Cincinnati honors the heroes of Hana's Suitcase
Living heroes come to Cincinnati February 3-10, 2004 to engage in the first
week long lesson of its kind in the United States. The heroes of the award-winning
book Hana's Suitcase: Fumiko Ishioka, the Director of the Tokyo Holocaust Education
Center and George Brady, a Czech Holocaust survivor, now of Toronto Canada will
bring important lessons of tolerance and hope to the tri-state according to
Mapping Our Tears architect, Dr. Racelle Weiman, the Director of the Center
for Holocaust and Humanity Education (CHHE) of Hebrew Union College - Jewish
Institute of Religion.
Much more than a book tour, Hana Brady and the Children Week provides an ambitious
16 program series for community leaders, teachers, children, parents and librarians.
This intelligent non-fiction work of literature has received many awards including
the 2003 Children's Book of the Year and the 2003 Golden Oak Award for Adult
This fine example of the true meaning of a 'global village,' and tribute to
multiculturalism will kick-off on 2/5 at the Cincinnati Public Library, followed
by 15 public appearances, community discussions, educators' workshops held in
greater Cincinnati Public and private schools, Hebrew Union College, local synagogues,
and culminate in a 2/8 book signing and program at the Rookwood Pavilion Joseph-Beth
Bookstore. These events are made possible through a grant from Fisher Foundation,
(Fisher Family of Amberly).
On Tuesday 2/3 at 7:30pm: CET-Television PBS will air the USA Premiere screening
of CBC half-hour documentary on the story behind the book. The simple fact is
that one story of compassion, one small book, can inspire and transform families
and communities to reach out to one another, with love and hope, and is understood
in every language, in every culture.
The week of programming is the brainchild of the Director of CHHE, Dr. Racelle
Weiman. After requests from numerous teachers seeking quality Holocaust literature
for young people, Weiman sought an answer and was led to the book. Weiman ordered
1,000 books from Whitman Press of Chicago- all sold within two months.
During the summer of 2003, Weiman was at a conference in Toronto and met the
Brady family. "The Brady family is remarkable. George, with the number
on his arm still vivid, was full of smiles. He spoke with such love and respect
towards Fumiko. He proudly showed the mail, artwork and poetry from children
across the world. He then shared his original photo albums and pieces of his
family's history. This rediscovery of a family is the most exquisite sign of
caring and compassion possible. I knew it was a story I needed to share with
educators in Cincinnati," said Weiman.
See the attached listing of events and contact the Center at (513) 221-1875
extension 355 or by email at email@example.com.
Hana's Suitcase is a true story that ties together children across the world.
In a country where the history of the Holocaust is not taught to children, Fumiko
Ishioka, a dedicated teacher, created the Tokyo Holocaust Education Center in
Japan. She received artifacts from the Museum at the Auschwitz Concentration
Camp in Poland including a battered brown suitcase bearing the words "Hana
Brady, born May 16, 1931, 'Waisenkind' (Orphan)." The Japanese children
who gathered around this captivating object asked Fumiko, "Who is Hana
Brady?" Realizing that Hana's story was infinitely more important than
the artifact, Fumiko began her quest to uncover the short life of Hana Brady,
one young Jewish girl caught in the Holocaust. Fumiko was determined to fulfill
her promise to her young students in Japan to find Hana's story. The book showcases
the extraordinary detective work and travels, which led Fumiko to Canada and
to Hana's older brother, George Brady.
Cincinnati's first exposure to Hana's Suitcase came when CHHE partnered with
the Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles for a videoconference
with the heroes, who came to California for the book launch. The videoconference
in November 2003 brought more than two hundred 7th graders from six public and
private schools throughout Cincinnati, in connection with the students and heroes
in LA. The success of the event inspired the Center to seek local funding to
bring the heroes of the book to Cincinnati. This February, their dream will
be realized. Cincinnati is only the forth city in the USA to hold such events.
With sixteen sites in 5 days, the Cincinnati project is by far the most extensive
Hana's Suitcase is a tribute to excellence in journalism. Karen Levine, a Canadian
journalist, came across a news story about a Japanese teacher who had come to
Canada to find the last pieces of a mystery about a young Holocaust victim.
Levine, a Peabody Award recipient, first created a radio documentary, which
led to Hana's Suitcase, her first book. A ballad with music was composed in
Canada. Negotiations for a full-length feature film and more book contracts
are currently under discussion. The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education
is producing a Companion Guide for Home and School to accompany the book.
Hana's Suitcase is available at The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education
and at Joseph-Beth Bookstores. The prize-winning radio documentary audio CD,
the Canadian National Institute for the Blind Book-On-Tape, and multiple other
related resources are also available at the Center. The heroes of Hana's Suitcase
will be available at limited times for interviews. Please contact the Center
The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education is an educational and community
resource center located on the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish
Institute of Religion. It offers workshops, professional training seminars,
graduate courses, and development of original curriculum. Teaching Holocaust
Studies from academic and theological perspectives, the Center promotes tolerance
and social justice in a broad range of civic and cultural concerns.