Hope After Hate: E-Media Professor Shares Father’s Holocaust Experience

CCM E-Media Professor and Emmy Award-winning journalist Hagit Limor shares her father’s Holocaust survival story with lessons to inspire action against hatred and bigotry today

The spring 2020 edition of UC Magazine features a cover story about the ground-breaking “Hope After Hate” project launched by CCM E-Media Professor Hagit Limor. The story is available to read online.

Inspired by her father’s story of struggle and survival during the Holocaust, Limor set out to create “Hope After Hate: Moniek’s Legacy” to share his experience through immersive theatre and virtual reality. In October 2019, Limor’s Media Topics class of 15 students traveled to Poland and Germany to retrace her father’s journey. They will use the photos, videos and research collected during the trip to create an immersive play and virtual reality experience for the “Hope After Hate” project.

“Hope After Hate” will be an innovative, new kind of theatre — part play, part video and part virtual reality. Projections of historical settings will surround the audience during the immersive play, creating a virtual set in which they sit and interact with the actor portraying Moniek Limor. The “Hope After Hate” team is also creating a separate 15-minute virtual reality experience that will immerse users in Moniek’s story with goggles and hand sensors.

Viewers will be transported into the attic where he hid with his family as a child, into the Hasag-Pelcery labor camp where he was enslaved for more than a year as an adolescent, into the cattle-car train that transported him to the Buchenwald concentration camp when he was 14 and into the camp itself, where he was an inmate for four months. The project explores how people struggle to hold on to their humanity when surrounded by hate and fear. It also shares historical lessons in an effort to turn bystanders into upstanders who will speak out against hatred and bigotry today.

“Hope After Hate” unites students, faculty and staff from across UC, including undergraduate and graduate students majoring in E-Media, Acting, International Affairs, Political Science, Geography and History. CCM Acting Professor Susan Felder is adapting Limor’s memoir of her father’s experience into a script for the immersive play. Additionally, the “Hope After Hate” team is collaborating with CCM Lighting Design and Technology Professor Sharon Huizinga on how to create projections for the play. UC’s Center for Simulations and Virtual Environments Research (UCSIM) is building the VR experience with the 360-degree photos and videos that students captured while on the trip.

Read UC Magazine’s cover story on “Hope After Hate” to learn more about the project. Readers can also view photo galleries of images taken during the study abroad trip and watch a student-created documentary on the project.


“Hope After Hate” is sponsored by Cincinnati’s Holocaust and Humanity Center, and has already received support from private donors as well as Cincinnati’s Jewish Innovation Funds and the CCM Harmony Fund. This support offset travel expenses during the study abroad trip and funded some production expenses. However, the class is still actively collecting donations for projectors needed for the play and virtual reality equipment. Visit hopeafterhate.com for updates on the project and to learn how to get involved. 

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Hope After Hate: E-Media Professor Shares Father’s Holocaust Survival Story

Moniek’s Legacy captures the journey of a Holocaust survivor with lessons to inspire action against hatred and bigotry.

For decades Holocaust survivors have shared stories about the horrors they experienced during World War II in educational, historical and personal presentations. As the years pass, survivors rely more on their children and grandchildren to recount their narratives and ensure this history is not forgotten.

Hagit Limor and her father, Menachem “Moniek” Limor.

Hagit Limor and her father, Menachem “Moniek” Limor.

Inspired by her own father’s experience, CCM E-Media Professor Hagit Limor set out to create Moniek’s Legacy, a multimedia tool that captures the journey of a Holocaust survivor with lessons to inspire action against future acts of hatred. With support from the CCM Harmony Fund, Limor and 15 students in her fall 2019 Media Topics class will travel to Poland and Germany in October to work on the project.

“For years, I’ve watched as my father lost the words to a story that only grew in relevance,” says Limor. “Eventually he could no longer share his wisdom with students as he had for decades before. I want to create a mechanism for relating these lessons to outlive not only my father, but his daughter as well.”

WCPO-TV will air a special broadcast about the project titled “Hope After Hate” at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 17, 2019.

Moniek’s Legacy will create an immersive virtual reality experience, bringing viewers inside the survival story of Limor’s father through chapters such as Invasion, The Ghetto, Cattle Car Death Train, The Concentration Camp and Liberation. Each chapter will create a platform for civil discussion, challenging participants to consider their actions when confronted with acts of hatred and bigotry. Limor is working with UC’s Center for Simulations and Virtual Environments Research (UCSIM) to create a 360-degree virtual reality experience for Moniek’s Legacy.

Sponsored by the Cincinnati Museum’s Holocaust and Humanity Center, Moniek’s Legacy will serve as an online resource for educators to inspire engaging, civil discussions in classrooms and community groups. Cincinnati’s Jewish Innovation Fund awarded Limor a $25,000 grant to support the project in August 2017, and she has since raised more than $70,000 in additional funding.

The attic where Menachem Limor hid until he was discovered by Nazis during WWII.

The attic where Menachem Limor hid until he was discovered by Nazis during WWII.

CCM’s Harmony Fund awarded a generous grant to offset travel expenses for the 15 students who will participate in the study abroad trip for Moniek’s Legacy. They will travel from Cincinnati to Warsaw, Poland, then to Czestochowa, Poland, and to Frankfurt, Germany, to research and film the project from October 4 to 13, 2019.

The class is open to all UC students. It includes students from CCM’s Acting and E-Media programs as well as students who study history, political science, international affairs, journalism and other disciplines. Each student can teach and learn from their peers, giving them an engaging cross-collegiate experience.

In March, Limor and Jodi Elowitz, Director of Education at the Holocaust and Humanity Center, traveled to Europe on a scouting trip to plan for the study abroad class. They retraced her father’s journey of horror and survival through multiple stops in Poland and Germany. They saw where Limor’s father hid from Nazis in the attic of a Polish ghetto, the Treblinka extermination camp where her grandmother and uncle were murdered and the concentration work camp where her father was taken when he was 12 years old.

Moniek’s Legacy will be filmed on-site at various locations during the study abroad trip. After Limor and the students return to Cincinnati, they will work on editing the footage and putting in the production elements. Limor says that it will most likely take a year to complete Moniek’s Legacy. When the project is completed the Cincinnati Museum’s Holocaust and Humantiy Center will use Moniek’s Legacy in its educational outreach. In the meantime, Limor is working with CCM Acting Professor Susan Felder to write a script for an interactive play about the project.

My personal motivation for this project has to do with my students and son, and the world into which they are growing. There is so much disappointment with some of the hatred and bigotry in media, politics and the world stage right now. This project seeks to fight hatred wherever it exists. It is not political at all. It is about humans caring for other humans.

Tune In: Watch WCPO’s “Hope After Hate” Special

Limor will talk about Moniek’s Legacy in a 30-minute special broadcast on WCPO-TV at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 17, 2019. The “Hope After Hate” special will feature Moniek’s Legacy, the study abroad class and the CCM Harmony Fund.

When: 7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 17, 2019

Where: WCPO-TV Channel 9 or download the free WCPO 9 On Your Side mobile app from the Apple Store or Google Play.

About the CCM Harmony Fund

Founded in 2002, the CCM Harmony Fund supports artistic works that fight hate and prejudice through the performing arts by bringing together audiences of different backgrounds around controversial topics and situations with the goal of inspiring meaningful conversations. This special fund was created as both an acknowledgement of the continuing existence of hate and prejudice within our world and, more importantly, the ability of the arts to help us better understand and transcend these emotions. The goal of any Harmony Fund project is to inspire imaginative thinking, encourage conversations, present contrasting attitudes and help us examine our own viewpoints. The Harmony Fund supports the students and faculty at CCM to explore these issues and encourage them to find a voice. Past Harmony Fund-supported performances include The Laramie Project, Tan Dun’s Water Passion After St. Matthew, Dadaab Theatre Project, Sphinx Virtuosi Orchestra, Falsettos and more.

Support the CCM Harmony Fund by giving online

Featured Image: Monument in the Czestochowa Warta train station by Paweł “pbm” Szubert

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CCM E-Media Faculty Member Hagit Limor Receives ‘Best of Festival’ Honors at this Year’s Broadcast Education Association Convention

Hagit Limor, Assistant Professor of Electronic Media at CCM.

Hagit Limor, Assistant Professor of Electronic Media at CCM.

CCM Assistant Professor of Electronic Media Hagit Limor received the “Best of Festival” award in the Faculty News Competition at this year’s Broadcast Education Association’s (BEA) Festival of Media Arts. She was recognized for her report on fake memorabilia being sold at charity auctions.

The BEA’s Festival of Media Arts is a competitive festival open to both faculty and student members of the BEA. Any full-time student attending a BEA institutional members receives free membership in the association.

This year’s festival ran from April 12 – 15 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The festival received 1,352 entries in 2015 and went on to recognize 17 “Best of Festival” winners. Each “Best of Festival” award recipient was honored with the presentation of a specially produced tribute video and a $1,000 cash award from the Charles and Lucille King Family. You can view a roundup of all of the 2015 Best of Festival King Foundation Award Winners by visiting www.beaweb.org/2015/bof.

You can watch Limor’s original report on fake autographed memorabilia below.

Limor joined CCM’s Division of Electronic Media (CCM E-Media) after an extensive career in broadcast journalism and as national president of the Society of Professional Journalists. She teaches media writing, ethics and journalism, taking students from the classroom and newsroom into the studio for taped productions.

Limor has served as an anchor, general assignment reporter and investigative reporter at  network-affiliated stations in five markets, currently at Cincinnati’s Fox 19 WXIX-TV in Cincinnati, where she serves as investigative reporter. She’s covered news stories throughout  the United States, Central America, Europe and Asia, including the devastating March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Limor’s abilities as a writer and reporter have garnered her dozens of national, state and local awards for investigative, documentary, general assignment and feature reporting. She’s won 10 Emmy Awards, three national Sigma Delta Chi Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, a National Headliner Award, national finalist for the Investigative Reporters and Editors Association, and other national awards from the Association of Health Care Journalists and the Society of Environmental Journalists, plus more than 100 state Associated Press, state SPJ and local SPJ awards.

In December of 2014, Limor was recognized by the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education for her work using the media as a vehicle for speaking out against hatred.

Limor also is very active for the cause of journalism on a national level. She’s served as President of the national Society of Professional Journalists, representing 8,000 journalists across the United States after holding several other national and local offices, including president of the Greater Cincinnati SPJ chapter. She currently serves as national chair of the Society’s Legal Defense Fund, member of the Ethics Committee and recently served on the committee that rewrote the Society’s widely quoted Journalism Ethics Code. Limor also sits on the board of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, which promotes excellence and ethics in journalism through educational programs and grants for journalism-related projects.

Beyond journalism, Limor volunteers throughout the Tri-State, and was honored by the Bethesda Foundation for her local service. She also emcees, speaks and hosts events for various community organizations.

She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University.

Learn more about CCM’s accomplished faculty by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/faculty.

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