Samara Hutman leads Remember Us
Samara Hutman has been appointed executive director of Remember Us, a non-profit organization devoted to ensuring Holocaust memory by creating opportunities for individuals to make personal connections to those who survived or were lost in the Holocaust. She succeeds Gesher Calmenson, the organization’s founder.
Remember Us, which serves the international community, also moved its operations base this summer from Santa Rosa, California, to Los Angeles.
Hutman joined Remember Us as a volunteer in 2007 after her daughter, Rebecca, participated in the Holocaust B’nai Mitzvah Project for Bar/Bat Mitzvah students. More than 2,200 children in 61 Los Angeles-area synagogues have participated during the past six years. Each child accepts the invitation to remember one child who was lost in the Holocaust. To date over 16,000 children have participated, at 653 congregations internationally.
“Our family was deeply moved by the experience,” said Hutman, who served Remember Us as board president for three years. “It was a simple yet powerful act of remembrance for a child we never knew but whose memory became a part of our family story. And in the name of Victoria Farhi and her family, we were moved to act for good and righteousness. To quote Rabbi Irving ‘Yitz’ Greenberg, ‘It is thus that we turn cruelty and oppression into a source of energy…we show that love and memory can overcome hatred and evil, amnesia and apathy’”.
Hutman helped launch a new program for teens this year. “The Righteous Conversations Project,” connects teens and Holocaust survivors through public meetings, workshops and the production of public service videos addressing contemporary issues. The Public Service Announcements and a mini-documentary will be released this fall.
A graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, and a student of New York University’s film program, Hutman has tapped artists and filmmakers in Los Angeles’ rich arts community to collaborate on The Righteous Conversations Project.
For more information, please visit the Remember Us website or call (310) 656-2806.