2021 Tolerance Week Events

Virtual Tolerance Week 2021 is online April 26 – April 30

The events of Tolerance Week are presented in partnership with Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities and Kathy and Jerry Weiner.

Ella Holtzen Memorial Tolerance Week Art Contest and Tolerance Week Written Word Contests

Please express in words or art how the practice of Tolerance will make the world a better place. Please limit essays to 400 words and artwork to 11×14″. Email entries to [email protected] or deliver to 1922 Pierce Street by 6 pm on Monday, April 19th. Middle and high school students are eligible. There are cash prizes for one middle and one high school student and teacher in both the art and essay areas. The winners will be announced on our Facebook page, Tolerance Week, on our website, Toleranceweek.org and in the Sioux City Journal. We have renamed the art contest in memory of Ella Holtzen, who was our 2016 Middle School Art Contest Winner. Tragically, Ella and her brother Beck, students at Hinton Community School, were killed in an ice-related car accident on January 14, 2020.

Monday, April 26 – 6:00PM CDT – Virtual Screening of the Documentary Facing Fear The documentary, Facing Fear, will be shown in partnership with Tolerance Week and the Sioux City Human Rights Commission. A discussion will follow led by Karen Mackey, Director of the Sioux City Human Rights Commission.

As a 13-year-old, Matthew Boger was thrown out of his home for being gay. While living on the streets of Hollywood, he was savagely beaten in a back alley by a group of neo-Nazi skinheads. Boger managed to survive the attack and escape life on the streets. Twenty-five years later, Boger found himself in a chance meeting with a former neo-Nazi skinhead, Tim Zaal. The two men soon realized that they had met before…Zaal was one of the attackers who beat Boger and left him for dead. With their worlds turned upside down, the two embarked on a journey of forgiveness and reconciliation that challenged both to grapple with their own beliefs and fears. Neither could imagine that it would lead to an improbable collaboration…and friendship.

Tuesday, April 27 – 6:00PM CDT – Virtual Screening of the Documentary Above and Beyond
The documentary Above and Beyond will be shown.

In 1948, just three years after the liberation of Nazi death camps, a group of Jewish American pilots answered a call for help. In secret and at great personal risk, they smuggled planes out of the U.S., trained behind the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia and flew for Israel in its War of Independence. This ragtag band of brothers not only turned the tide of the war; they also embarked on personal journeys of discovery, sacrifice, and renewed Jewish pride. Above and Beyond is their story.

Wednesday, April 28 – 9:30AM CDT – Virtual 8th Grade Event with Terezin Concentration Camp Survivor Inge Auerbacher
Area 8th grade students will see Inge Auerbacher’s 2019 United Nations Holocaust Remembrance Day Speech and listen to her comments. 8th-grade teachers are encouraged to share Inge’s book I Am a Star, Child of the Holocaust with students to prepare for this important event. Contact Lou Ann Lindblade if you need a copy. Each class is invited to submit two questions for Inge to Lou Ann Lindblade at [email protected]. This event will remain on the Tolerance Week YouTube page for 9th-grade students whose Tolerance Week events were canceled last Spring.

Teachers, be sure that your students are familiar with these terms before watching Wednesday's event:

Anti-Semitism - Prejudice against Jews

Concentration Camp - Camps for holding Jews and others

Ghetto - A section of a city where Jews were forced to live in terrible conditions.

Intelligentsia - A group of intellectuals or highly educated people as a group, especially when regarded as possessing culture and political influence.

Kristallnacht - German for “night of glass.” The night of November 9-10, 1938 when synagogues (Jewish places of worship) were burned and Jewish businesses and homes were destroyed and looted throughout Germany.

Rations - A fixed amount of food allowed for each person.

Tuberculosis - A serious infection in the lungs caused by bacteria.

Wednesday, April 28 – 7:00PM CDT – Virtual Screening of the Documentary Who Will Write Our History
The documentary Who Will Write Our History will be shown. Following the screening, writer, producer, and director Roberta Grossman will speak.

In November 1940, days after the Nazis sealed 450,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, a secret band of journalists, scholars, and community leaders decided to fight back. Led by historian Emanuel Ringelblum and known by the code name Oyneg Shabes, this clandestine group vowed to defeat Nazi lies and propaganda not with guns or fists but with pen and paper. These archives detailed life in the Ghetto from the Jewish perspective. They commissioned diaries, essays, jokes, poems, and songs. They documented Nazi atrocities with eyewitness accounts. They sent reports of mass murder to London via the Polish underground. Then, as trains deported them to the gas chambers of Treblinka and the Ghetto burned to the ground, they buried 60,000 pages of documentation in the hopes that the archive would survive the war, even if they did not.

All Tolerance Week Events are FREE and open to the public. Links to all events can be found on our Facebook page as the dates get closer.

The photos of Vernon Tott will be presented in a virtual art exhibit by Tolerance Week partner, the Sioux City Public Museum.