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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Survivor Mitzvah Project

Darren & I had the distinct honor of attending the Survivor Mitzvah Project at the Museum of Tolerance. It was an inspiring, heart wrenching evening with actors (including Ed Asner, Frances Fisher, Elliott Gould, Valerie Harper, Lainie Kazan & Alan Rosenberg) reading letters from Holocaust survivors. The organization was founded by the amazing Zane Buzby a television director & producer (Golden Girls, Newhart, Charles in Charge, Married...with Children). During one hiatus, she went on a trip in search of her roots & connected with several Holocaust survivors who were ill and living alone in poverty. She began writing & sending small amounts of money, that they used for the most basic necessities & medical treatment. As she recruited friends to help, she found more and more survivors & they began sharing their experiences before, during and after the Holocaust in a series of letters. I studied the Holocaust in school. I read The Diary of Anne Frank & watched Schindler's List; but I'm embarrassed to admit how little I knew about the actual plight of the survivors. I had falsely assumed that they were well taken care of, for the atrocities that they'd had to endure. it's been said that 'Ignorance is bliss', but sometimes it's just ignorance. My hope is not only that others help this forgotten group, but also that Ms. Buzby turns her story into a film to spread the word even further.
photo credit: Paul Archuleta/ Film Magic

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