The Museum hosts a wide array of films, discussions, lectures, concerts and family programs to probe more deeply into aspects of civil rights, human rights, tolerance and history.
Unless otherwise noted, programs are FREE with Museum admission.

View our 2015 quarterly event cards >

Faces of Humanity Film Series: “Defiance”

 Sunday, March 29 | 12:30 – 3:30 pm

DefianceThe action-filled feature based on the true story of the Bielski  brothers—whose partisan unit sheltered Jewish families and  fought the Nazis—is followed by a post-screening discussion with  Laurie Hasten, whose grandmother was saved by the Bielskis.

Film three of six in the Faces of Humanity film Series presented in partnership with Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema>

Tickets:  $15, $10 Members.


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Commemorative Performance:
Yom HaShoah, From Darkness to Light

Sunday, April 19 | 1:00 pm & 4:00 pm

candleCraig Taubman performs a special musical program in memory of the Six Million and in tribute to Holocaust Survivors.  Both performances include special candle lighting and participation by survivors.

The program is being offered twice – at 1pm and 4pm.

Admission is free to the public.

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Adult Education Series
Hip Hop for Social Change

Tuesday, April 21 | 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, Harold Washington Library Center, 400 South State Street, Chicago, Lower Level

bloveDr. Bettina love, award winning author and Associate Professor of Educational Theory & Practice, focuses on the ways in which urban youth negotiate Hip Hop music and culture to form social, cultural and political identities and new and sustaining ways to think about urban education, liberation and human rights. Dr. Love draws on the elements of hip hop (Graffiti, MCing, Deejaying, Breakdancing, and Knowledge of Self and Community) to highlight the education outcomes of applying the hip hop framework to formal school curriculum and the social and political lives of youth.

This program is co-presented by the Illinois Holocaust Museum and the Anti-Defamation League, organizations dedicated to providing inspiration and education to teachers and youth in order to open meaningful dialogue that combats hate, prejudice, and indifference.

Community Partners: Communities In Schools of Chicago | The Francis W. Parker School | Ogden International School| Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy | Holy Family Ministries | The Peace Exchange

Free to the public. Reservations required.

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Faces of Humanity Film Series
“Watchers of the Sky”

Sunday, April 26 | 12:30 – 3:30 pm

Interweaves four stories of remarkable courage while setting out to uncover the forgotten life of Raphael Lemkin – the man who created the world “genocide,” and believed the law could protect the world from mass attrocities.  Post-screening discussion with IHMEC Director of Education, Kelley Szany, and Holocaust Survivor Beatrice Muchman.

Film four of six in the Faces of Humanity film Series presented in partnership with Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema>

Tickets: $15, $10 Members

Program generously supported by Beatrice Muchman.

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STAGED READING : The Last Cyclist

Thursday, April 30 | 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Written and rehearsed in the Terezin Concentration Camp, but never performed, “The Last Cyclist,” is an example of the extraordinary resilience displayed by concentration camp inmates.  This satirical play written by Karel Švenk tells of a land in which a mad dictator proclaims all bicycle riders must be removed. Presented by Genesis Theatrical Productions.

Tickets : $15 Non-Members, $10 Members

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After the killing fields: A forty year perspective of the Cambodian Genocide

Tuesday, May 5 | 5:30- 8:00 pm

Discussion panel between Steven Bridges, British Consul General in Chicago, British Ambassador to Cambodia (2001-2004), and Ambassador David Scheffer, U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Expert on United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials, former U.S. Ambassador at-large for War Crimes, Mayer Brown/Robert A. Helman Professor of Law at Northwestern University, Director of the Center for International Human Rights.

Co-Sponsored by Center for International Human Rights – Northwestern University Law School in partnership with Cambodian Association of Illinois.

Opening reception: 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Program: 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Admission is free to the public.

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Book & Author
Joan Adler

Thursday, May 7 | 6:30 – 8:00 pm

In 2007, a file of letters between University of Heidelberg roommates and lifelong friends, Otto Frank and Nathan Straus Jr., was found in the archives of YIVO: Institute for Jewish Research in NYC. The letters revealed for the first time that Otto Frank, diarist Anne’s father, tried desperately to get his family out of war torn Holland in 1941, fifteen months before they went into hiding in the now famous attic at Prinsengracht 263, Amsterdam.

Realizing it was no longer safe for this family, Otto Frank wrote to Nathan Straus Jr., head of the United States Housing Authority under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and implored Straus to intercede on his family’s behalf. As history has proven, neither possession of friends in powerful positions nor recognition of the toxic climate in Amsterdam could save Otto’s family.

For the Sake of the ChildrenThe Letters Between Otto Frank and Nathan Straus Jr., enriches our understanding of the relationship between these two men and gives us greater insight into this tragic era.

Joan Adler is the executive director of the Straus Historical Society.

Free with Admission.

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Community Wide Commemoration
70th Anniversary of Victory Day

Friday, May 8 | 10 – 11:30 am

Honoring Russian Jewish Veterans of WWII and Holocaust survivors.

Admission is free to the public.

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Book & Author
Steve Richards

Thursday, May 14 | 6:30- 8:00 pm

After nine year old Jew, Kurt (Walker) Wagner is expelled out of Nazi Germany; he begins a seven year odyssey that culminates with his adoption in America. It is during this journey he learns that his unknown father is a Nazi Brownshirt and never seen ten year old Christian brother lived only blocks from him.

Author Steve Richards will discuss his book Sitting on Top of the World.  Discussion will be followed by a Q&A and a book signing.

Free with Admission.

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Faces of Humanity Film Series
“The Flat”

Sunday, May 17 | 1:00-3:30 pm

poster_1In the aftermath of a grandmother’s death, a family discovers an astonishing hidden chapter in the family’s World War II history in this documentary.

Film five of six in the Faces of Humanity film Series presented in partnership with Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema>

Tickets: $15, $10 Members

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In Conversation With: Matus Stolov

Sunday, May 31 | 1:30-4pm



Minsk Ghetto Survivor Matus Stolov  will speak about his life in Minsk during World War II and will answer questions.

Free with Admission.

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Image Courtesy of IHMEC; gift of Matus Stolov


Musical Performance: Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra

Sunday, June 7 | 2:00 – 4:00 pm

LCOPhilip Simmons will conduct music by Dmitri Shostakovich, Pavel Haas, Siegfried Würzburger, and a new work created specifically for this event,  “If the pictures could talk…” by Moscow born Chicago composer Ilya Levinson.  The performance is given to complement the “Through Soviet Jewish Eyes” photographic exhibit, appearing at the Museum through September 7.

Born in Moscow in 1958, composer Ilya Levinson has been in Chicago since 1988.  A graduate of the Moscow Conservatory and the University of Chicago, his music combines the esthetics of the great Soviet school of composition and American modernism.   Among his most popular orchestral compositions are Klezmer Rhapsody and Shtetl Scenes.  With If the pictures could talk…  Mr. Levinson shares his unique experience as an artist from the former Soviet Union with firsthand experience of religious oppression and Stalinist propaganda.  He will speak at the concert about his perception of the photographic exhibit, and how it inspired the creation of his new work.

Tickets:  $30; $20, museum members

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Faces of Humanity Film Series: “Lessons of Survival”

Sunday, June 21 | 1:00-3:30 pm

In conversations with the legendary Simon Wiesenthal, documentary filmmaker Inna Rogatchi allows us to learn from his insights into the Holocaust and its implications to this day.

Film six of six in the Faces of Humanity film Series presented in partnership with Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema>

Tickets: $15, $10 Members

Reserve my spot>


IL Arts Council Programs partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council Agency




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