We are proud to present our growing list of screenings and outreach in high schools, colleges and universities!
2019 Screenings and Events
Thoughts from my recent journey to the Heidelberg, Germany Screening
My travel to Heidelberg to screen “Near Normal Man” was an emotional one for me. I never intended to visit Germany. Making flight connections at the Frankfurt airport was more than I ever wanted to do. When the invitation came, I was confronted with a deeply personal decision, all the pain of our family’s history versus my driving purpose to get this film to as many young people as possible.
So I went and it reframed my beliefs about Germany of today. The students and the public are 2-3 generations removed from their Nazi ancestors, and with an extraordinary leader, Angela Merkel, who has led Germany’s efforts in redeeming themselves, they are facing the truth of their history with humility and humanity. I screened with 2 high school groups and a large, public audience which included students from many different high schools, in the evening. As I stood in front of three audiences that day, I looked out at their faces. I felt the weight on their hearts and apprehension of what I would say in their eyes. My pain met theirs and my heart opened to provide them comfort. We connected deeply and profoundly that day.
One woman stood up after the film and asked if I would forgive her. In reply, I asked if she was a Nazi. In horror, she replied, “No”! I told her I couldn’t forgive her and told her why: she hadn’t done anything wrong to me. She then said, she wanted to ask forgiveness for her ancestors who murdered my family, my people. Asking for forgiveness is something that can only be done by the person who committed the offense directly to the one who they harmed. No Nazi ever asked my father for forgiveness nor did they ask our family for forgiveness. It isn’t possible anymore, as almost all of them are dead now. No one here is guilty, but all of us here are responsible for our future. I told them my worse nightmare is that America, in the next generation, will have to redeem itself from what is happening now in our country.
I did tell them there is a difference between forgiveness and giving up hate. My father gave up hate and that choice set him free.
There is an ongoing focus on Holocaust education in Germany. During 8th grade students visit their first concentration camp. Every year there is a field trip to a camp and in senior year of high school they go to Yad V’Shem in Israel. They know so much more than American students and adults about the Holocaust.
Yes, I personally now know there are good people and a good young people in Germany. They have growing problems of anti-Semitism and racial hatred, not unlike the rise of our domestic terrorists and acts of racial hatred. Germany has a strong viewpoint, born of the worse inheritance I can imagine, that fuels their resolve to heed the my father’s message, in order not allow repetition of their past. May we fulfill our responsibility in America to ensure a better future.
— Charlene Stern
So Much To Tell!
Yes, Ben Stern, is 97! And yes his daughter Charlene and he are still working to bring his message of courage, kindness and hope to the world’s next generation with Near Normal Man screening events. There’s so much good that’s happening, here are a number of events happening in the next six weeks!
May 20th Heidelberg, Germany
Charlene Stern has been invited by a team of German students at Englisches Institut, enrolled in an international, in-depth, BEAM learning experience.
They selected Near Normal Man as their project. I will be leading two screening events of Near Normal Man and conversation, with audiences that include all 10 public and private high schools in Heidelberg and the public. Co-sponsored by Englisches Institut, private high school, and DAI, a German-American Institute.
May 9th at the San Francisco Main Public Library
Film screening and Conversation with Ben Stern and Producer/Director Charlene Stern
Thursday, May 9, 2019, 12:00 pm., 100 Larkin St. San Francisco, 94102 (415) 557-4400.
This screening is part of the Lest We Forget Project Details
May 2nd at Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles
Ben Stern was be honored as part of the Yom Ha Shoah Commemorative Ceremony
In the Simon Wiesenthal Center/Museum of Tolerance, 9786 West Pico Blvd. 10:00am.
After the ceremony, Near Normal Man was screened in the Peltz Theatre at the Museum of Tolerance at 11:15 a.m. followed by conversation with the audience.
All Los Angeles high schools are invited to attend! Museum info
April 29th at Berkeley City College Auditorium
Film screening, Refreshments and Conversation with Ben Stern and Producer/Director Charlene Stern
Monday, April 29, 2019 5:30pm. 2050 Center Street Berkeley, CA.
Free admission and Refreshments!
April 17th at the San Francisco Civic Center Plaza
Opening of LEST WE FORGET, a month long arts and remembrance project. Ceremony at 12:00
Ben Stern was on stage with the artist and two other survivors answering questions as part of the unveiling ceremony. The exhibit includes a portrait of Ben taken by Luigi Toscano, along with 77 other large scale and life affirming portraits of Holocaust survivors. This event is sponsored by 18 organizations, including the City of San Francisco, the Goethe Institute and Consulate General of Israel. Watch this video!
Ben remarks: “I was liberated on May 8, 1945, but I wasn’t free until I let go of hatred. It begins with hate speech, that if unchecked, leads to the destruction of democracy and humanity. I know what happens when it’s too late.”
A Message from Charlene Stern, Daughter, Producer/Director:
“When I conceived this film and was in the midst of production of Near Normal Man, there was no way to see or predict the future of where our country and world would be today. This film is not only about history, it crosses multiple intersections of religion, family, generations, ethnicity and time. It delivers what the next generation desperately needs, to build their resilience and responsibility against injustice against oneself and others. Staying alive and remaining human is the story of my father that creates lasting impact, true knowledge and inspiration. Please spread the word – for Ben Stern at 97, sooner is better than later!”
Clinton Presidential Center | Little Rock, Arkansas
Thursday, October 4. A Program featuring Holocaust Survivor Ben Stern, 6 p.m. Join us at the Clinton Center for a viewing of a powerful 30-minute documentary, Near Normal Man, featuring a first-hand account by Ben Stern. This event is sponsored by the Ben J. Altheimer Charitable Foundation.
Follow-up from the event!
“On October 2-4, 2018, we had an amazing three days in Little Rock, AR, at the President Clinton Foundation/Library.
The library tells a beautiful story of the Clinton family’s contributions including Bill as president, and the Clinton Foundation’s philanthropy around the world.
There is a sapling Anne Frank Tree from Amsterdam, which is planted and growing at the Clinton Center, and symbolizes enduring hope for humanity. Anne Frank was a young girl who didn’t survive the Holocaust; Ben Stern was 18 when the Nazis invaded Poland — he survived.
How powerful it was to have Near Normal Man screened in this setting.
In three sessions, 1300 students – from all over Arkansas, learned about human responsibility in the ongoing struggle for social justice and human rights. Ben Stern spoke of his personal experience, educating and inspiring audiences at all five events. Charlene Stern led a educator experiential workshop.
A filled auditorium public event completed our visit. The responses were overwhelming.”
Cal PolyTech University
February 16-17. Change the Status Quo: A Social Justice Conference, at Cal PolyTech University in San Luis Obispo, CA.
Screening: Friday, Feb. 16 at 6pm. Conference: Saturday, Feb. 17, from 8:30-5pm.
The Center for Service in Action is excited to announce the 16th Annual Change the Status Quo: A Social Justice Conference, on Friday, February 16, and Saturday, February 17, 2018. This conference aims to empower students to use the Learn by Doing spirit to challenge social norms, ask critical questions, demand solutions and make lasting social change. Through guest speakers, inspiring workshops, and engaging sessions, students will leave the conference with a new-found sense and understanding of social justice, and how they can take ownership of their role in moving the needle with regard to social change. . MORE
Willow Glen High School
March 6th, 2001 Cottle Ave, San Jose, CA
Congregation Beth Am
April 7, at 3:00pm, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills, CA
Loyola University School of Law Chicago Illinois
April 10 Freedom of Speech and Hate Speech.
Film screening and panel discussion. Facilitated by Professor Zelda Harris, Ben and Charlene were joined on the panel by Professor Juan Pera and Professor Alex Tsesis, both constitutional law experts.
Loyola University Downtown, Chicago Illinois
April 11 Film screening and panel discussion.
Facilitated by Professor Zelda Harris, Ben and Charlene were joined on the panel by Professor Juan Pera and Professor Alex Tsesis, both constitutional law experts.
LOYOLA PRAISE: “We are so very grateful to you and Ben for coming to Loyola! I have been at Loyola for more than thirty years and I can honestly say that it was the most important, moving, and powerful program we have ever had. Your opening remarks were beautiful and so inspiring. And of course Ben is just amazing in every way! I know our students and our entire audience found the experience to be transformative.”
Michael J. Kaufman
Dean and Professor of Law,
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
January 25, at 7:10p.m. at BAMPFA, 2155 Center Street, Berkeley, CA. Tickets for ‘Not Here, Not Now’ – An Unfinished Conversation” featuring the film screening of Near Normal Man and Q&A conversation with Ben Stern, Survivor and Social Justice Activist and Ira Glasser, Former Executive Director of the ACLU; with panel members, Charlene Stern, Producer/Director of Near Normal Man ; Manu Meel, Berkeley student and founder of Bridge USA; moderated by Edward Wasserman, Professor of Journalism and Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Berkeley.
January 18, at 10-11:30 a.m. Lecture & Film with Holocaust Survivor Ben Stern at the Hearthside Lounge (Room 2313), 12345 El Monte Road, Lost Altos, CA. Free to public. We’ll watch the Holocaust documentary Near Normal Man, followed by a conversation and Q&A with Ben Stern, survivor of nine concentration camps and two death marches.
Alameda High School
November 14, 2017, Alameda, CA
CEMEX Auditorium Can we Talk About Charlottesville…?.
Monday, October, 16, 2017 8:00 PM
CEMEX Auditorium (655 Knight Way, Stanford, CA 94305).
September 6, 2017, Remind.com corporate screening, SF, CA.
The Joshman Family Jewish CC
Tuesday, October, 3, 2017 8:00 PM
Screening & Conversation with Holocaust survivor Ben Stern & producer/director Charlene Stern
at Schultz Cultural Arts Hall, Joshman Family Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto.
Temple Beth Shalom in Modesto, June 25th, 2017
Grace Cathedral, Not Here Not Now! May 21, 2017
Film Festivals 2017
4th Annual Summer Shorts
July 12, 2017, Colonial Theatre, Chester County, PA.
NNM wins BEST documentary at The San Diego Jewish Film Festival