews.”

    $10 suggested donation. Seating is limited, RSVP in advance is recommended. To RSVP contact Axel Sarmiento at (516) 571-8040 or axelsarmiento@hmtcli.org.

    Co-sponsored by the Chinese American Independent Practice Association (CAIPA).

  • The Shoah Through Muslim Eyes

    The Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center
    of Nassau County

    presents

    a special Yom Hashoah/
    Holocaust Memorial Day Program

    The Shoah Through Muslim Eyes

    with guest speaker

    Mehnaz Afridi, PhD
    Director of the Holocaust, Genocide, and
    Interfaith Education Center

    Manhattan College

    Sunday, April 15, 2018, at 2 p.m.

    Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center
    Welwyn Preserve, 100 Crescent Beach Road
    Glen Cove, NY

    Dr. Afridi, a Muslim member of the USHMM Ethics and Religion Committee, will address Arab-Muslim views of the Holocaust and how they intersect with denial, antisemitism and anti-Zionism.

    “What remains even more painful for me as a Muslim is the denial of the Shoah among Muslims and Muslim nations.” – Dr. Mehnaz Afridi

    $10 suggested donation. Seating is limited, RSVP in advance is recommended. To RSVP contact Axel Sarmiento at (516) 571-8040 or axelsarmiento@hmtcli.org.

  • They Fought Back: 75th Memorial of the Warsaw Ghetto Revolt

    They Fought Back:
    75th Memorial of the Warsaw Ghetto Revolt

    Wednesday, April 11, 2018, at 11 a.m.

    Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center
    Welwyn Preserve, 100 Crescent Beach Road
    Glen Cove, NY

    In April 1943, a small group of young starving Jewish fighters launched an attack against the German Army. Hear testimonies of their armed battles and spiritual mission.

    “Thousands of Germans surrounded us with machine guns and cannons as if they were at the Russian front. We were 20 young men and women with pistols and only two rifles. – Zivia Lubetkin, a leader of the revolt.

    $10 suggested donation. Seating is limited, RSVP in advance is recommended. To RSVP contact Axel Sarmiento at (516) 571-8040 or axelsarmiento@hmtcli.org.

  • Washington’s Promise to Minorities and its Meaning for our Center

     

    Washington’s Promise to Minorities and its Meaning for our Center

    by Frank Miller-Small

    It’s now no more that tolerance is spoken of as it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights…

    … the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance…

    Every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be no one to make him afraid.

    — excerpted from George Washington’s letter to
    the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, 1790

    Our country’s rising tide of intolerance toward minorities caused me to wonder about our founders’ values and, if knowing that, might help our Center foster greater tolerance.  I wanted to know if, as some claim, we were intended to be a white Christian nation, relegating minorities to an inferior status.  Or, did our founders envision an egalitarian, multi-cultural America, with different groups living in harmony with each other?  Were Americans, perhaps, of mixed opinions on this issue? My search for answers led me to an insightful collection of essays entitled, “Washington’s Rebuke to Bigotry.”

    This book, written mostly by well- credentialed scholars, educators, and legal experts, explores the significance of our first president’s important, yet relatively little known, 1790 letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island. It further examines subsequent American responses to the intent of the letter.   To better comprehend the letter’s meaning at the time, the volume begins by providing an historical perspective, which I’ll briefly summarize below.

    At the letter’s writing, Rhode Island, founded by Puritan dissident Roger Williams in the mid-17th century, had long granted religious freedom to minorities, much to the disdain of the other colonies.  Concerned that its rights would be trampled upon, Rhode Island delayed ratifying statehood until the Bill of Rights (1791) promised religious liberty.

    Washington celebrated the new country’s unity by visiting Newport, and, while there, several religious groups gave welcoming speeches, the most memorable by Moses Seixas, president of the Hebrew Congregation. Several days later, Washington penned his famous letter, responding to the Jewish hope that America would treat them with greater tolerance than had been their long experience. Washington’s letter, highlights of which are quoted above, assured the Jews that all minorities would have equal freedom of religion under the law.  Moreover, the government, in our current idiom, would provide protection from “hate crimes” and other forms of prejudice. These promises, from a head of a national government, were revolutionary, unprecedented in the Western World.

    However, they didn’t arise in a vacuum. The amazing success of Rhode Island’s religious freedom experiment provided the main inspiration and model.  Enlightenment ideas and the ideals and recent victories of Madison and Jefferson to wean Virginia away from a state-supported Anglican Church also lent support.

    The intention of the letter and the way it was interpreted went well beyond promising religious freedom to the Jews.  Widely circulated, read and discussed, it gave hope of toleration to all minorities.  More than merely a legal doctrine, this letter presented a vision of a moral, idealistic, harmonious national community.

    Although embraced by minorities, many intellectuals, some leaders, and other sympathizers, the struggle for the fulfillment of this vision had just begun.  Several states continued to use tax support to promote the Christian religion.  Many states had religious tests for public office.  Remarkably, the main reason for eventual Church-State separation derived from the plethora of competing Protestant sects, each fearing the other’s government control, and the last government established Church persisted until 1833, in Massachusetts.  It took several more decades to attain full legal toleration of all religions at the state level.

    America’s initial ambivalence toward minorities, shown by the disparity between the letter’s lofty ideals and the states’ stubborn opposition to them, set the stage for subsequent ambivalent development.  This ambivalence began even with the founders’ original vision which contained some striking contradictions. Washington’s statements and the year-later Bill of Rights didn’t mention the rights of women, ethnic or racial minorities, or slaves.  Moreover, the negative ramifications of this ambivalence played out throughout most of US history, where Jews and other minorities were, at best, merely tolerated by the White Protestant majority.

    This conflict between ideals and realities exposes one of the central American moral paradoxes.  Although there has been and continues to be tremendous discrimination toward many minority groups, this co-exists with the ever-present and potent promise of an inclusive America.  This promise has roused the voices of toleration for many compassionate documents  and court decisions as well as fueled minority rights struggles by individuals and groups, such as the Emancipation Proclamation, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Marriage Equality Act.

    Armed with the knowledge of the paradoxical nature of Washington’s original vision and its aftermath, we can use this to help our Center broaden the circle of tolerance. We can use Washington’s promise as a springboard to conversations about our present state of minority rights.  We can hold up the examples of the choices American upstanders, such as George Washington and Martin Luther King, made to promote greater minority inclusion as courageous role models. We can employ the circumstances surrounding upstander and opposition choices to initiate and work through difficult and complex conversations about inclusion.

    We can relate these difficult conversations to the important idea, implied in Washington’s letter, that democracy can only work if people cooperate, and this can only happen if people feel free from prejudicial fear. Ideally, as John Dewey said, schools should be the training ground for democracy, the place where young people learn peaceful, cooperative living and its connection to the democratic process.  Unfortunately, many schools don’t have the time, interest, or capability to do this.

    Our Center fills this important void.  We make the democratic connection and provide the unique opportunity to have the aforementioned difficult conversations, helping students recognize and resolve differences by working through them in a civil way.  During this process, as Adam Strom, Facing History educator says, we help them “… separate fact from rumor by breaking own stereotypes and countering myth and misinformation.”  This is what our Center does so well and one reason why our Center is so much needed, particularly, in these troubled times.

    If we can integrate the lessons borne of the American struggle toward inclusion with the lessons of tolerance learned from the Holocaust, this dual focus will brighten our torch to illuminate the dark places in our midst.

    To charge our energies for this challenge, we can summon the words of African –American poet, Langston Hughes, to resound in our ears:

    O, yes I say it plain

    America never was America to me,

    And yet I swear this oath –

    America will be!

    May his faith be ours, and may it inspire us, as we go back to the trenches, to carry forth the spirit of Washington’s letter, despite the strong headwinds, and continue our vital work.

     

     

  • Secrets of North Korea: Torture, Slave Camps, Genocide and Silence

    Secrets of North Korea:
    Torture, Slave Camps, Genocide and Silence


    “Torture” by Shin Dong-Hyuk
    Shin was tortured in a secret prison camp after his mother and brother tried to escape.

    Sunday, March 18, 2018, at 2 p.m.

    Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center
    Welwyn Preserve, 100 Crescent Beach Road
    Glen Cove, NY

    With special guest speaker, Hyobin “Heather” Choi, a South Korean student studying at SUNY-Nassau Community College. Ms Choi has been conducting research on the atrocities taking place in North Korea and has interviewed North Korean defectors who have found sanctuary in the United States.

    Genocide Watch, has described North Korea as a “serial killer state.” Since the establishment of North Korea in 1948, genocide and politicide have been committed against civilians based on their ethnicity, religion and political ideologies. The daily terrorism and persecution continues today. Former concentration camp employees have attested to the Nazi-like conditions in the prisons, which include pseudo-medical experimentation, mass murder by gas, sexualized tortures and lifetime enslavement for children born in the camps.

    $10 suggested donation to attend. Seating is limited, RSVP in advance is recommended. To RSVP contact Axel Sarmiento at (516) 571-8040 or axelsarmiento@hmtcli.org.

    Co-sponsored by the Korea Culture & Heritage Society of New York.

  • Atrocities in Myanmar: Rohingya are Being Raped and Murdered as You Read This

    Atrocities in Myanmar: Rohingya are Being Raped and Murdered as You Read This

    Sunday, March 4, 2018, at 2 p.m.

    Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center
    100 Crescent Beach Road
    Glen Cove, NY

     

    While the Myanmar government commits genocide against its citizens, it denies the atrocities to the world. Global silence and inaction allow the massacres and rapes to continue. HMTC will be hosting an international panel of activists, scholars and human rights attorneys to clarify what is really happening to the Rohingya people and what Americans can do to help.

    Speakers include:

    • Regina Paulose, JD, LLM, International Criminal Law and Human Rights Attorney, A Contrario
    • Nurul Islam, LLM, Chair, Arakan Rohingya National Organization (ARNO)
    • Adem Carroll, United Nationals Program Director, Burma Task Force
    • John Packer, LLM, Professor and Director, Human Rights Centre, University of Ottawa
    • Malik Mujahid, Chair, Burma Task Force USA

    $10 suggested donation to attend. Seats are limited; reservations are recommended.

    RSVP to (516) 571-8040 or axelsarmiento@hmtcli.org.

  • An Educator’s Journey of Spiritual Resistance, Courage and Resilience

    An Educator’s Journey of Spiritual Resistance, Courage and Resilience

    The Holocaust and Jewish Resistance
    Teachers Program

    A presentation by Meryl Menashe, Holocaust Educator

    Thursday, December 7, 2017, at 11 a.m. 

    HMTC
    Welwyn Preserve, 100 Crescent Beach Road
    Glen Cove, NY

    “Nothing. Absolutely nothing remains of my childhood, of my youth, not even the grave of my dead father.” – Vladka Meed, Polin Museum

    The Holocaust devastated Jewish life in Europe. To teach the beauty of that life, spiritual resistance during the Holocaust using personal narratives and ensure that it would not be forgotten, the Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Teachers Program was born. Founded by Vladka Meed, 32 years ago, the program has brought over 1100 educators to Holocaust sites and sent them back to their classrooms armed with tools and strategies to bring Holocaust education to all 50 states. Presentation will include sites we witness including concentration camps, ghettos, memorials, museums and death camp; lessons learned of the unfathomable depths of mankind’s cruelty, and the courage of the human spirit through small, large and heroic acts of resistance.

    During our journey, we observe antisemitism and memorial desecration; rejoice as evidence that the Jewish people triumphed through experiencing Israeli students singing Hatikvah at Treblinka; Shabbat in Lublin and Hebrew prayers chanted at Birkenau and so much more. The roads through towns take us to each place; roads in existence during the Shoah, and still lead us there today.

    Join us on an educators’ photo journey through the Holocaust.