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Midwest Office

"The center takes lessons of the past — the Holocaust — and uses it to teach and defend the safety of Jews worldwide. But it also addresses contemporary issues like bullying and texting and the Internet. The center teaches how to confront these issues so a Holocaust doesn't happen again."  -Alison Pure-Slovin, Midwest Region Director


• Upcoming Events


• Highlights from Past Events

 2015 Spirit of Courage Benefit  June 11, 2015

On Wednesday, June 11, 2015 the Simon Wiesenthal Center Midwest Region held the 2015 Spirit of Courage Benefit at the Standard Club in Chicago. During this important event, the Center presented Robert “Bob” Mariano, the CEO and Chairman of Roundy’s Supermarkets and Mariano’s, with the notable Community Leadership Award. Mr. Mariano is an esteemed and respected businessman committed to cultural diversity, social responsibility, and philanthropy. In addition, the Center presented the Spirit of Courage Award to Christopher G. Kennedy, the immediate-past Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the University of Illinois who led the Board in their denial of final approval of the academic position offered to Steven Salaita, a professor who posted controversial and anti-Semitic rants on social media about Israel and her supporters. Furthermore, the Simon Wiesenthal Center presented two Medal of Valor Awards –  one to Shayna Gould, a victim of terror who was one of the eleven families who won in court against the Palestinian Authority and PLO in a landmark case and the other to Gino Bartali, a world-renowned Italian cyclist who risked everything during WWII to smuggle counterfeit identity documents in the frame of his bicycle and traveled thousands of kilometers across Italy to save the lives of hundreds.









 Robert “Bob” Mariano and Rabbi Marvin Hier  Lester Crown and Christopher G Kennedy
 Consul General to Italy Marco Graziosi, Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dr. Adina Sella  Rabbi Marvin Hier presenting the Medal of Valor to Shayna Gould

 From Hate to Hope: May 11, 2015
 The Simon Wiesenthal Center partnered with the Illinois Humanities Council to present From Hate to Hope, the real life story of the reconciliation of a perpetrator and victim of a hate crime. At the age of 13, Matthew’s mother kicked him out of their California house for being gay. While living on the streets, a group of Skinheads brutally attacked Mathew. Twenty-five years later Mathew and one of his attackers, Tim, had a chance encounter at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles where realized that they had met before, when Mathew was attacked.  Matthew joined the Simon Wiesenthal Center at the Chicago Cultural Center to tell his story and discuss the roots of prejudice, discrimination, and forgiveness.

January 13, 2015

  SWC Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper addresses a small group regarding, "The Causes and Consequences of Terrorist’s Targeting Jewry Both at Home and Abroad"

 •  December 10, 2014 Moriah Films' Midwest Premiere of
The Prime Ministers: Soldiers and Peacemakers

 L-R: Aviva Robinson, Ami Robinson, Richard Trank, Chaya Tova Hartman, David Hartman    Alison Pure-Slovin with Jules M. Laser

June 23, 2014
Simon Wiesenthal Center Midwest Tribute Dinner
The Standard Club
320 South Plymouth Court
Chicago, IL 60604

Keynote Speaker:
Rabbi Marvin Hier

Simon Wiesenthal Center Tolerance Laureate:
Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State

Simon Wiesenthal Center Community Leadership Award:
National Basketball Retired Players Association

 L-R- Alison Pure-Slovin, Arnie Fielkow, Rabbi May, Rabbi Hier, Secretary of State Jesse White, Rabbi Cooper, Stephen Bardo  Jesse White Tumblers during the Cocktail Reception
 L-R- Emmett Bryant, Stephen Bardo, Arnie Fielkow  Jesse White Tumblers during the Cocktail Reception

• Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 6:00pm
Director Ethan Bensinger, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Leo Baeck Institute
Survivors Speak:
Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Kristallnacht, The Night of Broken Glass

On November 9th & 10th, 1938, 7,500 Jewish stores in Germany and Austria were smashed and looted, 267 synagogues were burned to the ground, 100 Jews were killed, and countless others beaten. In the weeks that followed, 30,000 Jews were rounded up and sent to concentration camps. Seventy-five years later, the consequences of hatred, bigotry and intolerance will be explored in a commemoration of Kristallnacht - “The Night of the Broken Glass”, the Nazi-led attacks 75 years ago that marked the beginning of the Holocaust.

This program will feature a screening of REFUGE: Stories of the Selfhelp Home, the award-winning documentary that explores the origins of the Holocaust and how survivors of Kristallnacht began a new life in Chicago, in addition to a panel discussion with Chicago-area survivors of Kristallnacht and local historian Dr. Leon Stein.

Chicago Cultural Center
Claudia Cassidy Theater
77 East Randolph Street Entrance
Chicago, IL, 60601 

OCTOBER 23, 2013
Screening: Moriah Film’s Beautiful Music
Rev. Chris Harris
Bright Star Church
Dr. Shana Erenberg
Co-Founder & President
Board of Directors 
Libenu Foundation
Rev. Hannah Kardon
Elston Avenue
United Methodist Church

Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema
2828 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL

• June 12, 2013   Moriah Films' Chicago Premiere of
The Prime Ministers: The Pioneers

The Prime Ministers, the thirteenth production of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s two-time Academy Award®-winning Moriah Films, is an epic film that looks at six decades of Israel’s history—from its founding until the early 21st century. Based on the bestselling book by Ambassador Yehuda Avner, the documentary takes the audience inside the offices of Israel’s Prime Ministers, bringing to life never before revealed stories about Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin, Menachem Begin, and Shimon Peres.

The film’s first half, The Pioneers was screened at Thorne Auditorium at Northwestern University School of Law. It covers the era of Prime Ministers Eshkol and Meir. Part Two will focus on Prime Ministers Rabin and Begin. Weaving a rich tapestry of history and personal testimonies, The Prime Ministers brings some of the most important events of the 20th and 21st centuries to life.

 May 9, 2013

Yehuda Avner at a private home for dinner in his honor. Ambassador Avner shared insight on his experiences and signed copies of his New York Times best-selling book The Prime Ministers.
Adi & Kim Mor and Ambassador Yehuda Avner Ambassador Avner, Paula & Michael Perlstein
Ambassador Avner, Suri & Joey Stern Rabbi Marvin Hier, Brian Price and Rabbi Meyer May
Ambassador Avner, Ora and Maury Aaron Ambassador Avner, Norma Rosenberg
Adam Chez, Allison Pure-Slovin, Brian Price and Marissa Rice
Ambassador Avner, Rivka Zell

Theatrical Screenings of:
Winston Churchill: Walking With Destiny

Focusing on the years 1940 and 1941, when the Swastika flew over continental Europe. Only England with her back to the wall, under Winston Churchill, remained defiant. Walking With Destiny highlights Churchill's years in the political wilderness, his early opposition to Adolf Hitler and Nazism, and his support for Jews under threat by the Nazi regime. The film examines why Winston Churchill's legacy continues to be relevant in the 21st Century and explores why his leadership remains inspirational to current day political leaders and diplomats.

“This film was screened at Landmark Theatre’s Highland Park and Chicago locations.

February 4, 2013

Landmark Theater's Century Centre Cinema
3838 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL,60657

Highland Park
February 5, 2013  

Mr. Marcus is the president and general counsel of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law and author of Jewish Identity and Civil Rights in America (Cambridge University Press 2010) and is known for pioneering the use of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect Jewish college students
Introduction by Rabbi Aron Hier (1L), SWC Campus Outreach Director

Landmark Theater's Renaissance Place Cinema
1850 Second Street
Campus Anti-Semitism and Legal Efforts to Combat It 
Guest Lecturer: Kenneth L Marcus

 • December 2012
 It Is No Dream
 Illinois Premiere Screenings


L-R: Herb Franks, Eileen Franks, Betty Sobelman, Judy Franks-Farah, Illinois State Representative Jack Franks

 L-R: Rabbi Meyer May, Jules Laser, Alison Pure-Slovin, Avi Shaked


• November 2012

L-R: SWC Midwest Director, Alison Pure-Slovin; Dror Zetouni, Boaz Buss this compelling topic. Later that evening, 30 guests gathered at a private home in Highland Park, IL for a dessert reception where Rabbi Cooper spoke about confronting anti-Semitism to a captive and concerned audience. After answering questions following the presentation, guests were able to mingle and connect with him about both his presentation and his work.

•Wednesdays With Wiesenthal

  “Wednesday’s With Wiesenthal,” kicked off with a resounding success. Founder and Dean Rabbi Marvin Hier spoke about both Simon Wiesenthal’s legacy and the campaign to delegitimize Israel, to an interested group. Rabbi Hier, who is a two-time Academy Award® winner and was twice voted 'The Most Influential Rabbi in America' by Newsweek Magazine, charmed guests with his wonderful stories and took questions after the event.

Later that evening, Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Midwest Regional Office hosted a reception to celebrate our recent opening in the late summer of 2012. More than 60 individuals gathered to support the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Midwest Region. Rabbi Hier provided guests with essential information about the progress of the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem with photographs of the construction.