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Upstander Speaker Series

Mike Kim: Human Trafficking Expert and Award-Winning Author

Thursday, November 17, 2016

North Korea is the least free country in the world with a repressive hereditary political leadership and one of the world’s worst human rights records. This has led to incredible suffering by its people. Before its borders with China were fortified in 2010 and 2011, tens of thousands of North Koreans escaped into China. If caught by Chinese authorities they are returned to North Korea where they are imprisoned or executed for treason. Females make up 70% of the refugees, and they are frequently trafficked as prostitutes or sold as brides. If returned to North Korea, many women who became pregnant while in China are required by their government to undergo abortions.

On New Year’s Day in 2003, Mike Kim gave up his financial planning business in Chicago, Illinois and booked a one-way ticket to China. Once there he found himself drawn to help North Korean refugees. While living near the China-North Korea border, Kim operated undercover as a North Korean taekwondo student training under two well-known masters from Pyongyang. From there he used a 6,000-mile underground railroad to lead many North Korean refugees and sex trafficking victims to safety in Southeast Asia.

His memoir, Escaping North Korea: Defiance and Hope in the World’s Most Repressive Country, describes his harrowing experiences at the China-North Korean border. Kim also founded Crossing Borders, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing humanitarian assistance to North Korean refugees. Crossing Borders organizers testified at a congressional hearing on the issue of counteracting human trafficking in China, and it regularly contributes to the U.S. State Department’s “Annual Trafficking in Persons Report”.

Crossing Borders provides medical care, food, shelter, and counseling to North Korean refugees. The organization also houses abandoned North Korean children in orphanages and provides extensive counseling and care. Crossing Borders works with refugees who live in fear that the police will find them and send them back to North Korea.

Kim’s fearless efforts to rescue those who are denied basic human rights demonstrates the behavior of an Upstander; he does not stand by while others suffer. This is why we honor Mike Kim as part of our 2016 Upstander Speaker Series.

The Upstander Speaker Series event will take place on Thursday, November 17 at 6:30 p.m. at Communities Foundation of Texas, 5500 Caruth Haven Lane, Dallas, TX 75225. The VIP reception with Mike Kim begins at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are available on $10 general Admission; FREE for members; $20 for VIP Members; $30 for non-members.

Sponsor: The Dallas Morning News

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The Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance has officially announced its 2016 Hope for Humanity Honoree. Business person, philanthropist, and volunteer Nate Levine will accept the award at the Museum’s annual Hope for Humanity Dinner on Wednesday, October 26 at the Fairmont Hotel’s Regency Ballroom.

Nate joins other prominent community members who have received the Museum’s Hope for Humanity Award, including former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach, Exxon VP Frank Risch, Attorney Don M. Glendenning of Locke Lord, Commercial Metals CEO Stan Rabin, and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.

Every day is a gift, says Nate, an opportunity not only to learn and to grow but to serve others in meaningful ways. “If I can bring about a small change in someone’s life, or do my part to help alleviate poverty, I consider those as accomplishments,” he says.

For nearly 45 years, Nate and his wife Ann Levine have shared their time, talent, and spirit with the city of Dallas. They have endowed a Chair for Jewish Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and provided significant funding for the Ann and Nate Levine Academy in Dallas.

From humble beginnings in upstate New York where he grew up, Nate graduated from the RCA Institute of Technology in New York City and began his career repairing televisions.

Recognizing opportunities in the burgeoning cable television business, Nate became a pioneer in the industry, serving as Chief Engineer for Jerrold Electronics Systems Division of Philadelphia, which was later sold to Sammons Communications of Dallas. Ann and Nate followed the company to Dallas in 1972 and never looked back.

In the late 1970s, Nate launched his business building and operating cable systems throughout the Southwestern United States. His company pioneered a new credit collections method serving cable systems and other firms across the nation. Later in life, Nate formed a real estate investment company that has holdings throughout Texas.

For more information please visit For details about table and ticket prices, and sponsorships contact

(Article written by Dallas Holocaust Museum contributing writer Chris Kelley.)

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Bergen-Belsen was one of Nazi Germany’s most infamous concentration camps. Inmates were subject to inhumane treatment; starvation was rampant as were unsanitary conditions which led to the spread of disease. Anne Frank and her sister Margot were victims of a typhus epidemic at Bergen-Belsen. Both perished a few months before liberation of the camp by British forces on April 15, 1945.

Shortly after liberation the British burned the camp to the ground to halt the spread of disease.  Survivors were relocated to former military barracks close by. There they were disinfected, clothed and fed. They insisted on retaining the name of the original camp, and it became the known as the Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons (DP) Camp. By 1946 the camp housed more than 11,000 Jews, making it the largest DP camp in Europe. It was the only exclusively Jewish DP camp in the British zone of Germany.

Rebirth After the Holocaust: Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons Camp, 1945-1950 recalls the true story of Jewish survivors who experienced the horrors of the Holocaust and maintained a desire for life.

Eager to regain control over their lives, the Bergen-Belsen survivors formed a camp committee three days after liberation. The committee soon organized cultural, religious and political activities for the survivors.

While waiting to learn the fates of relatives and friends, many Jews yearned for companionship and began creating new families. Almost twenty marriages took place every day. Weddings were social activities that involved the participation of others with professional skills. Over 2,000 children were born in the camp. Survivors and service providers established an elementary school, a high school, an orphanage and a yeshiva.

By the middle of 1950, the majority of the Jewish displaced persons had emigrated to Israel, the United States, Canada and South Africa with a small number remaining in Germany.

Rebirth After the Holocaust, organized by the World Federation of Bergen-Belsen Associations, is presented by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religious Museum.


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The Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance, in partnership with the Dallas Independent School District and Hold on to Your Music, proudly sponsors the first-ever City-Wide Read and Performance! This fall nearly 12,500 Dallas 5th graders, along with students from the city’s Jewish schools, will read The Children of Willesden Lane, a true story of escape from the Nazis, and the students will attend a musical performance by the author and Grammy-nominated classical pianist Mona Golabek.

The Children of Willesden Lane tells the story of 14-year-old Lisa Jura, Golabek’s mother, a Jewish musical prodigy whose family sent her from Vienna to England on the Kindertransport to escape from Nazi-controlled Austria. Lisa goes alone to London and finds her way at the Willesden Lane Orphanage where she works hard to pursue her dreams of becoming a concert pianist.

After the students have read and studied The Children of Willesden Lane, they will attend a classical music performance at the Music Hall at Fair Park in November. Mona Golabek’s musical performance combines elements of storytelling, acting, and music to tell her mother’s inspirational story of survival during the Holocaust. The show expands on the themes found in the book and further demonstrates the strength of the human spirit to persevere through times of darkness.

As part of the City-Wide Read and Performance event, every Dallas ISD 5th grader and several Dallas Jewish schools will receive a personal copy of The Children of Willesden Lane. Every 5th grader available will be transported to and from a performance by Golabek at the Music Hall at Fair Park (November 14, 15 or 16).

The City-Wide Read and Performance also incorporates professional development for teachers and librarians on teaching Holocaust history and The Children of Willesden Lane and includes bilingual teacher resources and cross-curriculum projects for English Language Arts, Reading, Performing Arts, Social Studies, Library and Media Studies.

The City-Wide Read and Performance is funded by the Dallas Holocaust Museum, Dallas ISD, and the Dallas Jewish Foundation.

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September is a busy month at the Museum. We’re saying goodbye to the heat and hello to autumn with five special events centered around the International Day of Peace—celebrated annually on September 21st around the world.

Each week in September, the Museum will host a special guest to talk about his or her experiences before, during, and after the Holocaust.

Events kick off on Sunday, September 4th, as Holocaust survivor Jack Repp tells his incredible, true story of fighting in the resistance and living in various ghettos and concentration camps, including Auschwitz, Dachau, and Kielce. Jack will speak at 12:30 PM; you don't need a ticket to hear the speaker, but admission is required to tour the Museum.

On Sunday, September 11th, Magie Furst will talk about life as a Kindertransport refugee and how Jewish children were rescued from the Nazis and brought to the United Kingdom. Maggie will speak at 12:30 PM; you don't need a ticket to hear the speaker, but admission is required to tour the Museum.

The Museum will officially recognize the International Day of Peace on Sunday, September 18th, with its main event of the season when it hosts three speakers who will tell their dramatic stories of endurance and survival. Survivors Max Glauben, Fred Strauss, and Jack Repp will speak at 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, and 3:00 PM, respectively. Museum admission will be free on this day; however, space will be limited.

Holocaust refugee Fred Strauss will return the following Sunday, September 25th, to talk about growing up in Germany and surviving the Holocaust. Fred will speak at 12:30 PM; you don't need a ticket to hear the speaker, but admission is required to tour the Museum.

Please note that two docents will be available to provide guided tours following the speaker on September 4, 11, and 25. The tours will start around 1:45, immediately following the speaker. Docents will guide groups of 15 people each. A sign-up sheet for the tours will be provided at the front desk. Access to group tours is on a first-come, first-served basis.

On Tuesday, September 27th, the Museum will wrap up the month with a discussion on the history of anti-semitism, hosted by Dr. Sara Abosch, Senior Director of Education at the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance. “Lunch and Learn: Historical Lessons” begins at 11:30 AM and is open and free to the public. RSVP is required through Eventbrite.


(Article written by Dallas Holocaust Museum contributing writer Chris Kelly)

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Photo by Tristan Gulley

Are you interested in Holocaust and World War II studies? Do you enjoy learning and engaging with others? Become a docent at the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance!

The Dallas Holocaust Museum provides an intensive and rewarding Docent Training Program twice yearly. Any person who joins the program will become an important part of the Museum’s mission to teach the history of the Holocaust and to advance human rights to combat prejudice, hatred and indifference.

The docent training program introduces volunteers to Holocaust studies (as presented in the core exhibit), the Museum’s design and history, and museum educational methodology. The course offers a solid foundation in policies, procedures and touring techniques.

As a docent, you will expand your knowledge of Holocaust history through ongoing training provided by the education staff and enhance your public speaking skills. You will also educate school groups and the public about the Holocaust and teach new generations about becoming Upstanders.

Volunteers are required to attend all nine docent training sessions and complete course reading and writing assignments. Group participation is strongly encouraged. Docent training is an interactive program with multiple opportunities for participants to share their experiences with other trainees and staff.

If you are interested in joining the next docent training course, please fill out the Docent Training Course online application. The Fall 2016 Docent Training application deadline is August 1, 2016.

Want more information? Contact Dr. Charlotte Decoster, Assistant Director of Education, at or visit

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In the early 1990s, with the collapse of Communism, Yugoslavia began to break apart as ethnic and religious groups sought to create their states in the territory. The war that ensued over Sarajevo, a city that exemplified the former country’s multi-ethnic culture and identity, was emblematic of the region’s descent into civil war.

Bosnian Serbs, seeking to form a stronger Serbian nation, attacked Bosnia and began a policy of ethnic cleansing. In the following months, Serb forces raided Muslim and Croat homes. Many of the men, interred in prison camps and tortured and killed. Forced into detention centers, women endured repeated rape and brutality.

Bosnian Serb forces blockaded Sarajevo, cutting residents off from water, food, electricity, medicine and other supplies. The situation in Sarajevo was dire.

Survival in Sarajevo: La Benevolencija tells the story of the Jewish humanitarian organization that provided critical relief at the height of the conflict. Led by Holocaust survivors and their children, La Benevolencija housed itself in Sarajevo’s Jewish community center and provided medicine, food and community to Sarajevans trapped in the city. The agency’s pharmacy, mail service, and soup kitchen served all comers, regardless of their religious belief or ethnic background.

The siege of Sarajevo by Serb forces was the longest siege of a city in the history of modern warfare. La Benevolencija helped ease conditions for the besieged through its efforts and built community during some of Sarajevo’s darkest hours.

Based on the book by journalist and photographer Edward Serotta, Survival in Sarajevo: Jews, Bosnia and the Lessons of the Past, this exhibition covers the history of the Jews in the Balkans from 1492 to 1941 before turning to the Bosnian War of the 1990s and the story of La Benevolencija.

Survival in Sarajevo: La Benevolencija will be available to view at the Museum until September 18, 2016.


Film Screening – Srebrenica: A Cry from the Grave


In connection with our special gallery exhibit, the Museum will screen the film Srebrenica: A Cry from the Grave, which provides a detailed visual documentation of the Bosnian-Serbian conflict on Thursday, July 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the Museum Theater. The BBC documentary Srebrenica: A Cry from the Grave examines the massacre in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina and its aftermath.

Srebrenica, the world’s first United Nations Safe Area, was the site of the worst genocide in Europe since World War II. In July 1995, the Bosnian Serb army occupied the intimate spa town and took over the surrounding region. Muslim residents were forcibly separated from their neighbors and families. Over a five-day period, more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys were systematically murdered by the Bosnian Serb soldiers in schools, fields, and warehouses.

Narrated by Bill Moyers, Srebrenica: A Cry from the Grave provides first-hand accounts told by survivors and witnesses of the 1995 Bosnian massacre as well as interviews with UN soldiers and government officials.

Warning: Due to some graphic content, this film may not be suitable for younger viewers.

RSVP required. Please visit Eventbrite to reserve your seat. For more information go to

Sponsor: Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport

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For the month of June, the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance is celebrating Millennials by offering them Free Admission. Donations are welcome. You can pay $10 or 10 cents. All donations support the Museum’s Pay-It-Forward July program. This annual program allows disadvantaged families served by North Texas Food Bank, Salvation Army, Jewish Family Services, Big Thought, Girls Inc. and YWCA to receive free admission to the Museum.

Why is admission FREE for Millennials? Millennials represent the most open-minded and open-hearted generation! After the Holocaust, people said “Never Again”, but genocides continue. During the month of June, join others to learn about one of the most tragic events in world history. You can also learn about genocides such as the Ysidi genocide which is in progress today….now.

As part of Millennial Month, the Museum will host three Millennials-Only Tuesday night events on June 14, 21 & 28 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Guests can enjoy food and beverages while listening to musicians who will play during each event. For those who are unfamiliar with the content of our Museum, docents will offer guided tours that take you through the main exhibit as well as the new gallery exhibit Survival in Sarajevo: La Benevolencija.

Each night is free for Millennials to attend. To RSVP please visit Eventbrite. For more information visit

Millennial Month is sponsored by The Elliott and Patty Garsek Charitable Fund, Distilled Desserts, P. F. Chang’s and Stevie’s Cake Shop.

#MillennialMonth #InspiringUpstanders #DallasHolocaustMuseum


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Left to Right: Clint David, Fox Rothschild Dallas Office Managing Partner; Pablo Torres; Ivan Leiva; Marcus Johnson; Nakia Douglas, Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy Principal (Photo by Tim Hord Photography)

During the Holocaust, most people turned a blind eye to the discrimination, persecution and genocide of the 6 million Jews by the Nazis. Explain how and why bystanders, as the majority of society, made the choice to support the Nazi regime and their spread of hatred.


The topic above served as the question in an essay contest for 7th-grade students attending the Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy. Sponsored by Fox Rothschild and the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance, students from the all-male campus wrote about the dangers of bystander behavior.


The Fox Rothschild Essay Contest challenged students to be objective and determine why the events of the Holocaust occurred and what people could have done to prevent it from happening. By thoroughly exploring the actions and events of the past, the students made connections to other genocides in modern warfare, and they learned the powerful effects of Upstander behavior.


The Dallas Holocaust Museum’s mission is to teach the history of the Holocaust and advance human rights to combat prejudice, hatred, and indifference. The core exhibit of the Museum focuses on events that depict wartime heroism such as the Warsaw Ghetto uprising and the successful attempt by partisans who stopped the 20th Deportation Train from Belgium and freed 221 Jews. These events demonstrate that it is possible to help others in the face of unimaginable horror.


The panel of judges included the Museum’s Assistant Director of Education, Dr. Charlotte Decoster; Dr. Neena Biswas; Gerardo Galvan; Jack Baum; Dodee Frost Crockett; Mark Alfieri; Jamal Carty and Betsey Hecksel.  


Prizes were awarded on Thursday, May 10, 2016, at the Jewish Community Center located at 7900 Northaven Road, Dallas, TX 75230. The finalists, Ivan Leiva, Marcus Johnson and Pablo Torres, along with their parents met Fox Rothschild’s Dallas Office Managing Partner Clint David, the Museum’s President/CEO Mary Pat Higgins, and several of the Museum’s Board of Directors.


Ivan Leiva won first place in the contest and read his essay aloud.


The first place contestant received a $200 savings bond and a $100 Barnes and Noble gift card. The second place contestant won a $100 Barnes and Noble gift card, and the third place contestant won a $50 Barnes and Noble gift card. All prizes were donated by Fox Rothschild.


For more information, please visit or call (214) 741-7500.


About Fox Rothschild LLP

Fox Rothschild LLP ( is full-service law with nearly 750 lawyers in 22 offices coast to coast. Founded more than 100 years ago, the firm serves businesses of all sizes and individuals in more than 50 practice areas.

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Ambassador Jakob Finci

Ambassador Jakob Finci was born in 1943 to Sephardi Jewish parents in the Rab concentration camp, one of the facilities established by the Italians during WWII to eliminate Slovenes and Croatians from Italian-occupied territory. In contrast to Slovene and Croatian prisoners who were sheltered in overcrowded tents, Jews at Rab were housed in wooden and brick barracks where they were provided with sanitation and services. After the war, Finci returned with his family to Sarajevo and ultimately began a career as a lawyer specializing in international law.


In the 1990s, when ethnic war broke out in Sarajevo, Finci helped found La Benevolencija, a humanitarian organization that provided critical relief at the height of the Bosnian-Serbian conflict. La Benevolencija housed itself in Sarajevo’s Jewish community center and provided medicine, food, and community to Sarajevans trapped in the city. La Benevolencija’s pharmacy and soup kitchen served all comers, regardless of their religious belief or ethnic background.


Under sniper fire, the agency organized evacuations for children and the elderly and later the general population. Led by Holocaust survivors and their children, La Benevolencija eventually managed to secure safe passage for 3,000 people by organizing convoys of Serbs, Bosnian Muslims, Jews, and Croats. Finci used the organization’s Jewish neutrality as an asset to clear all checkpoints.


The story of Sarajevo and La Benevolencija illustrates how Jewish, Islamic and Christian neighbors set aside their differences and united for survival.


Finci, a former Ambassador, continues to stand up for human rights as President of the Jewish cultural and humanitarian society, La Benevolencija. He is also the current President of the Jewish Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Finci’s ethics and La Benevolencija’s ability to combat prejudice and indifference are why we honor Ambassador Finci at our 2016 Upstander Speaker Series.


The Upstander Speaker Series event will take place on Thursday, May 19 at 6:30 p.m at Temple Shalom, 6930 Alpha Rd. in Dallas. For more information and tickets, visit or call 214-741-7500.

Generously sponsored by The Temple Shalom Brotherhood in Honor of Jack Repp, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and The Dallas Morning News