As antisemitism continues to spread across the globe, the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County (HMTC) — Long Island’s only Holocaust museum, located in Glen Cove — aims to stand up to all forms of hate.
On Sunday, August 20, Dana Arschin, HMTC storyteller and former Fox 5 reporter and fill-in anchor, will host a Beach Party Fundraiser for HMTC. The event, which will be located on a private beach in Port Washington, will honor Lizzy Savetsky and Dr. Ira Savetsky.
Individual tickets cost $200, and couples tickets cost $360 together. Proceeds will go directly toward continuing the amazing work the HMTC does in Holocaust education.
“Every year, we educate students, nurses and law enforcement in-person, either at our center or inside schools. We also educate students who live across the country and in Canada via zoom,” said Arschin. “Middle and high school students from districts across Long Island come to our center almost every weekday during the academic year. They hear first-hand testimonies from Holocaust survivors and second-generation survivors (children of survivors). The students also get tours of our museum exhibits.”
Some of the money from the fundraiser will cover transportation expenses for survivors who travel to and from the center and schools, which traditionally costs the HMTC thousands of dollars each year. In addition, the proceeds will ensure that Arschin can continue to document first-hand testimonies from Holocaust survivors.
“I shoot, write, narrate and edit short documentaries on Holocaust survivors. I typically interview at least one survivor every week all across Long Island and the five boroughs of New York City. Incredibly, my stories often get more than 100,000 views, just on Instagram alone,” said Arschin. “It’s an honor and a privilege to have this opportunity to keep stories alive. The proceeds from this event will help make sure the entire HMTC team continues to educate for generations to come.”
The event, scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m., will feature platters of food from the Taste of Puebla food truck, as well as cocktails from Heering Cherry Liqueur. There will also be a bonfire with s’mores kits available, dessert from Dough Doughnuts and chocolate-covered pretzels from Fatty Sundays.
Honorees Lizzy Savetsky and Dr. Ira Savetsky will be in attendance and will make remarks. Both Lizzy, a Jewish activist and fashion influencer, and Ira, the grandson of a Holocaust survivor and a plastic surgeon, have used their platforms to teach the lessons of the Holocaust and to stand up to hate.
“I greatly admire the Savetskys for being bold and standing up to hate. They use thei public social media platforms to educate their followers about antisemitism. They are proud of their Jewish traditions and their ancestry. We are honoring them for being upstanders in their communities.”
Arschin, herself, has a deep connection to the Holocaust and hopes her work can continue to amplify its important lessons.
“I really wanted to find a way to get families involved with the museum and also just to put the museum on their radar and have them know about the HMTC. I’m really hoping to bring awareness, to get people interested in the Holocaust and also bring people together in a beautiful way,” said Arschin. “I’m the granddaughter of a 101-year-old Auschwitz concentration camp survivor. My Poppy turns 102 in March. I believe it’s my obligation to keep survivor stories alive and the only way I can do that is to get future generations involved and interested.”
The Beach Party Fundraiser will be an intimate evening, where attendees will learn about the HMTC, mingle, eat good food and dance, thanks to DJ Paulie Shoes from Bright Lights Inc., who is donating his DJing services for the event.
“Even though we’re a Holocaust museum, our events don’t need to focus on tragedy. After the Holocaust, many of these survivors thrived and created beautiful families and generations more to come. I also want people to think about the HMTC as a welcoming place, not someplace that’s always so sad.”
As the last generation of Holocaust survivors passes away at an alarming rate, the importance of Holocaust education and first-hand documentation only grows.
“If we don’t share the lessons of the Holocaust, history is doomed to repeat itself. So we are doing the best we can to make sure this never happens again,” said Arschin.
For more information, or to buy tickets to the Beach Party Fundraiser, Dana Arschin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.