HKHTC UPDATE: 2018 Educational Programming, Events and Exhibitions
The Hong Kong Holocaust and Tolerance Centre (HKHTC) has proudly entered our 9th year of operation in 2019 and our core mission of promoting Holocaust education and awareness while advancing tolerance and non-discrimination is more important than ever.
With the generous support of our individual and institutional donors, 2018 was a landmark year for HKHTC. Donor contributions enabled HKHTC to expand the reach and impact of our educational programming, resulting in a significantly increased number of meaningful and educational, well-attended Holocaust-themed events, exhibitions, and seminars.
Below is a recap of HKHTC’s 2018 highlights:
I. HKHTC Educational Programming about the Holocaust and Tolerance in 2018
- HKHTC arranged school visits by 8 Holocaust scholars and educators who spoke to over 6,000 students and community members throughout 2018.
- 10 workshops on teaching the Holocaust were held with more than 300 teachers.
- Simon K. Li, a Canadian-trained historian who speaks Cantonese, Mandarin and English and has served as Director of Education since 2016, was named HKHTC’s Executive Director in August, 2018. Throughout his approximately 3 years of service at HKHTC, Simon’s extensive knowledge of the Holocaust and Hong Kong’s educational framework has enabled HKHTC to increase engagement with local schools and Chinese-speaking students and deepen its work with international schools and students.
- In addition to the continuous, ongoing development of HKHTC’s educational programming/events, we also have further strengthened cooperative efforts with prominent organizations such as Yad Vashem, Asia Society Hong Kong, Facing History and Ourselves, Anne Frank House, the Shoah Foundation, the Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival, Goethe-Institut, Broadway Cinematheque, and others to provide meaningful content and education to expanding local and regional audiences.
II. HKHTC Events and Exhibitions in 2018
- United Nations Holocaust Memorial Day (UNHMD) (January)
For the 7th consecutive year, HKHTC hosted and organized the annual UNHMD commemoration in Hong Kong. Holocaust survivor Werner Reich made the journey from New York to speak to a diverse audience of more than 300 attendees from across Hong Kong. Over thirty diplomats and dignitaries attended, as well as the Under Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Jack Chan. Werner also spoke at a special event at Asia Society Hong Kong Center, hosted by its Chairman Ronnie C. Chan. In tandem with the UNHMD event, Werner visited a number of local educational institutions – over 3000 students and Hong Kong community members were privileged to hear his unique story and perspective.
- Visit by German filmmaker, author and television presenter Mo Asumang (March)
As a daughter of a German mother and a father from Ghana, Mo Asumang experienced racism and discrimination firsthand in her everyday life. In her award winning documentary, Die Arier (The Aryans), she researched extreme right-wing circles – from German neo-Nazis to the Klu Klux Klan in the United States. HKHTC, the Goethe-Institut and the Hong Kong Baptist University hosted Ms. Asumang to provide documentary screenings, read from her book and lead discussions with audiences in Hong Kong about the dangers of racism and xenophobia.
- Yom Hashoah Commemoration (May)
HKHTC hosted the Hong Kong commemoration of Yom Hashoah 2018 at an event featuring Anne Frank House’s Ronald Leopold as keynote speaker. Mr Leopold’s thoughtful remarks were given to a full house at the Jewish Community Centre.
- HKHTC in Shanghai (May)
HKHTC was invited to Shanghai to make presentations about the Holocaust last spring at the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum as we continue to increase our regional reach. The workshop organizers were “delighted and impressed” with the engagement of the diverse group of local students in attendance.
- HKHTC in Taiwan (June)
HKHTC provided teacher training courses to over 200 teachers in Taipei, Tainan, Hualien and Yilan. Many of the teachers attending had not learned about the Holocaust during their own education. With each teacher reaching ~100 students, HKHTC is enabling Taiwanese educators who are eager to pass on knowledge of the Holocaust to the more than 20,000 students they teach.
- HKHTC at the Hong Kong Book Fair (July)
In a special talk at the Hong Kong Book Fair last summer, HKHTC presented “The Holocaust Through Children’s Eyes: Wartime Diaries of Anne Frank and Other Child Victims.” The Hong Kong Book Fair is a major event attended by roughly one million people each year. Presented in Cantonese, we connected with hundreds of local Hong Kong community members, including many who previously had no significant exposure to the Holocaust.
- ‘Spots of Light: Women in the Holocaust’ Exhibition (October)
HKHTC hosted the ‘Spots of Light: Women in the Holocaust’ Exhibition at Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU). Co-organized with Yad Vashem, the exhibition was attended by a diverse audience of academics, students and interested community members. The exhbition opening featured talks by academics from HKBU as well as the Consul-General of the State of Israel in Hong Kong and Macau, Ms Ahuva Spieler. (This exhibition was also shown at the University of Hong Kong in February 2019.)
- 19th Annual Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival (HKJFF) (November)
HKHTC was pleased to sponsor a number of the HKJFF’s Holocaust-themed films, including a special screening of ‘Back to Berlin’, the first biker flick-meets-Holocaust feature documentary, which featured a Q&A session with the film’s director Catherine Lurie. In all, HKHTC sponsored five HKJFF films, which were seen by hundreds of attendees.
The above programmes are just a sampling of HKHTC’s work throughout the year. Our events also received significant media exposure, with HKHTC programming being prominently featured in major articles in the South China Morning Post, Ming Pao¸ Oriental Daily, The New York Times, and other local Chinese and English media, such as well electronic media like the RTHK and Cable TV News.
As we continue to seek to grow and expand our organization with the aim of providing education to teach the importance of tolerance and non-discrimination, our 2019 plans are even more ambitious. HKHTC started the year with a special January visit from Switzerland by Holocaust survivor Ms Eva Koralnik. Eva was the keynote speaker for 2019’s UNHMD ceremony and spoke to thousands of students at many local schools during her visit, which was arranged and hosted by HKHTC. Many other special events and programmes are planned throughout the year.
In order to ensure HKHTC goals continue to be met, we ask those who support this important cause to consider donating to fund our programmes. We would be grateful for your support, however generous or modest, to implement HKHTC’s important projects. This includes enabling HKHTC to arrange and host visits by survivors while they are healthy enough to travel to Hong Kong and are able to share their first-hand accounts of the Holocaust with the local community.
Below is information on how you can make your tax-deductible donation in Hong Kong or the United States. We would also be delighted to speak to you about sponsoring specific projects that may be of particular interest or any other queries you may have.