Skip to main content

RSW Living Magazine

Holocaust Museum Honors Brave 'Upstanders' at Annual Fundraiser

Jan 31, 2024 08:00AM ● By Francesca Block

Photo courtesy of The Holocaust Museum & Cohen Education Center

The Holocaust Museum & Cohen Education Center is hosting it's annual fundraiser, titled Triumph Against Hate, this March, featuring a keynote address from Ruth Bielski, whose family members heroically helped save the lives of countless Jews during the Holocaust. 

Ruth Bielski's father, Tuvia Bielski, and his two brothers, served as a partisan fighters against the Nazis during World War II. Together, the family saved the lives of approximately 1,200 Jewish people, including men, women, children, the elderly and the sick by providing them shelter in the forests of Eastern Poland. The family helped set up shelter, food, a school, a hospital, and a nursery for those fleeing the Holocaust. Their bravery become the subject of the 2008 major motion picture Defiance. 

Susan Suares, the museum's President and CEO, said the event serves to "honor an Upstander—someone who stood up for others in the face of bigotry or hatred." 

"These men were the courageous leaders of a band of partisans who were both fighters and rescuers. Ruth will share her family’s story of courage and compassion during the Triumph event," Suares said. 

The Holocaust Museum & Cohen Education Center, founded in 2001, seeks "to teach the lessons of the Holocaust to inspire action against bigotry, hatred and violence," according to the organization's mission statement. The museum provides age-appropriate Holocaust education to five counties in southwest Florida, which include class presentations, Museum Field Trips, PopUp Museum exhibits, unique traveling Boxcar Exhibit, and bringing in speakers for community group meetings. The museum also offers teacher training programs to help teachers meet the Florida State Mandate regarding Holocaust education. 

Visitors can visit the museum at its new location in Naples for guided tours of the museum's exhibits, workshops, film discussions, speaker events, and more. The proceeds for the event will benefit the museum's programming. 

The annual fundraiser will be held on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. RSVP's are required. Individual tickets cost $350. Other sponsorship opportunities are also available. Email [email protected] for more information.