When Steven Spielberg asks for your help, you say yes. That’s what happened to Jayne Perilstein after she coordinated a Center City event for the USC Shoah Foundation that raised $3 million in one night. Spielberg launched the Shoah Foundation after filming Schindler’s List. It records and archives the testimonies of men and women who survived the Holocaust and more recent genocides, including those in Nanjing and Rwanda. This year marks its 20th anniversary.
Though the foundation is based in Los Angeles, Perilstein works from the Center City law offices of Cozen O’Connor, close to her Penn Valley home—and she’s right in the thick of the foundation’s latest initiatives. One reaches out to descendants of those who gave Shoah their testimonies. Called 2Gs and 3Gs (second- and third-generation sur-vivors), they will carry forward the lessons learned from the Holocaust.
To that end, Perilstein is forming the Next Generation Council. “It’s a group of 40- to 60-year-old leaders from around the world, many of whom are not Jewish,” she says. “That’s because religious and ethnic hatred affects people everywhere, all the time. Creating awareness about it is our obligation, and it’s a battle we may never get to stop waging.”