U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to Host Virtual Event

Actress Emmy Rossum will emcee the “2021 Western Region Virtual Event” to benefit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. The event takes place on March 11 at 7 p.m. It brings together members of the Western Region community in support of the efforts of the D.C.-based Museum. Supporters from 10 western states will share their commitment that the critical lessons of the Holocaust–lessons about the fragility of societies, the nature of hate, and the consequences of indifference–help shape the nation’s way forward.  

The annual “What You Do Matters” Western Region Dinner is normally held in Los Angeles and historically attracts up to 1,000 guests. This year, the virtual event will feature the theme of “Survival, Hope and Resilience.” The program will include testimonies from Holocaust survivors and liberators as narrated by celebrities including Morgan Freeman, Jamie Lee Curtis, Camryn Manheim and Tim Matheson. The event will also include special musical performances and important messages about the Museum’s role in these challenging times.  

Emcee Emmy Rossum 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.” She has been an outspoken critic of antisemitism and bigotry in Hollywood.

Taking part in a special segment will be Gerda Weissmann Klein, Holocaust survivor, author, humanitarian, subject of the Academy Award winning documentary “One Survivor Remembers,” and 2011 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 

“One Survivor Remembers” relates  Klein’s harrowing story of survival, both before and after the war. Home Box Office and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum co-produced the documentary film, which was awarded both an Emmy and an Academy Award. 

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s “2021 Western Region Virtual Event” comes at a time marked by an alarming rise in antisemitism, racism, and neo-Nazism. The event will feature Derek Black, who was raised in a prominent white supremacist family. Black will speak about experiences that led him to renounce the white nationalist movement and inspired his current work of understanding and teaching the origins of race, racist ideologies and antisemitic beliefs.

In addition, conservatory students from The Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices at the Colburn School in Los Angeles will perform music from the Museum’s Collection, which is the world’s largest archive of Holocaust artifacts and materials.

 “These challenging times compel us to present a program that initiates critical thinking, inspires self-reflection and motivates the community to create positive change,” said Marla Abraham, the Museum’s Director of the Western Regional Office. “We are grateful to have Emmy Rossum emcee our virtual event and recognize the significant work that the Western Region Leadership Committee put forth to make this non-traditional program deeply impactful. The event will be a memorable and powerful experience with appearances by Gerda Weissmann Klein, Derek Black and the musical performance by students from the Colburn School.”

The event is open to the public, but advance registration is required. Registrants will receive a link via email to access the program a day before the virtual event. Groups and individuals interested must register by March 10. For more information, contact the Museum’s Western Regional Office at 310-556-3222 or western@ushmm.org.


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