• New Name, Same Great Event! 2020 Upstanders Event

    New Name, Same Great Event

    Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County Cordially Invites you to

    2020 Upstander Event

    Formerly the Annual Tolerance Benefit

    Taste of Long Island & Silent Auction

    celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Frieldlander Upstander Awards

    Monday, May 4, 2020 at 6:00pm

    Westbury Manor, 1100 Jericho Turnpike, Westbury, NY 11590

    For more information, please contact Deborah Lom at (516)571-8040 or dlom@hmtcli.org

  • HMTC David Taub Reel Upstanders Film Screening of “Documenting Hate: New American Nazis”

     

    HMTC David Taub Reel Upstanders Film Screening of “Documenting Hate: New American Nazis”

    Sunday, March 15, 2020 at 1:00pm

    The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center in Glen Cove is holding a screening of  “Documenting Hate: Charlottesville & New American Nazis,” a PBS documentary produced by Frontline and ProPublica that explores white supremacist groups in America, paying particular attention to a new-Nazi group called Atomwaffen Division. The screening will be held at the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center on Sunday, March 15 at 1:00 PM. Commentary and Q & A will be led by noted civil rights attorney, Frederick Brewington.

     

    Seating is limited.  Please RSVP to (516)571-8040 or programs@hmtcli.org

  • The Transformation of a Prominent White Nationalist and Its Meaning for Our Center

    People must learn to hate and if they can learn to hate they can be taught to love.

    Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

    Several days after the Tree of Life Massacre, I sat riveted to an NPR interview with Derek Black, a reformed White Nationalist whose Stormfront website had helped incite that violence. After the interviewer referred to the book about Derek’s transformation, Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a White Nationalist, by Eric Saslow, I couldn’t wait to scribble down the title. Soon after, I devoured this eye-opening account, all the while thinking of its value for those who work for tolerance. Toward that end, I’ll summarize the pertinent details of Derek’s story and offer a brief discussion of its relevance. I hope it will serve as a springboard for further reflection.

    Derek’s father, founder of the notorious Stormfront website, and David Duke, infamous former leader of the KKK, groomed Derek to take over the White Nationalist movement because he exemplified all the traits they prized in order to convey their new, genteel image. He was mature, intelligent, well-mannered, and eschewed slurs and violence. He based his views on “facts” of racial science, immigration, and the decrease in white middle-class population, rather than on emotion or overt prejudice. His opinions dovetailed with theirs as he sought to “…save whites from an inevitable genocide by mass immigration and forced assimilation” and claimed “Jews are the cause of all the world’s strife and misery,” adding they schemed to replace the white race by pushing for multi-culturalism.

    Notwithstanding his extreme conservative views, Derek enrolled in New College, a liberal and prestigious Florida institution, primarily to gain credentials useful for his future role. Not surprisingly, a fellow student discovered Derek’s identity, sparking a campus-wide condemnation of Derek’s beliefs. A fiery debate soon ensued on campus about whether to exclude and demonize Derek, or if a better approach was to reach out to him and engage with him. Some of his friends stayed with him, but others left.

    After deciding to fight for his cause on campus rather than retreat, Derek received a text from two Jewish students whom he had previously met, inviting him to attend a Shabbat dinner. The students at this dinner were part of a changing, eclectic group which had been meeting regularly for some time and included Christians, atheists, whites and Hispanics. Matthew, a convert to Orthodox Judaism and the host of the group, believed that extending the hand of friendship would be more effective at helping Derek see the humanity of Jews than attacking or even engaging in direct debate. Through Derek’s connection with this group, he also met Allison, an empathic psychology student who couldn’t fathom how someone so kind, gentle, and intelligent could harbor such destructive views.

    Following an initial period of establishing a respectful, caring and empathic relationship with Derek, Allison decided to challenge his beliefs. She presented him with numerous well-researched books and articles, realizing she could only succeed with firm scientific evidence.     At the same time, she and his friends engaged him with civil, logical arguments with mutual listening. A crucial turning point occurred when Allison confronted Derek about how his beliefs and actions caused real harm to peoples’ lives. Furthermore, she made him aware that his malicious propaganda had targeted some of the very minority students who gave Derek staunch support when so many others shamed and vilified him.

    After three years of soul-searching and inner turmoil, Derek privately disavowed his earlier beliefs to Allison. Allison urged him to go public, but his high profile in the White Nationalist movement gave him pause. With steps of increasing risk and visibility, Derek eventually came out as a supporter and promoter of tolerance, writing articles, giving interviews, and speaking out on College campuses and at other venues about the harm caused by White Nationalists. Derek struck out on his bold new path enduring tremendous humiliation and estrangement from parents, family, and his many former friends.

    Although Derek’s story concerns the transformation of only one individual, it raises questions and points to directions worthy of broader consideration. It asks a basic ethical question, “Should we accept and respect intolerant people, despite their offensive attitudes and behavior?” Allison and Matthew’s success at getting Derek to transform his views was only possible because they connected with him and separated the person from the hateful words and beliefs.

    As we ponder the merits of this point of view, we should keep in mind Timothy Snyder’s assertion in Bloodlands. He contends that by dehumanizing anyone, even Nazis, we hand Hitler a “posthumous victory.”  Snyder means that if we endorse Hitler’s dangerous worldview that there are superior and inferior human beings, it flings the door wide open for horrific repercussions.

    On a more practical level, the lessons of Derek’s narrative suggest a possible path to improve tolerance in our communities. They challenge us to evaluate whether we should fight fire with fire; combatting hate with scorn, demonization, and shunning, as most of the students at New College did. Or, instead, employ a humanistic tack.  The book implies its preference by showing how acceptance, respect, and empathy combined with civil discussions and cultivated friendships, yielded the amazing, desired result. I think it important to examine, individually and as a community, under what circumstances and to what degree we might integrate aspects of this approach when encountering prejudice.

    Aside from its potential instructive worth for the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center, Derek’s story presents us with a gift for the spirit. As with other social change movements, the trap of pessimism always lies in wait to ensnare us, particularly in  troubled times, such as ours. But we can take heart that Derek, an entrenched, highly-respected and intelligent White Nationalist, underwent a massive transformation. Derek’s epic journey should infuse us with hope, inspiration and courage, that we can create a more compassionate world, though the process can be long and arduous.

    I urge all those who seek to apply the lessons of the Holocaust to our own time, read, reflect on, and discuss this book. Doing so will fortify and enlighten us on our mission to propagate harmony and heal the growing wounds of those afflicted with hate.

  • International Holocaust Remembrance Day

    International Holocaust Remembrance Day

    Sunday, January 26, 2019 | 1:00 PM

    At the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County

    In observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, HMTC will host a screening of “Jan Karski and the Lords of Humanity,” with commentary by the film’s award-winner director, Slavomir Grunberg.

    Jan Karski, risked his life to try to prevent the Holocaust. Using a groundbreaking technique that combines unique archival footage with animated sequences, Emmy-winning filmmaker Slawomir Grünberg, re-creates the death-defying mission of Jan Karski, the Polish underground courier who travelled across occupied Europe, infiltrating the Warsaw Ghetto and a Nazi transit camp to deliver eyewitness accounts of the unfolding Holocaust to the Allied powers. Karski carried his reports to Britain and the United States, hoping that it would shake the conscience of the world leaders or – as he would call them – the Lords of Humanity.

    $10 suggested donation.  Light refreshments will be served.  Please RSVP to (516)571-8040 or programs@hmtcli.org.

  • March Against Antisemitism

    March begins at 3:00pm at the intersection of County Seat Drive and 11th Street, Mineola

    Parking is available in Nassau County Parking Field 12, off of South Drive across from NC Supreme Court

    Remarks begin at 3:40pm at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive & Legislative Building, 1550 Franklin Avenue, Mineola

    If you want to march with HMTC, please RSVP to info@hmtcli.org or (516)571-8040.

  • Why Do People Follow Orders?: A discussion of Stanley Milgram’s Obedience Experiments

    Why Do People Follow Orders?

    A discussion of Stanley Milgram’s Obedience Experiments

    Sunday, December 8, 2019 | 1:00 PM

    At the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A Discussion of American social physcologist Stanley Milgram’s 1961 experiments, including a screening of Milgram’s own documentary film, with Dr. Thorin Tritter, Museum and Programming Director, HMTC.

    $10 suggested donation.  Light refreshments will be served.  Please RSVP to (516)571-8040 or info@hmtcli.org.

  • Synopsis: “Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz”

    Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz

    Check out the Trailer!

    Armenia, the Holocaust, Uganda, Cambodia, Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan, Syria, Myanmar. The list of atrocities against humanity in our time is tragically long, and incomprehensible.

    Barry Avrich’s gripping documentary PROSECUTING EVIL: THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD OF BEN FERENCZ tells the fascinating story of one man’s lifelong quest for justice for victims of crimes against humanity – a concept Ferencz was instrumental in developing after The Nuremberg Trials post-World War II.

    A true visionary, a key architect of the international war crimes system and passionate advocate for peace, Ben Ferencz has lived a remarkable life. At 98 years old, the last living lead prosecutor at The Nuremberg Trials remains an active and unstoppable force for justice in an unjust world. He’s witnessed and influenced the most consequential chapters of the last 70 years – from liberating war camps and investigating Nazi war crimes, to acting, at 27 years old, as the Chief Prosecutor for the U.S. Army at the Einsatzgruppen Trials at Nuremberg and successfully advocating for the establishment of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Through it all he’s never wavered in his vision of a world that finds peace through the force of law, not the force of war.

    There’s nothing in Ben Ferencz’s earliest years to suggest the trajectory his life would take, and the history he would make. The son of Romanian immigrants fleeing anti-Semitism for New York City, Ferencz was born in 1920, and his small stature and poor English delayed his education. Nonetheless, he won a scholarship to Harvard Law School.

    Ferencz joined the U.S. Army serving in the 115th AAA Gun Battalion. In 1945, he was transferred to the headquarters of General Patton’s Third Army, and tasked with setting up a war crimes branch and collecting evidence. In this function, he was sent to the concentration camps as they were liberated by the U.S. Army. His assignment was to collect all the evidence of the crimes for future trials. The first camp he hit was Buchenwald. What he saw traumatized him for the rest of his life and fueled his desire to see a world in which those responsible for crimes against humanity are held to account. He gathered enough incriminating evidence to prosecute 22 Einsatzgruppen Nazis, responsible for murdering over a million people – a trial of which he was the lead prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes trials. Called the biggest murder trial in history, Ferencz was only 27 years old, and it was his first case.

    After the trials, Ferencz went on to advocate for restitution for Jewish victims of the Holocaust and later the establishment of the International Criminal Court. He also published several books on this subject. Already in his first book published in 1975, entitled Defining International Aggression-The Search for World Peace, he argued for the establishment of such an international court. In 2009, Ferencz was awarded the Erasmus Prize, the award is given to individuals or institutions that have made notable contributions to European culture, society, or social science. In April 2017, the municipality of The Hague announced that the city will honor Benjamin Ferencz by naming the footpath next to the Peace Palace after him as “one of the figureheads of international justice”.

    PROSECUTING EVIL includes a treasure trove of archival footage and photos that bring Ferencz’s world to life. The film was shot in Toronto, New York City, Nuremberg, The Hague, Delray Beach Florida, Chicago and Ottawa. It features interviews with top minds working in the fields of human and civil rights and international justice including Alan Dershowitz, Justice Rosalie Abella, General Wesley Clark (Ret.), David Scheffer, first U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues; Richard Dicker, Director, Human Rights Watch International Justice Program; Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court and Don Ferencz who has followed in his father’s footsteps as an attorney and international justice educator.

    Ferencz’s relentless vision, and his message in PROSECUTING EVIL is that there is little sense in denouncing aggression, terrorism, and other crimes against humanity unless these offenses became part of an accepted international criminal code enforced by an international court that delivers a structure for peace. Ferencz believes that if law trumps war, you could change the world. His mantra remains “Law not war”

  • You’re Invited to The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County’s Tolerance Benefit: “Taste of Long Island” and Silent Auction Monday, May 6, 2019, at 6:00 p.m.

    Glen Cove, NY…  Experience a taste of Long Island’s best restaurants at the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County’s (HMTC) annual Tolerance Benefit: “Taste of Long Island.”  This year’s benefit features a tasting event and silent auction on Monday, May 6, 2019, at 6 p.m. at Westbury Manor, 1100 Jericho Turnpike, Westbury, NY.  In addition, three middle and high-school students will be presented with the Friedlander Upstander Award.

    Bidding at the Silent Auction

    The Tolerance Benefit is a way for donors, volunteers, Holocaust Survivors and members of the community to join together to raise money in support of HMTC’s Holocaust, anti-bias and anti-bullying education programs. Those donations make it possible to provide transportation for school groups to visit HMTC’s world-class museum and to hear first-hand testimony from a Holocaust Survivor and for nurses and law enforcement officers to participate in free training workshops.

    The Friedlander Upstander Award, presented by HMTC and the Claire Friedlander Family Foundation, in conjunction with the Nassau and Suffolk County Police Departments, is awarded to Nassau and Suffolk County middle school and high school students who have acted as Upstanders against bullying or intolerance in any of its forms. Recipients receive a $2,500 scholarship.

    The Tolerance Benefit is sponsored by Samar Hospitality, the Ike, Molly & Steven Elias Foundation, Stewart Title Associates, The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation, and Mojo-Stumer Associates. Other Sponsorship opportunities are available. Tickets are $135 a person and a ten-pack of tickets is available for $1,200. To make a donation or purchase tickets or a sponsorship online visit http://weblink.donorperfect.com/tolerance2019.

    For more information about sponsorship packages and to purchase tickets, contact Deborah Lom at (516) 571-8040 or dlom@hmtcli.org.

  • Friedlander Upstander Award Winner: Sage Gladstone

    Sage Gladstone (3rd from right), a student at South Woods Middle School was a winner of the 2018 Friedlander Upstander Award at at HMTC’s 2018 Tolerance Benefit. Her essay below demonstrates that she has acted as an Upstander against bullying and intolerance.

    Taking action, helping others, and making a difference.  Those are my values and my purpose in life.  I love constantly pushing for a better world, not just speaking about it.  I take initiative and make my ideas come to life.  My sense of responsibility to the world outside of mine is what drives me to help people.  I want to live in a world that is caring, promotes peace, and celebrates differences.  However, I know that can’t happen overnight, and maybe can’t ever happen, but I wake up every day to work towards my goal, rise above obstacles, and be an Upstander for all.

    I have been striving to fulfill that goal of mine since I was five years old.  When I was in kindergarten, I saw that there was a girl a few grades above me who didn’t have any hair.  I felt sad, confused, and worried that she may get made fun of or laughed at, so I wanted to help.  I wanted to show her that someone cared and was thinking about her, so I went home that day to ask my mom if I could cut my hair and just give it to her,  My mom said I couldn’t’ do exactly that but I could donate my hair to people just like her.  Even in my five-year-old mind, I was totally on board with the idea that I could make someone’s day or life better from just one small act.  A few months later, I cut my hair to the point where it looked like I should be dancing the Charleston with my flapper friends, and donated it to Locks of Love.  I did that two more times when I was in fourth grade and this past summer, between seventh and eighth grade.  I realized I was slowly making a change… a change that I wanted to see in our world.

    It has always been a priority of mine to acknowledge others and their feelings because it’s important to appreciate the work that everyone does.  I try to spread my appreciation to people who make our world go around but are sometimes forgotten like the bus drivers, security guards, custodians, and lunch servers.   I also think it is important to stand up to unkind behavior wherever I am.  I will not tolerate rude remarks, bullying, or peer pressure.  Even if doing the right thing is the unpopular choice to make in a situation, I will do it for the sake of the people being hurt.

    Last year, I began many new initiatives at my school to help work towards the change I want to see.  For example, I organized a welcoming committee that invited all of our new students to come and play games and talk about their experiences in our school so far.  I wanted to make sure all the students felt noticed and welcomed.

    When I was home sick with the flu last year, I watched a video online about an amazing non-profit organization called Days for Girls.  This organization assembles sustainable feminine hygiene kits to donate to girls in impoverished areas around the world such as Nepal, parts of India, Haiti and so many other places.  Without the proper materials, these girls end up missing up to five days a week each month with most girls ending up having a deprived education.  Without an education it’s hard for these girls to achieve their goals and pursue their dreams.  These kits aren’t only giving them the items every girl needs, it’s giving them a future… a life to look forward to.  These girls are punished for something that is so natural in every girl’s life and are sent to huts to deal with it by themselves.  While they are in these huts, most commonly refereed to as chhaupadis, their biggest fear isn’t trying to make sure they are staying clean and healthy, it’s worrying about being raped.  These huts are in the middle of nowhere with hardly any protection from any of those vicious men.  After I watched the video, I went to their website to find the Days for Girls’ phone number so I could contact them and see what I could do to help.  When I called, they listed a bunch of volunteer opportunities for me to be apart of.  I thought hosting a drive to collect the materials needed for these kits was the best option.  Once I recovered from the flu and was back at school, I attended a meeting with my feminist club and shared what I had learned about the organization, and pitched the idea of holding a drive.  My club advisers and peers loved the idea but we couldn’t start it just yet because it was too late in the year.  So, we saved my idea for this year.  Over the summer I kept in contact with Days for Girls, collecting all the information I needed to launch a successful drive.  In the fall, I went back to school and planned logistics for this drive to work in meetings with my principal and many conversations with Days for Girls representatives.  Soon, I was ready to put boxes out and have donations roll in.  I really wanted this to be a successful drive so I contacted a representative named Kathy from a local team and asked her to come and speak at my school on behalf of Days for Girls.  We set up a date, and asked students to come listen and learn about Days for Girls at their lunch periods; we had a rather well turn our and even a boy showed up.  It was amazing to have my peers have the opportunity to be educated on an organization that its so important and amazing but yet a forgotten world issue.  After Thanksgiving break we put out donation boxes and I created posters to decorate our school with.  I loved Kathy’s presentation, but I still wanted to teach more about this wonderful organization, so I created a presentation and lectured in health classes about why it is important to donate.  After about a month of running the toiletry drive, my mom and I delivered our four overflowing boxes of donations to Dumont, New Jersey, where Kathy lives.  Throughout this whole experience, I kept in touch with Allie, a representative at the Days for Girls headquarters in Washington State.  After multiple calls and emails, Allie reached out to me and asked if she could feature my story in the Days for Girls monthly newsletter.  Of course I said yes, and Allie congratulated me for being the youngest volunteer to be featured.  My responsibility does not end with one successful drive.  I’m still committed to spreading the message of Days for Girls and will continue to raise awareness at my school.  Next month, I will hold a second drive as well as continue to educate my peers with a global awareness exhibit I’ve organized at my school’s awareness fair.

    The problems needed to be addressed in order to achieve my ideal world does not stop with menstruation.  While we have different religions, talents, hobbies, and beliefs, I know we all have the power to be kind.  I am driven to encourage kindness not only through the halls of my school, but also out in our world.  I am currently in the process of spearheading many kindness movements at my school.  The main project is the Blue Box Campaign where students receive a classmate’s name and are encouraged to write an anonymous compliment about them.  I am also setting it up for teachers.  The main purpose of this movement is to encourage people to make others feel good about themselves and to spread the idea that we can all uplift each other with a simple gesture.  I’m also launching a kindness mural project, where all students are asked to write their definition of kindness.  After everyone’s definition is collected, I will create the mural in a hallway at my school.  The process of each student writing their unique definition of kindness will make them have to consider what being kind actually means to them.  I will also kick off a Token of Kindness Project where Peer Mediators will carry around stickers that have quotes abut kindness on them.  When we see acts of kindness during the school day we will give them out.  This project is designed to let everyone know that all acts of kindness, big or small, never go unnoticed.  To tie all of the kindness projects together, I will be organizing another kindness moment called Kind Hands of South Woods for students and teachers to paint their hands and leave their hand prints on a piece of paper.  This resembles their pledge to be kind and contribute positivity to our school.  I hope I will be able to cement the value of Kindness into the minds of my peers as I launch these initiatives.

    My sense of responsibility to change our world for the better and promote kindness doesn’t just end with humans, I believe I should show the same respect to animals.  I became a vegetarian in kindergarten because I felt really bad at the thought that I was eating another living thing.  However, sticking with those eating habits got difficult especially at such a young age and I was only a vegetarian sporadically, until this past summer when I watched a few documentaries about the vegan diet.  Last month marked 6 month of being vegan, this experience proved to me that helping other human or not is something that I care strongly about and I am willing to do it and not give up.

    “Be the change you want to see in the world” is a powerful quote that I think best sums up my vision for being an Upstander.  I will always push for a better world and challenge myself on how I can make an even larger impact than the day before.  Through high school, college, adulthood, and when I’m old, I will continue to be an Upstander, someone who will never forget the importance of advocating for others and love for helping them.  I hope to spread this message of helping the people around you and thinking about lives beyond your own to all the beautiful humans on this planet we share.

    Are you an Upstander?

    If you have a story that sounds like Sage’s and you are a Middle or High School student from Nassau or Suffolk Counties, share it with us! You might be one of our 2019 Friedlander Upstander Winners.

    Apply via the link below:

    Friedlander Upstander Awards

    Or mail to:

    Helen Turner | Friedlander Upstander Award, 100 Crescent Beach Road, Glen Cove, NY 11542

    For more information please call: (516) 571-8040 or email helenturner@hmtcli.org.

     

     

  • Hit the Trails Against Bullying 2nd Annual Walk

    BullyProof

    Hit the Trails 
    Against Bullying
    2nd Annual Walk

    Saturday, October 1, 2016 

    10 a.m. – noon walk – fun activities inside

    Rain or shine

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

    Join The Bullyproof Project, The Glen Cove Youth Bureau, and HMTC for the 2nd Annual Walk Against Bullying. Take an emotional tour through HMTC’s museum to see how important it is to be an Upstander and not a Bystander.

    Together we can help raise awareness against bullying.

    This is a free, family-friendly event. All ages are welcome. Please wear comfortable clothing and appropriate shoes for hiking the Welwyn trails.