Recordings of several of our past events are available on our YouTube channel.
Soul Witness: Survivor Testimony as Inspiration During Troubling Times
Sunday, November 1, 2020, 5PM EST
In the early 1990s, renowned Holocaust testimony expert Lawrence Langer conducted over 80 hours of interviews with Boston area Holocaust survivors for what was meant to serve as a living memorial to the Holocaust. The testimony tapes were placed in a metal closet, where they sat inexplicably for more than 20 years. In 2016, experienced producer R. Harvey Bravman, working with a local official, resurrected and digitized the tapes. Harvey then began working on a feature length documentary based solely on the testimony tapes that had been locked away for decades. He painstakingly worked through the testimony to produce a film, Soul Witness, that eloquently spoke to their experiences.
The film was completed in late 2018 and has sold out several theatrical screenings. In November, 2019, the film premiered in Pittsburgh to raise funds for the 3 congregations affected by the shooting here on October 27, 2018.
During this event, Harvey will speak on a panel with three descendants of survivors featured in Soul Witness: Cheryl Lefman, Dena Saltzberg, and Janet Bloom. They will discuss the process of bringing the testimony to light and what survivor testimony can teach us for the future.
The panel is free and open to all; viewing of the documentary is not required. 30% of proceeds of all streaming sales/rentals of “Soul Witness” in Western PA, Ohio, and West Virginia will go to the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh.
Rent or Buy Soul Witness Here: https://soulwitness.org/hcpgh/
An Irrepressible Woman: A Discussion of the Holocaust in France
Kristallnacht Commemoration 2020
Tuesday, November 10, 7pm EST
In commemoration of the 82nd anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh is partnering with Film Pittsburgh to offer this program.
Join us as we come together for a program about the French film “An Irrepressible Woman”, and the larger themes of the Holocaust in France. Speakers will include:
- Kathryn Spitz Cohan, who will discuss the film An Irrepressible Woman and the themes found therein;
- Jim Lucot, 2020-2021 Holocaust Educator of the Year, who will discuss the history of Kristallnacht;
- Dr. Lauren Apter Bairnsfather, who will moderate and discuss the history of the Holocaust in France, sharing valuable research being done by local historian David Rosenberg;
- Ed Friedman, who will discuss his collection of French artifacts on long-term loan to the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh.
After the panel, attendees are welcome to stay for a talkback.
We are pleased to be able to offer a free screening of “An Irrepressible Woman” to all registrants. The ticket price has been subsidized by funding from the Edgar Snyder Kristallnacht Commemoration Fund. Viewing the film is not required to attend this event.
While this program is free of charge, we appreciate your support.
Click here to donate to Film Pittsburgh: https://filmpgh.secure.force.com/donate/?dfId=a0n3m0000185zk6AAA
Click here to donate to the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh: https://jfedpgh.org/donatehc
Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh’s annual Kristallnacht program is generously supported by Edgar Snyder.
About “An Irrepressible Woman”:
Director: Laurent Heynemann
2019, France, 103 minutes
French with subtitles
An Irrepressible Woman is a beautifully crafted period piece detailing the real-life May-December romance of Jeanne Reichenbach and Léon Blum. Blum, the three-time Prime Minister of France who pushed through two landmark laws, paid vacation and the forty-hour work week, is now being persecuted by the French right, who accuse him of infecting the people of France with indolence and failing to prepare the military for war. Reichenbach is irrepressible in her desire to stay with him, leaving her family behind and joining Blum at Buchenwald where he’s been imprisoned by the Germans, in the sparse but livable section reserved for high-ranking prisoners. Despite their circumstances, Reichenbach and Blum’s romance blossoms. An Irrepressible Woman features an incredible performance by Elsa Zylberstein in the title role.
Generations Speaker Series: Alison Brown Karabin
Thursday, November 19, 2020, 3PM EST
The Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh is proud to present the latest installment in the Generations Speaker Series: Alison Brown Karabin. Alison will share the story of her grandmother, Elizabeth Brown (z”l), a Hungarian Holocaust survivor who endured Auschwitz-Birkenau and the Volary death march.
About Alison: Alison Karabin was born Alison Serena Brown to Peter and Stephanie Brown in Alexandria, VA. Alison grew up in Squirrel Hill, with her younger siblings David and Rachel. She graduated from Taylor Allderdice High School and spent a year in Israel on the Young Judaea Year Course program before attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Alison graduated with a BA in History and Hebrew & Semitic studies. After college, Alison moved to Israel for 5 years, earning her MSW from Yeshiva University’s Wuzweiler School of Social Work. She returned to Pittsburgh in 2002 and worked as a Geriatric and Medical Social Worker. Alison is married to Josh Karabin and they are the proud parents of Zachary, age 9. When Alison isn’t working for Jewish Residential Services, she can be found trying out new restaurants, walking in Schenley park, or cooking up a storm.
Generations Speaker Series: Susan Hawkins and Peter Robinson
Part 1: Tuesday, December 1, 3PM EST
Part 2: Thursday, December 3, 3PM EST
This pre-recorded Holocaust Center doc will air in two parts. Part 1 airs Tuesday, December 1, 3pm and Part 2 airs Thursday, December 3, 3pm.
Susan Robinson Hawkins and Peter Robinson are the children of two Holocaust survivors from Hungary and the Ukraine. Together, sister and brother tell the story of their parents’ loss and survival through concentration camps, hiding and emigration. Susan discusses her own journey of traveling back to Hungary and the Ukraine years later, and her experience retracing some of the places where her family lived. We are pleased to have Peter join us for his first Generations speaking engagement, as he shares alongside Susan about his parents and his life as a young immigrant.
About Peter Robinson: Peter Robinson was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1947 and came to the US in 1950. He is married and worked as a Salesforce platform administrator/developer.
About Susan Hawkins: Susan Robinson Hawkins was born in 1954 in Bethlehem, PA. She came to Pittsburgh in 1970 at the age of 16 to begin college at CMU as a violin major.
Graduating with a degree in Psychology and after 2 jobs in research at CMU and University of Pittsburgh, she returned to school to become a Physician Assistant. She worked for the department of surgery at St. Francis Hospital (now Children’s Hospital) and was the first faculty member of Physician Assistant programs at Duquesne University (3 years) and Chatham University (24 years), where she is a Faculty Emerita.
She currently works as a Wellness Counselor, having maintained a 100 lb weight loss for over 10 years.
She is married to Steve Hawkins, an architect in Squirrel Hill and the former Squirrel Hill columnist for Shady Avenue Magazine. She has 4 daughters: a cartoon artist, a piano technician and rock percussionist, a medical student, and a psychology student.
She enjoys cooking, hiking, helping others, playing games and doing home work-outs sponsored by the JCC in Pittsburgh.