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2021 Western Region Virtual Event

On March 11, 2021, members of the Museum community from across the western region—Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington—came together for a virtual tribute event.

We heard inspiring words from Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissmann Klein and a thought-provoking conversation between Museum Historian Edna Friedberg and R. Derek Black, who renounced the white supremacist movement. Together with emcee Emmy Rossum, a Golden Globe-nominated actress, and leaders from the western region, we reaffirmed our resolve to ensure the lessons of the Holocaust shape the way forward. This moving experience is now available to watch and share:


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Featured Guests


Emmy Rossum
Emmy Rossum Golden Globe-nominated actress

Emmy Rossum has been captivating audiences with her varied and exceptional talents for more than a decade. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her performance as “Christine” in The Phantom of the Opera and starred in nine seasons of Showtime’s critically acclaimed dark comedy series, Shameless. Her acting credits are numerous, and she also has expanded to direct and produce for television and streaming services. Rossum also has released two albums, which showcase her classically trained voice. She has been an outspoken critic of antisemitism and bigotry in Hollywood.


Special Guest

Gerda Weissmann Klein
Gerda Weissmann Klein Holocaust survivor and 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient

Gerda Weissmann Klein was 15 years old when Germany invaded her hometown of Bielsko, Poland. In May 1945, Gerda, starving and ill, was liberated by an American soldier who would become her beloved husband of over five decades. An acclaimed speaker and author whose autobiography, All but My Life, was the subject of the Emmy- and Academy Award-winning documentary, Gerda exemplifies the resilience of the human spirit. An accomplished humanitarian, in 2010 she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. As a longtime Museum leader, Gerda embodies the values it was established to protect.


Featured Speaker

R. Derek Black
R. Derek Black Renounced the white supremacist movement

R. Derek Black was raised in a prominent white supremacist family and spent his teenage years helping his father expand the world’s first online racial hate community, Stormfront. He will discuss why he renounced the white supremacist movement and philosophy he was raised in, and his current work at the University of Chicago exploring the medieval and early modern origins of race, racist ideologies, and antisemitic beliefs.


Musical Performance

The Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices at the Colburn School

Music from the Museum's collection performed by conservatory students

Event Leadership

2021 Western Regional Event Leadership

Sheryl Bronkesh
Amy and Andrew Cohn
Suzi and Steve Hilton
Susan and William S. Levine
Judy and Mark Searle


California, Bay Area
Adrienne Bavar
Shefali Razdan Duggal
Amy and Mort Friedkin
Susan Lowenberg and Joyce Newstat
Tzipi and Sam Tramiel


California, Los Angeles
Martha and Barry Berkett
Sylvie and Mark Deutsch
Judy and Tom Flesh
Deborah Oppenheimer
Dana Perlman and Hugh Kinsellagh
Sheryl and Ken Pressberg
Janet and Leonard Rosenblatt
Linda and Tony Rubin
Helen and Moshe Sassover

California, San Diego
Judi Gottschalk


California, Santa Barbara
Cindy and Steve Lyons


Connie Ostrovsky


Sonia Breslow


New Mexico
Mim Burhans
Karen Kahn


Washington State
Suzi and Eric LeVine

Program Agenda

The Power of Coming Together: Welcome 

Suzi and Eric LeVine, Leadership Committee
Marla Eglash Abraham, Director, Western Region

What You Do Matters 

Emmy Rossum, Emcee

The Power of Individuals and the Resilience of the Human Spirit 

Musical Performance
The Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices at the Colburn School
Tarantella, Movement 5, Five Pieces for String Quartet, by composer Erwin Schulhoff who died at the Wülzburg internment camp in 1942

Played by Gallia Kastner and Adam Millstein (violin); Cara Pogossian (viola); and Ben Solomonow (cello)

Used by arrangement with European American Music Distributors Company, sole US and Canadian agent for Schott Music GmbH & Co. KG, Mainz, Germany

Special Guest
Gerda Weissmann Klein, Holocaust survivor, author, and activist
2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient

We Remember Through the Words of Witnesses 

General (Ret.) Robin Rand, Chief Executive Officer, Gary Sinise Foundation

Reflections from Holocaust survivors Steven Fenves, Agi Geva, and Estelle Laughlin

Dramatic readings of victims’ last messages and American GI eyewitness accounts by Jamie Lee Curtis, David Eigenberg, Morgan Freeman, Joshua Malina, Camryn Manheim, Tim Matheson, Mandy Patinkin, Daniela Ruah, and Elizabeth Tulloch

Rising to the Challenge: The Need for Global Holocaust Education 

Sara J. Bloomfield, Museum Director

Antisemitism, White Nationalism, and Extremist Ideology

A Conversation with R. Derek Black and Museum Historian Dr. Edna Friedberg

From Generation to Generation: Pledge to the Future

Honoring the legacy of Holocaust survivors Hedi and Ted Orden, z”l

Led by their daughters and spouses Martha and Barry Berkett; Judy and Tom Flesh; and Helen and Moshe Sassover, as well as 32 of their children and grandchildren

Western Regional Office

Western Regional Office

The Western regional office serves Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. Find out more about past programs and how to contact us.