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 you would like, and natural language technology allows Pinchas to respond as if he were in the room!

Pinchas will not be available May 28, or June 25.

Free with Museum admission.


Museum Architecture Tour: Symbolic By Design

May 28, June 12 & 25 | 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

architecture tourSee how renowned Chicago architect Stanley Tigerman infused every space in the Museum with historical and emotional symbolism.

Museum architecture tours take place every second Sunday and last Saturday of the month.

Free with Museum admission.



Survivor Talk: In Our Voices

May 28, June 12 & 25, July 10 & 30, August 14 & 27 | 12:30 – 1:30 pm

Take advantage of the unique opportunity to hear a Holocaust Survivor tell their story and answer questions.

Free with Museum admission. No reservations required.


Film and Discussion: Munich ’72 and Beyond

Thursday, May 26 | 6:30 – 8:00 pm

flameThe power of documentary film is evident in  “Munich ’72 and Beyond,” which tells the story of the murder of 11 Israeli athletes during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich by Black September terrorists from a faction of the PLO. The screening will be enhanced by remarks from the film’s executive producer, Dr. Steven Ungerleider, who also serves as a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee’s panel for sport psychology and is a consultant to the International Olympic Committee.  His organization, the Foundation for Global Sports, is also part of the effort to erect a memorial in Munich, scheduled for completion next fall, in cooperation with the Bavarian state government, German federal government and the IOC.

Free with museum admission.  Reservations required.

Reservations have been closed.  Thank you for your interest.


Memorial Day Events and Special Offers

Monday, May 30 


In honor of the men and women in our armed forces, who protect the rights of others, Illinois Holocaust Museum offers two special Memorial Day promotions and a Survivor talk


  • Free Admission for Military Personnel
    and their families Memorial Day (5/30) through Labor Day (9/5) in participation with Blue Star Museums. Learn more.
  • Half-Price Admission for Non-Military Visitors. Learn more.
  • Hear from Holocaust Survivor Agnes Schwartz at 12:30 pm


Film & Discussion: Inheritance

Sunday, June 19 | 2:00 – 4:00 pm

“Inheritance” is a compelling documentary about Monika Hertwig, daughter of Amon Goeth, the Nazi commandant of Plaszow concentration camp, and her journey to accept the truth about her father’s past.  In an effort to secure information, Monika seeks out Helen Jonas-Rosenzweig, one of Goeth’s former prisoners. The meeting of these two women provides an unforgettable juxtaposition of history and legacy.

The post-screening discussion will be led by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professor Christopher D. Benson, whose special interest in the film led him to create a play based on “Inheritance.”

Free with museum admission. Reservations required.

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Lecture: Introduction to Jewish Genealogy, or Why is This Genealogy Different from All Other…?

Sunday, July 10 | 2:00 – 3:30 pm

A question often asked is “Why is genealogy important to me?”  After understanding the personal value of connecting with our roots, we will explore what is unique about Jewish genealogy, what information we are looking for, and how to get started. The presentation will include a case study based on David Laskin’s book, “The Family” illustrating how to locate US records and Yad Vashem records. The rewards of researching your Jewish roots are many, lasting a lifetime and beyond.

A professional speaker, Mike Karsen is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the Genealogical Speakers Guild (GSG), and is Past President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. He has presented over 300 talks on genealogy topics locally, nationally, and internationally including Newberry Library and Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago. Mike is the author of the JewishGen website “Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland” and has published articles on genealogy.

He holds an undergraduate degree in mathematics/computer science and a master’s in operations research alongside 30 years in telecommunications management.

Free with museum admission.  Reservations required.

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Roll Camera…Cue Music

Sunday, July 17 |2:00 -3:30 pm

Dr. Marvin Berman, a musician, Equity Actor, and movie and music aficionado, performs a one-man show consisting of the viewing of different movie clips, accompanied by the individual soundtracks he expertly interprets on the piano.  He has frequently performed this program for sold-out crowds in both the Chicago area and Florida.  The show features an array of music by Jewish film composers including, but not limited to: Marvin Hamlisch, Nina Rota, Ennio Morricone, Elmer Bernstein, Miklos Rozsa, Anthony Newley, Michel Legrand, Max Steiner, David Grusin, Victor Young, Michal Gore, Leonard Rosenman, and the iconic Charlie Chaplin. Audiences are enthralled as they listen to the beautiful melodies while watching clips from movies such as “Gone With The Wind”, “East Of Eden”, Sophie’s Choice”, “To Kill A Mocking Bird”, Limelight”, “On Golden Pond”, “Once Upon A Time In America”, “Spellbound”, and “The Godfather”.

Dr. Marvin Berman’s earliest exposure to music was singing Russian songs with his mother who was the driving force for a family of five children, all of whom played piano. He and his brothers and sisters toured  the country as “The Berman Family….Steinway artists “, playing solos, duos, duets on Two and Four pianos. That saga came to an end with the passing of his mother, but his passion for the arts was firmly established. He was the official World Champion Marathon Piano Player in 1960 when he played for 73 hours and 27 minutes, in Woolworth’s in Chicago to promote the movie “Song Without End”, the story of Franz Liszt, starring Capuccine.

Along with music, he has been practicing Pediatric Dentistry for the past 55 years and has a piano in his office, to the delight of his child patients who sing and play with him.  He has been an ardent admirer and interpreter of the vast library of music composed for the world of Motion Pictures and enjoys sharing his passion with everyone.

Tickets:  $10, general; $5, members.  Reservations required.

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Gallery Opening: How it is, but how it should be: An Imagined Life Outside of Gurs

Thursday, July 21 | 6:30 – 8:30 pm

The exhibition How it is, but how it should be: An Imagined Life Outside of Gurs reproduces the illustrated booklet So ist es, aber, so soll’s sein (How it is, but how it should be), a rare and vivid artifact from our Museum collection, with translations by the artist. The booklet, made in the Gurs internment camp, unoccupied France, in 1941, vividly illuminates the daily life in Gurs, presents an artful and hopeful response to imprisonment, and captures the will of prisoners to continue to dream of another life. Additional elements tell the broader story of Camp de Gurs and of these two women.

Professor Hillary Chute, University of Chicago, an expert on comics and graphic narratives, moderates a conversation with Susan Healy, daughter of the book’s artist, Michael Froman, the grandson of the book’s recipient, and Jacob Slutsky, Curatorial Assistant.

Free with museum admission.  Reservations required.

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Film & Discussion: Liga Terezín

Thursday, July 28 | 6:30 – 8:00 pm

“LIGA TEREZIN” is a documentary film ( 2012, 52 minutes) that tells the incredible story of the soccer league which took place in Ghetto Theresienstadt, 40 miles North West of Prague (now in the Czech Republic).

From 1942 to 1944, Jewish prisoners played hundreds of soccer matches on improvised fields set up in the court-yards of the Barracks where they lived. Thousands of spectators watched a mixture of professional and amateur players and briefly escaped the reality of their terrible plight: the hunger, the sickness and death. All the while they lived in a shroud of fear cast by the terror of the transports that sent people to the “East” and  their certain death.

In the summer of 1944, the Nazis made a propaganda film which highlighted the cultural activities in the ghetto. Oded Breda identified his uncle in the soccer sequence and this discovery set him on a quest to uncover information regarding the sport that took place in the ghetto. He interviewed a number of Holocaust survivors who played and watched football in the ghetto as well as a survivor who was on the film’s camera crew.  He also watched games in Prague and Amsterdam where he saw the way modern day spectators express their anti-Semitic feelings. In Amsterdam he interviewed the Jewish Chairman of Ajax (one of the most famous teams in Europe) who has to contend with the fall out caused by the reaction to the Ajax fans who call themselves, “The Jews”.

Breda has harnessed the modern day connection between the Holocaust and Soccer as a vehicle to commemorate the players of the Terezin League. The film illustrates the educational power this opportunity presents when German and Israeli youth soccer players visit Yad Vashem together.

Today, soccer is the most watch sport in the world and the love for the ‘Beautiful Game’ has inspired the creators of the film to dedicate it to the players and spectators of ‘LIGA TEREZIN’

The film is a collaboration between Mike Schwartz, Avi Kanner, Uri Buzaglo and Rubi Gat  in cooperation with Beit Theresienstadt Museum and Educational Center in Israel.

The team has taken the opportunity to apply their rich experience in news coverage work for CNN and the BBC, to tell a story about 2 subjects most dear to them: “The Holocaust and Football”.

Free with museum admission. Reservations required.

Watch the trailer here>

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Family Art Workshop: We All Need Peace

Sunday, July 31 | 11:00 – 12:30 pm

We need peace for the flowers. We need peace for the sky. We need peace for the children.

Children and families will visit the We All Need Peace exhibition to learn about the many ways we benefit from peace and explore how we can all become peacemakers. Working with teaching artists and exhibition creators Ingrid Hess and Patti Vick, children will be empowered to become peacemakers while creating an image of their own to carry on the spirit of the exhibition. Additionally, children will be able to create a peace flower that they can give to someone they love. By symbolically spreading peace they are part of a chain of peacemakers that benefits all of us. This workshop is recommended for children ages 4-10.

Children and families are invited to explore the special exhibition We All Need Peace. Through hands-on activities and art-making, learn how to be a peacebuilder in your world.

Free with museum admission. Reservations required.

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Live Performance: “Chiune Sugihara: Unsung Hero of the Holocaust”

Sunday, August 21 | 2:00 – 3:30 pm

The play looks at the life of Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who served as Vice-Consul for Japan in Lithuania. During World War II he helped several thousand Jews leave the country by issuing transit visas to Jewish refugees so that they could travel to Japan. Most of the Jews who escaped were refugees from German-occupied Poland or residents of Lithuania. Sugihara wrote travel visas that facilitated the escape of more than 6,000 Jewish refugees to Japanese territory, risking his career and his family’s lives. In 1985 Israel named him to the Righteous Among the Nations for his actions, the only Japanese national to be so honored.

Among the families saved were the families of Sam Zell and Leo Melamed.

This one-man show is direct, simple, imaginative and compelling. Aside from telling a little known story of an unlikely hero, the play looks at Sugihara’s struggle between his profound religious beliefs in the need to assist his fellow man and his loyalty to his government.  A man of humility, he was not aware of how greatly he was admired until many years after the war when survivors sought him out to thank him.

This is a powerful memoir that not only illuminates a little known story of a hero of the Holocaust but will also demonstrate a portrait of a courageous Japanese national who risked everything to save his fellow man.

Free with museum admission.  Reservations required.

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Museum Exclusive: Secrets of the Collection

Sunday, September 11 |2:00 – 3:30 pm

Have you ever wondered what treasures are contained in our Museum’s collections?  Only a fraction of the items entrusted to us can be displayed at any given time.  Join us to experience glimpses of turn-of-the-century Jewish life in western Germany made visible through artifacts from the Museum’s collection from the Elias and Heimann families.  On view will be wimpels, notgeld notes, WWI postcards, and Bavarian Army photographs, as well as materials documenting the family once they came to Chicago’s South Side.

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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