In 1940, a ship called the S.S. Quanza left the port of Lisbon carrying several hundred Jewish refugees to freedom. Most of them held life-saving visas issued by the Holocaust rescuer Aristides de Sousa Mendes. But events went terribly wrong, and the passengers became trapped on the ship when no country would accept them. Nobody Wants Us tells the gripping true story of how Eleanor Roosevelt stepped in to save the passengers on board. Other heroes of the Quanza were the lawyers Jacob and Sallie Morewitz and members of the National Council of Jewish Women. This is an episode in American history that everyone should know!
In 1943, during the darkest times of human history, a handful of people in tiny Bulgaria stood up against Hitler… and succeeded. This is a true story about the remarkable rescue of 49,172 people — the entire Jewish population of Bulgaria. Plamen Petkov‘s documentary film 49,172 tells the story.
“We Jews don’t have saints, but we do have tzaddikim, righteous people, people of tzedek, of justice. Perhaps the word could also be translated as ‘decency.’”
– Zuzana Rosinkova, Holocaust survivor, speaking about Fredy Hirsch
Irshad Manji is the winner of Oprah Winfrey’s first annual Chutzpah Award for boldness. As founder of the Moral Courage Project, Irshad equips people to do the right thing in the face of fear. She discovered her mission through a deeply personal journey. In 2003, Irshad released The Trouble with Islam Today, an open letter to her fellow Muslims about why anti-Semitism and other prejudices must end in name of Allah. In 2007, Irshad turned the book into an Emmy-nominated PBS film, Faith Without Fear. And in 2011, she published Allah, Liberty & Love, which shows how Islam can be reinterpreted for the 21st century. Along the way, Irshad became a professor of moral courage — first teaching at New York University and now lecturing with Oxford University’s Initiative for Global Ethics and Human Rights. Irshad’s latest book is Don’t Label Me. In our deeply polarized time, she says, standing for what’s right is not enough to make progress. We must also learn to engage the “Other.” Labeling is easy. But listening is a form of moral courage. (more…)