• “While There’s Life…”

    The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County presents

    While There’s Life…

    A poetry reading and book signing by author Ruth Minsky Sender

    Sunday, May 19, 2019

    3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

    The poems in While There’s Life… were written during her incarceration as prisoner #55082 in the Nazi slave labor camp in Mittelsteine, Germany.

    Ruth endeavored to depict scenes from her and other prisoner’s lives to give them courage and the will to continue living.  As her mother, Nacha Minska used to say:

    “While there’s life, there’s hope.”

    $10 suggested donation

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

    Read the Press Release to learn more:

    Press Release: “While There’s Life…”

    Book review of Ms. Minsky Sender’s work by HMTC’s Marcia Posner:

    “While There’s Life…” a Book Review by Marcia Posner

     100 Crescent Beach Road

    Glen Cove, NY 11542

  • Press Release: But When We Started Singing…

     The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County Presents But When We Started Singing… A One-Man Performance Inspired By Primo Levi Conceived and Performed by Bob SpiottoSunday, June 9, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.

    Bob Spiotto as Primo Levi

    Glen Cove, NY… The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County (HMTC) presents, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Primo Levi, But When We Started Singing…  The performance will take place on Sunday, June 9, 2019 at 2:00 p.m at Welwyn Preserve, 100 Crescent Beach Road, Glen Cove, NY 11542.  This one-man performance, conceived and performed by Bob Spiotto, is inspired by the life and poetry of Holocaust survivor and world renowned author and poet and Italian-Jew, Primo Levi (1919-1987).

    Robert “Bob” Spiotto is a creative/artistic/management professional who has worked in arts and entertainment for more than 30 years. He holds a B.F.A. in Theater Performance from Hofstra University and a M.F.A. in Directing from The Catholic University of America.  Mr. Spiotto is currently the Director of Programs/Special Events at New York’s famous Friar’s Club.  Previously, he served as the first Executive/Artistic Director of the historic Suffolk Theater (theater/restaurant/bar), prior to which he worked at Hofstra University (1990-2012) as Executive Producer/Artistic Director for Hofstra Entertainment; Artistic Director of Community Arts Programs for the Hofstra Cultural Center (music, theater, cultural, original programming), and Director/Producer of Special Events (festivals, conferences, public programs).  He served on the faculty of Hofstra’s School of Continuing Education, taught classes for Hofstra’s Summer Camps, and was an adjunct professor in their School of Communication as well as Hofstra’s New College. Mr. Spiotto has received awards from Hofstra University for his distinguished service and teaching accomplishments.

    In addition to his many accomplishments, he has directed hundreds of theater productions at various regional and professional theaters, schools and universities, as well as for various organizations and companies.  He has also created and appeared in numerous one-man shown exploring the lives of P.T Barnum, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Primo Levi Michaelangelo, Sholom Aleichem, and others.  A trio of his critically acclaimed one-man musical tributes include That’s Amore:  A Tribute to Mr. Hollywood Musical – Harry Warren, Shades of Grey: A Musical Tribute to Joel Grey, and Courting the Jester: A Salute to Danny Kaye, which was re-worked and presented at Lincoln Center.

    Primo Levi was born in Turin, Italy in 1919, to a family of assimilated and fairly non-religious Jews with Spanish roots.  In 1943, he joined a band of partisans devoted to fighting Germans and Italian facists.  Levi spent 10 months at the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz and was liberated in 1945.  In 1977 he retired from his position as manager of a chemical factory in Turin, devoting himself exclusively to writing until the time of his controversial death on April 11, 1987 in the apartment building where he was born and eventually took up residence.  Levi is known for his novels and poetry collections such as If This Is a Man, The Periodic Table, If Not Now, When,  and The Drowned and the Saved.

    $10 suggested donation to attend.  Light refreshments will be served. Seats are limited; reservations are recommended.  RSVP to (516) 571-8040 or info@hmtcli.org

  • “Descent into Darkness”

    Irene Hizme and René Slotkin with their mother in 1942.

    HMTC presents a Yom Hashoah Holocaust Commemoration program, Descent into Darkness, featuring testimony from Twin Survivors of Dr. Josef Mengele, Irene Hizme and René Slotkin, on Sunday, April 23, 2017, at 2 p.m. The program will take place at HMTC, Welwyn Preserve, 100 Crescent Beach Road, Glen Cove, NY. This is an extremely rare opportunity to hear direct testimony from twins who miraculously survived horrific “research studies” by Mengele, Auschwitz’s infamous “Angel of Death.”

    Irene and René were born in Czechoslovakia. Their father was murdered in Auschwitz-Berkenau in December 1941. The twins and their mother were sent first to Tehresienstadt, and in 1943, they were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. After four months together the twins were taken by Mengele for “experimentation” and their mother was murdered that night. They were six years old. Irene said, “To talk about it is a descent into darkness.” Irene and René were separated at liberation and reunited in the United States in 1950. Both Irene and René live on Long Island. They may be the last living Twin Survivors of Mengele.

    There is a $10 suggested donation to attend. Seats are limited; RSVP in advance is strongly recommended. To RSVP contact Deborah Lom at (516) 571-8040 or dlom@hmtcli.org.

  • Law and Order after the Holocaust

    Law and Order after the Holocaust

    lee-fd-ushmm-97125George Oscar Lee (middle) with Föhrenwald DP Camp Fire Brigade. Photo courtesy of USHMM.

    Sunday, November 13, 2016, at 2 p.m.


    George Oscar Lee
    Holocaust Survivor, Chief of Police and Fire Departments in Föhrenwald DP camp


    John Friedman
    Producer, “Hôtel Terminus:
    The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie”

    Holocaust Survivor George Oscar Lee took up residence in the Föhrenwald Displaced Persons (DP) camp in Germany shortly after liberation. On his second day in the camp, he saw smoke coming from one of the survivors’ apartments. Mr. Lee ran in and extinguished the flames. Realizing that the camp lacked a fire brigade, he took it upon himself to create one. He was also disappointed with the few ragtag residents who called themselves police and transformed them into a well-trained, professional police force. Mr. Lee will share some of his experiences and be available for Q&A.

    Also speaking will be journalist and documentary filmaker John Friedman, producer of the Academy Award-winning documentary, Hôtel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie. Mr. Friedman is currently documenting Mr. Lee’s life.

    $10 suggested donation to attend. To RSVP contact Deborah Lom at (516) 571-8040 or dlom@hmtcli.org.

    We are grateful for the support and sponsorship of 

  • Lecture on “Can Holocaust Trauma Be Inherited?” on October 26, 2016

    Adoption fostering home

    The Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County (HMTC) presents a lecture, Can Holocaust Trauma Be Inherited?: The Complex Genetic Legacy of the Second Generation, by Linda F. Burghardt, Ph.D., Scholar-in-Residence at HMTC, on Wednesday, October 26, 2016, at 11 a.m. The lecture will take place at HMTC, Welwyn Preserve, 100 Crescent Beach Road, Glen Cove, NY. There is no fee to attend the lecture.

    Psychologists have long known that the profound legacy of loss and suffering experienced by Holocaust Survivors deeply affects their children. Now biologists are saying that genetics can play an even larger role in transmitting this trauma to the next generation. Dr. Burghardt will describe the science behind these claims and explain how this genetic legacy can have far-reaching consequences for the children of Survivors and their own offspring.

    Dr. Burghardt 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, two on Jewish topics. Her articles and essays have appeared in newspapers throughout 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.

    For more information contact HMTC at (516) 571-8040.

  • Film Screening “Facing Arthur”

    Reel Upstanders
    David Taub Film Series

    Film Screening

    Facing Arthur

    Facing Arthur

    Sunday, July 17, 2016 at 12:30 p.m.

    With Guest Speakers from
    Action Reconciliation Service for Peace and Selfhelp

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

    “Facing Arthur” follows the extraordinary relationship between a young German volunteer of Action Reconciliation Service for Peace who is the grandson of a soldier in Hitler’s Wehrmacht, and a 101 year-old Holocaust Survivor who is too frail to leave his apartment. Before he was forced from his native Poland in 1938, Arthur Lederman was a renowned concert violinist. Christopher Erbsloeh is a budding cellist. From their first painful conversations, they discover that while history is unchangeable, they share a passion for music and art that transcends their differences and generations.

    Action Reconciliation Service for Peace is an organization that for 50 years has been committed to working toward reconciliation and peace, as well as fighting racism, discrimination and social exclusion.

    There is a suggested donation of $10 to attend. To RSVP in advance, contact Deborah Lom at (516) 471-8040 or dlom@hmtcli.org.

    HMTC’s film series was established in honor of David Taub (1932-2010), a Holocaust Survivor and respected friend of the Center.


  • “Comfort Women”: Truth, Acknowledgement and Healing

    “Comfort Women:”
    Truth, Acknowledgement and Healing


    Speakers include Ms. Yi Ok-seon, an 89 year old sexual slave Survivor (“comfort woman”) from the Korean “House of Sharing” and the President of the “House of Sharing”

    Saturday, April 9 at 2 p.m.

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

    This program will examine similarities between the co-called “brothels” in Nazi concentration camps and the “brothels” created by the Japanese military during WWII. Historical information and personal testimony will be presented during the event to shatter the myth that these women and girls were “prostitutes.” The truth of the sexualized slavery will be personally addressed by Ms. Yi Ok-seon, an 89 year old Survivor from Korea. She is just one of at least 200,000 women and girls who were abducted and abused during the rape campaign and known as the “comfort women.”

    A special exhibit of drawings by Korean Survivors from the House of Sharing will be on display at HMTC in April.

    Suggested donation of $10. To RSVP please contact Lara Carignano at (516) 571-8040 or laracarignano@hmtcli.org.

  • Yi Ok-seon, 89-year old “Comfort Woman” Survivor to Speak on LI for the First Time at HMTC


    Yi Ok-seon, an 89-year old Korean “Comfort Woman” Survivor, will give her testimony for the first time on Long Island, this Saturday, April 9, 2016, at 2 p.m. at HMTC, as part of the program, “Comfort Women: Truth, Acknowledgment and Healing.” The program will examine similarities between the so-called “brothels” in Nazi concentration camps and the “brothels” created by the Japanese military during WWII. The truth of the sexualized slavery will be personally addressed by Ms. Ok-seon.

    Born to a poor family in Pusan in 1927, Yi Ok-seon was unable to go to school. In 1940 someone offered her “an opportunity to gather money for schooling,” and she began working in a hotel in Ulsan. In 1942 a Korean and a Japanese forcibly abducted her, taking her to Yanji, currently in the Jilin Province of Northest China. After her abduction, she lived as a “Comfort Woman” for three years. As the result of repeated injections of an anti-syphilis drug and mercury vapor treatments, she was left unable to bear children.

    While at a “comfort station” near East Yanji Airport, she fell in love with a Korean who was forced into conscript in the Japanese military. After the end of the war, she searched for him, eventually settling with him in Baodaozhen, also in Jilin Province. They married, but when war broke out in china, he was enlisted in the military and whisked away. She lived for years as a husbandless newlywed in her in-law’s home, as was the tradition at the time, but she finally remarried ten years later when he did not return.

    Until 2000, when she finally returned to Korea and started to live in the House of Sharing, Ms. Ok-seon lived in Yanji with her husband’s son from her former marriage. She greatly regrets that she couldn’t go to school as a child and so she reads with great ardor anything she can get her hands on. She has also evolved into a fervent and fiery human rights activist.

    Come to HMTC on Saturday, April 9 to hear Ms. Ok-seon’s testimony. There is also a special exhibit on display at HMTC through April 30 featuring art created by “Comfort Women” Survivors during art therapy classes. To RSVP for Saturday’s program contact Lara Carignano at (516) 571-8040 or laracarignano@hmtcli.org.

  • “Women, Not Victims: Moving Beyond Sexualized Atrocities During Genocide”

    Women, Not Victims: Moving Beyond Sexualized Atrocities During Genocide

    Akilah Women

    Akilah Institute for Women, Kigali, Rwanda 2012.
    Photo: Hunt Alternatives Fund

    Sunday, March 13, 2016
    10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    Multi-purpose Room, College Center Building (CCB), Nassau Community College
    One Education Drive, Garden City, NY 11530

    A global examination of sexualized atrocities during and after genocide in the 20th and 21st centuries.

    Open to the public. Registration is FREE.

    Sessions and Speaker Information: Sessions and Speakers

    For more information and additional questions contact HMTC at (516) 571-8040 or email Deborah Lom at dlom@hmtcli.org

    Directions to Nassau Community College

    Map of Nassau Community College’s Campus

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    RSVP by filling out the form below. Registration is FREE

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    Women, Not Victims-March 13th

  • Survival, Healing and Resilience at “Women, Not Victims” on March 13, 2016

    One of the sessions at “Women, Not Victims: Moving Beyond Sexualized Atrocities During Genocide” on Sunday, March 13, 2016, at Nassau Community College, CCB Building, Multi-purpose Room, will feature Ushuuda Prosperine, a Survivor of the genocide in the Congo, and her adopted mother, Dr. Holly K. Shaw, Ph.D., RN. Ms. Prosperine will discuss “Enduring the Unimaginable: A Survivor’s Testimony of Survival, Healing and Resilience” and Dr. Shaw will talk about “Bearing Witness: A Companion to Survival, Healing and Resilience.”

    Ms. Prosperine is a resilience Survivor of multiple atrocities resulting in severe physical and emotional wounds. As an innocent, aspiring adolescent living in a stable, predictable, family-oriented life she was guided by clear family roles and expectations, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, when after months of tribal genocide, conflict, and armed warfare, she was abducted by terrorists and thrust into a new life dominated by terror, isolation and despair. She became a victim and witness to torture, mutilation and murder until escaping to Uganda where she experienced persistent homelessness, multiple hospitalizations, abandonment by friends, illness, and the harsh indifference, corruption and cruelty by public and government officials. From dutiful daughter, sister and student, she became an orphaned, single mother of three, a refugee in an IDP (refugee) camp with scarce resources and opportunities.

    The testimony by Ms. Prosperine is one of faith, resilience, hope and triumph, as well as expertise in transcending the most formidable obstacles and challenges. Her keen insight and astute observations shed light on traversing a pathway from darkness and despair to self-sufficiency as a pastor, wife and mother. Her journey as a young mother from a refugee camp to the United States by way of migration facilitated by the United Nations High Commission on Refugees is inspirational for all who endeavor to thrive amidst great adversity and for their advocates offering support and assistance.

    Mass rape campaigns and sexual exploitation during times of war, conflict and genocide have resulted in estimated tens of thousands of children born in the last decades, with little or no social or international provisions. Their mothers do not have the benefit of intergenerational and traditional child bearing/rearing support, in addition to being subjected to assault, sexual exploitation and servitude. The children, as well as their mothers, may be deeply affected by ongoing issues related to living in chaos and danger.

    As a clinician, educator and consultant, Dr. Shaw welcomed the opportunity to be included in Ms. Properine’s healing. However, professional pedagogic education and clinical acumen were neither helpful nor sufficient for the challenges of sharing this journey with her adopted daughter and grandson. Dr. Shaw’s presentation will include lessons learned and crucial touch points in their remarkable, multidimensional relationship. Dr. Shaw will elucidate the complexities of traumatic survival and the challenges of constructing a new, developmentally appropriate narrative for Survivors and children that appropriately acknowledges their experience and honors the legacy of survivorship. Applicable to contemporary unprecedented refugee experiences in the U.S., Europe and Middle East, Dr. Shaw will also address chronic health care issues and co-morbidities exacerbated during stress, as well as the social upheavals and cultural disruption of migration. Expanding coping and self-care repertoires, mentorship, guidance, community affiliation, family support and refugee assistance can enhance optimal adjustment and future well being.

    A complete listing of sessions and speakers can be found on the “Women, Not Victims” website. Registration is free but space is limited so please register in advance to Deborah Lom, (516) 571-8040 or dlom@hmtcli.org or online.