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Refuge: Stories of the Selfhelp Home

Premiere Screening and Panel Discussion
In the late 1930s, a group of young German Jews fled Nazi persecution and immigrated to Chicago, where they created a supportive community. Eventually, they established a Jewish retirement home on the city’s north side where many of the area’s last Holocaust survivors live today. This one-hour documentary weaves together historical narrative, archival footage, and deeply personal testimony to explore the lives of six Selfhelp residents.

Ethan Bensinger served as managing director of the Chicago office of a global immigration law firm for 25 years. Since his retirement, he has been involved in several volunteer and philanthropic endeavors. With this documentary, Bensinger has turned his love of gathering historical narratives into a new career in filmmaking.

The panel discussion will be led by Bensinger and renown Holocaust scholar and Roosevelt University Emeritus Professor of History Leon Stein, Ph.D.,  along with Oakton Professor of History Wendy Maier-Sarti.

Sponsored by Jewish Studies with a generous grant from Oakton’s Educational Foundation.

For information, contact Wendy Maier-Sarti, professor of history and coordinator of Jewish Studies, at 847.635.1458 or

Event Details

Tuesday, April 16, 11:00 a.m.

Room P103, Skokie

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