What Does It Mean To Be An American? 5 Events to Sign Up for This Month

As we celebrate the 4th of July, we have the opportunity to reflect on what it means to be an American, and that’s what we’ll be doing this month through HHC digital programming. Throughout the years, we have heard many stories from survivors about what America means to them. One story that I am always inspired by is told by survivor Al Miller. He speaks about fleeing Nazi Germany, and after enduring many experiences and not being wanted by several countries, finally arriving in America as young man. Upon entering the country, he was greeted by a warm immigration officer who told him that, “You are now in the United States of America, you are in a free country; make something of yourself, get an education, obey our laws, and if you do all that we will be grateful to you that you came to live with us.” Al reminds us that words are ever so powerful and these words changed him from a shy young man into a more self-confident person.

As we look at the challenging times in which we live, with extreme polarization and fragmentation, we are called to reexamine ourselves and hear stories of what it means to be an American. From the lessons of the Holocaust, we learn about the fragility of democracy and the need to preserve it. We will hear stories about what it means to be an American, celebrating our incredible accomplishments while continually striving towards the ideals of freedom and justice for all.

This month, we will also be launching our first ever virtual Roma & Sam Kaltman Holocaust Studies for Educators. It starts on July 6th and runs over the course of five weeks. If you are an educator, you won’t want to miss this, and if you are a learner, you are invited to sign up for a scholar pass to hear from the incredible line-up of scholars that we’ve engaged for this course.

Check out these five upcoming events that you should sign up for this month:

1. Holocaust Speaker Series via Zoom: Zahava Rendler – Wednesday, July 8, 11 a.m.

Zahava Rendler, local Holocaust survivor, shares her story via Zoom this Wednesday at 11 a.m. The Holocaust Speaker Series is presented by Margaret & Michael Valentine. REGISTER HERE

2. Museum Mornings: Rebuilding Stories Gallery Talk – Thursday, July 9, 10 a.m.

Hear the stories of three Holocaust survivors, featured in the Holocaust & Humanity Center, who rebuilt their lives in Cincinnati. Jodi Elowitz, Director of Education & Engagement, Cori Silbernagel, Curator, and Trinity Johnson, Director of Development, will share how they designed the museum to tell the stories of local survivors and describe the obstacles and opportunities that Jewish refugees faced as they rebuilt their lives after the Holocaust. Gallery Talks are generously sponsored by Xavier University. REGISTER HERE

3. Holocaust Speaker Series via Zoom: Holocaust Survivor Dr. Al Miller – Wednesday, July 15, 11 a.m.

Dr. Al Miller, local Holocaust survivor, shares his story via Zoom on July 15 at 11 a.m. The Holocaust Speaker Series is presented by Margaret & Michael Valentine. REGISTER HERE

4. Mirsada Kadiric’s Story: What Does it Mean to Be an American? – Thursday, July 16, 4 p.m.

On July 16, Bosnian genocide survivor Mirsada Kadiric will share her life experiences and reflect on what it means to be an American from the perspective of a refugee resettling in the United States. Kadiric was born in Bosnia and fled to the United States as a war refugee when she was sixteen years old. She will share the challenges and opportunities of coming to the U.S. as a teenager, and her thoughts about the country we can create together today. Kadiric is passionate about sharing her experiences with the public and mentoring refugee girls through RefugeeConnect. She also wrote a 2018 book about her experiences: I Am a Refugee: Finding Home Again in America. Kadiric serves as a Board Member of the Holocaust & Humanity Center, where her story is featured in the Humanity Gallery. REGISTER HERE

5. Now Streaming: A Discussion About “13th” by Ava Duvernay with Special Guest Tyra Patterson – Tuesday, July 28, 7 p.m.

During this month’s exploration of what it means to be an American, we will watch the powerful documentary film 13th, written and directed by Ava DuVernay. The film examines the criminalization of African Americans throughout U.S. history, including through modern mass incarceration. Jodi Elowitz, HHC’s Director of Education & Engagement, and Tyra Patterson, Community Outreach Director for the Ohio Justice & Policy Center, will facilitate the discussion. Patterson will share her work with the Ohio Justice & Policy Center and her perspective on the film as someone who was formerly incarcerated. Register below for what will be a thought-provoking discussion. The film is free on Netflix and YouTube.U.S. Rating: TV-MA For mature audiences. May not be suitable for ages 17 and under. REGISTER HERE

Unprecedented times can bring out the best in humanity. As this situation evolves, the Holocaust & Humanity Center remains steadfast in its mission of ensuring the lessons of the Holocaust inspire action today. Your support helps us move forward during this time. We encourage you to consider donating to HHC as an investment in our mission. https://www.holocaustandhumanity.org/donate/