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Transforming Hate to Hope

A National Next Generation Event

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Hate speech and antisemitism did not start or end with the Holocaust.

At a time of escalating violent antisemitism amid a larger climate of hatred, Holocaust education and its lessons have never been more relevant.

On June 10, 2021, national Next Generation members came together for a conversation with Holocaust survivor Irene Weiss, Rachel Brown, an expert on dangerous speech, and Peter Alexander, co-anchor of Weekend Today, to explore the consequences of unchecked hate and antisemitism and the opportunities to counter them with education.

Watch the 2021 National Next Generation Virtual Event below.

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Featured Guests

Featured Guests

Rachel Brown
Rachel Brown Founder and Executive Director, Over Zero
Former Fellow, Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Rachel Brown is a dynamic force who speaks to the power of communication—how it can divide and how it can unite. For the past decade, she has focused on using communication to prevent violent conflict. After her 2014 fellowship with the Museum's Simon-Skjodt Center, Rachel authored Defusing Hate: A Strategic Communication Guide to Counteract Dangerous Speech. She previously founded and ran Sisi ni Amani-Kenya (SNA-K), a Kenyan NGO that pioneered new strategies to build local capacity for peacebuilding and civic engagement

Rachel is the founder and executive director of Over Zero, a non-profit organization that emerged out of the work of SNA-K. Over Zero partners with community leaders, civil society, and researchers to use the power of communication to prevent and rise above identity-based violence and other forms of group-targeted harm. Programming is focused on the United States, central Europe, and east Africa, as well as engagement with the wider atrocity prevention field. In May 2020, the organization produced Counteracting Dangerous Narratives in the Time of COVID-19: A Guide for the United States.

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Irene Weiss
Irene Weiss Holocaust Survivor and Museum Volunteer

Irene Fogel Weiss was born in November 1930 in Bótrágy, Czechoslovakia (now Ukraine). Bótrágy came under Axis rule in 1939. Jews were barred from attending school, their businesses were confiscated, and thousands of Jewish men had to join Hungarian forced labor brigades. In April 1944, Hungarian authorities moved Bótrágy’s Jewish residents into the Munkács ghetto and shaved the heads of all girls under the age of 16. Irene’s mother gave her a scarf to wear, which probably saved her life after they were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau because it made her look older.

Her mother, three younger siblings, and older brother were killed upon arrival. Irene and one sister were selected for forced labor. In January 1945, they were marched to Ravensbrück and then transported to the Neustadt-Glewe subcamp. One day during roll call, the SS separated Irene’s sister from the group, deeming her too weak to work. Irene joined her sister. They waited for a transport truck to Ravensbrück, where there were gas chambers, but the transport never arrived. Soviet troops soon liberated the camp. The sisters immigrated to New York in 1947. Irene became a teacher and now volunteers at the Museum.

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Moderator

Peter Alexander
Peter Alexander Co-Anchor, Weekend Today, and Chief White House Correspondent, NBC News

Emmy Award-winning journalist Peter Alexander is the co-anchor of Weekend Today and chief White House correspondent for NBC News, covering all aspects of the Biden administration. His reporting appears across all platforms of NBC News and MSNBC, including NBC Nightly News with Lester HoltTodayMeet the PressDateline, and NBCNews.com.

Alexander was assigned to cover the White House for NBC News in 2012. Previously, he led the network’s on-the-ground coverage of the 2012 Republican presidential race, reporting from the trail on GOP nominee Mitt Romney through Election Day. His reporting earned him recognition as one of Politico’s “10 Breakout Reporters of 2012.”

Since arriving at NBC News in 2004, Alexander has covered numerous international stories—from Iraq’s historic 2005 election to the death of Osama bin Laden. He interviewed then-Cuban president Fidel Castro during Hurricane Ivan in 2005. In addition to his news responsibilities, he has also served as an NBC Sports host and covered the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, and the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. 

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Event Leadership

Chairs

Johanna Arenaza and Alex Brill
Johanna Arenaza and Alex Brill Mid-Atlantic region
Kylie and Benjamin Bass
Kylie and Benjamin Bass Northeast region
Katie and J. R. Berger
Katie and J. R. Berger Midwest region
Richard and Jennifer Devinki
Richard and Jennifer Devinki Western region
Stacey Petito Nowack
Stacey Petito Nowack Southeast region

Event Committee

Becky and Marc Altman

Morgan Anker

Erin and Sam Ankin

Tracy and Howard Ankin

Danielle and Jon Auerbach

Hillary and Alex Behar

Michael and Mollie Berenbom

Alisa and Adam Bergstein

Carly and Scott Bernstein

Michelle Bernstein

Blake and Joey Breslow

David Catanzarite

Ben Davis

Danielle Weinberg Dixon

Laura and Adam Docks

Jared Dubnow

Adam Edlin

Lonnie Edlin

Reanna Edlin

Erica and Brad Emanuel

Alex Entratter

Nick Epstein

Julia Feinstein and Markus Weiss

Allison and Brian Feltzin

Jennifer Flanagan

Dena and Zach Fox

Adam Friedland

Jessica and Seth Friedman

Nina Friend

Jackie and Josh Gerber

Marina and Morris Gershengorin

Susan Gold

Will Goldstick

Jordan Goodman and Danielle Rudas Goodman

Lily Goodman

Alexis and Spencer Gordon

Felicia Edlin Gordon

Melissa and Benjamin Gottesman

Laura and Matt Gray

Aliza Gross

Laura and Matt Gray

Jordyn and Jordan Gross

Jodi and Adam Gruber

Melissa Grund Sarnoff and David Sarnoff

Angela Gutman

Carlee and Danny Gutman

Johanna and Brian Gutman

Michael Gutman and Mari Weiss

Angela Gutman

Michelle and Corey Harris

Allison and Scott Helberg

Ashley and Ryan Heller

Amanda and Jason Hirsh

Julie and Ben Hockenberg

Lynn Horowitz

Miriam and Jesse Izak

Heather Karatz

Faylyn and Danny Kaufman

Molly Bett Kovler

Jen Lask

Blake Lasky

Jonah Lazowski

Ilana Ron Levey

Nicole Pines Lieberman and Avi Lieberman

Allison Lindemann

Sam Lipson and Abigail Weiss

Emma Lipstone

Samuel Lissner

Christopher McCannell

Abe Mazliach

Kacey and Alec Ofsevit

Michael Oxman and Doug Winkelstein

Rebekah Parker and David Wilansky

Dr. Jonathan Pomeraniec and Ms. Danielle Chelminsky

Stacey and Brian Price

Sarah and Eric Rosand

Danielle and Bryan Rosenberg

Jennifer and Martin Rossen

Jason Rotter

Drew Tye Ruby-Howe

Jessica and David Ruttenberg

Sara and Nat Sager

Stacey and Marc Saiontz

Erika Saleski and Todd Lieberman

Lauren Sandberg and Jacob Lewis

Dana and Craig Sanders

Heather Sandoval

Melissa Grund Sarnoff and David Sarnoff

Alison Schaffer

Caren Schiffman and Todd Cohen

Erin Searle-Proud

Robin Shapiro

Zach Sheck

Heather and Ben Sher

Alexis Shklar

Jim Siegel

Donald S. Silberman

Dana and Seth Singerman

Lee Solomon

Rachel and Stephen Sotoloff

Brian Spencer

Stefanie and Jordan Stein

Melanie and Morry Steinbach

Ian Steinberg

Staci and Ari Studnitzer

Lisa and Alex Tarshis

Lauren and Aaron Tucker

Ali Unger and Jake Grabiner

Stefanie Pessis Weil and Rick Weil

Samantha Weinberg

Benjamin and Irene Weintraub

James B. Wiggins, Jr.

Franny and Michael Zucker

Program Agenda

REGIONAL WELCOME REMARKS 

Mid-Atlantic Region Event Chairs: Johanna Arenaza and Alex Brill

Midwest Region Event Chairs: Katie and J. R. Berger 

Northeast Region Event Chairs: Kylie and Benjamin Bass 

Southeast Region Event Chairs: Stacey Petito Nowack

Western Region Event Chairs: Richard and Jennifer Devinki

WE REMEMBER THROUGH THE WORDS OF WITNESSES 

Reading by Ben Gorvine

Reflections from Holocaust Survivor Irene Weiss, Introduced by Her Grandson Ben Gorvine

RISING TO THE CHALLENGE: DIFFUSING HATE SPEECH

A Conversation with Peter Alexander, Chief White House Correspondent and Co-anchor of Weekend Today, and Rachel Brown, Founder and Executive Director, Over Zero

THE RISE OF ANTISEMITISM

Sara J. Bloomfield, Museum Director

WHAT YOU DO MATTERS

Museum Voices: Naomi Kikoler, Mina Abdelmalak, Edna Friedberg, and Robert Williams

The Museum’s Midwest Teen Committee Chairs: Cooper Wallman and Stephen Knobel

Event Chairs: Johanna Arenaza and Alex Brill, Katie and J. R. Berger, Kylie and Benjamin Bass, Richard and Jennifer Devinki, and Stacey Petito Nowack

Regional Office Voices: Courtney Campbell Bernstein, Griselle Lima, Sindy Lugerner, Renee Rotter, and Robert Tanen 

FROM GENERATION TO THE NEXT GENERATION: PLEDGE TO THE FUTURE

All Program Speakers

Next Generation

Next Generation

A dedicated community of emerging philanthropists and leaders, the Next Generation supports the Museum through outreach and fundraising events. Find out more about these dynamic groups and how to join.