events page

Most programs are free with Museum admission or membership. Reservations are required for all programs. (Exceptions noted.)

Interactive Survivor Experience

Every Saturday | 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

interactive survivor - Pinchas
Ask the life-size video projection of Holocaust Survivor Pinchas Gutter any question, and natural language technology allows him to respond to you as if he were in the room!

Pinchas will not be available  December 31.



Museum Architecture Tour: Symbolic By Design

Second Sunday and Last Saturday of the month | 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

architecture tour

See how renowned architect Stanley Tigerman infused each space in the Museum with historical and emotional symbolism.




From Page to Stage

The Book of Joseph

Thursday, January 26, 2017 | 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Fifteen years after his parents’ death, Richard Hollander opened a suitcase to discover Swastika-stamped letters, written during World War II by a family he never knew.  His exploration of his family’s connection to the Holocaust resulted in his book Every Day Lasts a Year which was then adapted into The Book of Joseph, a world premiere play staged by Chicago Shakespeare Theater playing January 26-March 5, 2017.

Learn not only how Hollander’s discovery became a book, but also how the story was translated to the stage from Rick Boynton, Creative Producer of Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.

Book signing to follow.

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Community Partner: Chicago Shakespeare Theater


Survivor Talk: In Our Voices

Saturday, January 28, 2017 | 12:30 pm

Magda Brown

Magda is from Miskolc, Hungary. In 1944, when she was 17 years old, she was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau on one of the final transports to Auschwitz along with her entire family.  Her parents died in the gas chambers. Her brother was the only family member to survive; he served in the Hungarian military’s Jewish labor force and was captured and imprisoned by the Russian army. In August of 1944, Magda was deported to Munchmuhle, Stadt Allendorf, Germany, where she worked in an ammunition factory that produced bombs and rockets. She was one of only 1,000 prisoners from Birkenau chosen for this job. In March 1945, Magda spent three days on a death march before was liberated in a nearby forest by the Sixth Armored Division of the US Army. She came to America in 1946 and arrived in Chicago in 1960.



Film & Discussion: “Defiant Requiem”

Sunday, January 29, 2017 | 2:00 – 4:00 pm

International Day of Holocaust Remembrance

Maestro Murry Sidlin introduces his documentary that spotlights the story of young Czech conductor Rafael Schächter, who became a prisoner in Terezin in 1941.  While there, Schächter recruited 150 fellow prisoners and taught them Verdi’s Requiem, which was performed more than a dozen times. The film features surviving members of the Terezin choir in a stirring tale of courage and resistance against persecution.

Terezin survivor Lisl Bogart will recall her time in the camp as part of the post-screening discussion.

Free with Museum admission. Reservations required.

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The Syrian Crisis: Impact and Response

Thursday, February 9, 2017 | 6:30 – 8:00 pm


Have you read or listened to the news from Syria and felt you didn’t understand the conflict?  Have you heard about the millions of Syrian refugees in Jordan, Turkey, Europe and elsewhere and wondered who they are or how you could help?  Join us as we learn about the ongoing conflict in Syria, the challenges of daily life for civilians still there, as well as what Syrian refugees in the US and elsewhere need to acclimate to their new lives.  We will hear from Dr. Zaher Sahloul, former President of the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), who has visited Syria to provide medical care in war torn communities, and Suzanne Akhras Sahloul, Founder and Executive Director of the Syrian Community Network, which helps ease the resettlement of Syrian refugees by connecting refugees with services and resources and fosters relationships with the refugees and larger Chicago community.  Program moderated by Whitney Cross, of the US Fund for UNICEF.


Community Partner: US Fund for UNICEF


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Exhibition Opening

“Operation Finale” – The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann

Sunday, February 19, 2017 | 2:00 -3:30 pm

Learn the amazing history of the exhibition from its creators: Avner Avraham, Exhibition Curator and former Mossad agent; Orit Shaham Gover , Chief Curator of Beit Hatfutsot  – The Museum of the Jewish People, Tel Aviv; Ariel Efron, Media Creative Director, Gallagher and Associates; and Ellen Rudolph, Executive Director, Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, Cleveland.

Leaving the State of Israel for the first time ever, and featuring recently declassified artifacts from the Mossad, Israel’s Secret Intelligence Service, this exhibition fully documents the pursuit, capture, extradition and 1961 trial of a principal perpetrator of The Final Solution.

Free with Museum admission. Reservations required.

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Live Performance: “Music and Art from Theresienstadt”

Sunday, February 26, 2017 | 2:00 – 3:30 pm

Soprano Rachel Joselson and pianist Rene Lecuona will perform selections by Viktor Ullmann and other composers who were prisoners of Nazi Germany in Terezin during the Holocaust. The concert is accompanied by a slide presentation of art created in Terezin.  Both Ms. Joselson and Ms. Lecuona are faculty members, in voice and piano respectively, at University of Iowa School of Music in Iowa City. Selections from their CD “Songs of the Holocaust” are featured in this concert.

The music and art represent some of the extraordinary creations produced under conditions of extreme inhumanity. In sharing these works, Ms. Joselson and Ms. Lecuona pay tribute to the resilience of the human spirit.

Free with Museum admission. Reservations required.

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“Defiance” – Behind the Scenes, Growing Up Bielski

Thursday, March 2, 2017 | 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Michael “Mickey” Bielski shares his family’s experiences during the Holocaust.  Though we are somewhat familiar with the story from the feature film “Defiance,” in which actor Daniel Craig portrayed Tuvia, Mickey’s father, this is an opportunity to gain special insights.  Mickey not only takes us behind the scenes of the movie, but also describes the legacy of this legendary group of Jewish partisans.

Free with Museum admission. Reservations required.

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Sunday, March 12, 2017 | 10:00 – 9:30 PM

Join us to view remarkable documentary and feature films, each followed by audience discussion with local experts.   Screenings will include a variety of film genres, documentary, docudrama and feature film.  The following are scheduled:

10:15 – 12:00pm        No Asylum

Based on recently discovered letters in the archives of YIVO, this documentary details Otto Frank’s efforts to secure visas to the U.S. for his family, before going into hiding.   

12:15 – 2:15pm          Keep Quiet

When the founder of a Hungarian anti-Semitic group learns he is Jewish, he undergoes a complete transformation. The film documents his three year journey to embrace his heritage.

2:30 – 5:30pm            Persona Non Grata

This Japanese production depicts the life of diplomat Chiune Sugihara with an emphasis on his efforts to save Jews in Lithuania during the Holocaust.

6:00 – 8:30pm            Denial

When historian Deborah Lipstadt is sued for libel by Holocaust denier David Irving, British law places the burden of proof on her. Thus, Lipstadt and her team must prove the historical truth of the Holocaust.

The Festival takes place from March 9-19 at a variety of venues in and around Chicago.

Tickets $12; $10 seniors/students. Reservations required. Exhibition access included.

Tickets and times will be available to purchase in the near future.



Intelligence Challenges in the 21st Century

Sunday, March 19, 2017 | 2:00 – 4:00 pm

Former CIA official and expert on the Middle East and counterterrorism Melissa Boyle Mahle will discuss the national security challenges of the 21st Century.  She will share what our intelligence community is doing (and not doing) to get out in front of these steps to stop them before they stop us.

Free with Museum admission.  Reservations required.

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Film & Discussion

“The Eichmann Show”

Sunday, April 2, 2017 | 2:00 -3:30 pm


View this 2015 BBC TV drama film based on the true story of how American TV producer Milton Fruchtman, and blacklisted TV director Leo Hurwitz came to broadcast the trial of Adolf Eichmann. Post-screening discussion will be led by Chicago Tribune columnist Howard Reich, who will reflect on the Eichmann trial from the perspective of children of Holocaust survivors.

Free with Museum admission. Reservations required.

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The investigation and Prosecution of Nazi and Genocide Criminals

Thursday, May 11, 2017 | 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Eli Rosenbaum, former director of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Special Investigations (OSI), which was primarily responsible for identifying, denaturalizing, and deporting Nazi war criminals from 1994-2010, will discuss past cases, as well as current and ongoing efforts to bring such criminals to justice.

Free with Museum admission. Reservations required.

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Programs partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council Agency


IL Arts Council




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