Ben Lesser’s story of Holocaust survival has inspired some of today’s most successful musicians. Artists and songwriters who had previously collaborated with Beyoncé and John Legend joined forces with Ben for this uniquely meaningful project.
Join us to hear about the creative journey behind the album, Choose Love, that draws from Ben’s incredible story surviving two death marches and concentration camps, including Auschwitz.
You’ll also learn how UJA cares for vulnerable Holocaust survivors, including helping them access Covid vaccines.
Presented by UJA’s Third Generation Holocaust Survivors & Supporters group and UJA’s Entertainment, Tech & Lifestyle division.
Ben Lesser is a dynamic and memorable speaker whose personal Holocaust story and later life success has inspired millions worldwide. His memoir, Living a Life That Matters: From Nazi Nightmare to American Dream, documents his remarkable story of loss, adventure, and, later, success in America.
Ben’s book recounts his remarkable story: how, as an ordinary teenager, Ben survived his family’s flight across Nazi borders, his internment in four concentration camps including Auschwitz, two death marches, two death trains and later liberation from Dachau, and his remarkable personal and professional achievements upon arriving in America. His story illustrates the dangers of a world gone mad and the success possible when you dedicate yourself to living a life that matters.
Ben is the founder of the ZACHOR Holocaust Remembrance Foundation and its I-SHOUT-OUT project, which has inspired thousands of people worldwide to take a public stand online to speak out against intolerance, injustice, racism, and bullying. He also recently launched the ZACHOR Holocaust Curriculum (ZHC), the first educational site written and taught by a survivor. The site includes turnkey lesson plans, videos, photography, and factual timeline for anyone (educators, students, and history enthusiasts) to use for free. Ben’s objective for all three: Educate. Prevent. Prevail.
Ben also founded Ben Lesser and Associates Real Estate in Los Angeles, which was later acquired by Merrill Lynch, and is a highly sought-after investor, advisor, and mentor in the Los Angeles and Las Vegas business communities. Ben now resides in Las Vegas with Jean, his wife of over 70 years. He is the father of two daughters, four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
Marian Wolf, vice president, head of Global Writer Services & BMG China, has more than 10 years of experience in the music industry. Following previous positions in marketing and radio, Wolf joined BMG in 2011 in Berlin before relocating to Los Angeles in 2014. During his tenure at BMG, he has played a key role in developing the Global Writer Services business, driving songwriter and artist careers in the US, EU and Asia. He has played an instrumental part in integrating BMG’s creative teams worldwide. His song placements and collaborations include many number one records across the world including in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Australia, Japan, Korea, and China. Over the past several years, Wolf has been instrumental in building BMG China’s creative business including strategic partnerships, most recently with NetEase Cloud Music.
Toby Gad was born in Germany to a Danish father and a German mother. He began to make music at the age of 7 and before long embarked on a successful career as a songwriter throughout Europe. In 2000, Toby moved to America and wrote hit songs with the likes of Fergie, Beyoncé, and John Legend.
Emily Vaughn is an LA-based artist and songwriter and has 20 million+ streams and is featured on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Editorial playlists and playlist covers. Her music can be heard in retail stores worldwide and on shows on ABC, NBC, and MTV. Emily recently made the Billboard Top 20 Dance/Mixshow airplay charts for her Taska Black collaboration "Easier." Other collaborations include Small Pools, Mickey Valen, Gareth Emery, and others. Vaughn's critical confidence and searing one-liners balance her authenticity and self-taught ability to craft a hook.
UJA Young Leaders Third Generation Holocaust Survivors & Supporters
Olivia Briffault and Josh Housman
Bobby Abrams, Gila Akselrad, Dana Albalancy, Jessica Baron, Jes Berman, Michelle Bernstein, Amy Bielory, Natasha Birnbaum, Rachel Chasky, Emma Del Sol, Cory Doliner, Jacob Elyachar, Natalie Epelman, Jana Felberbaum, Emily Finkelstein, Shayna Freiseleben, Danielle Friedman, Leor Ginzburg, David Goldberg, Craig Goldwasser, Shay Grayevsky, Jason Grunfeld, Peter Haas, Michela Rose Hendell, Jeremy Hoffman, Natalya Izquierdo, Elizabeth Kamens, Sara Kaplan, Jordana Karger, Rachel Kleinhandler, Caleb Koffler, Erica Kornbluh, Nicole Krassner, Adina Lichtman, Steven Murray, Romy Oltuski, Danielle Orenshein, Jenny Redston, Adam Searles, Andrea Simon, Elizabeth Simons, Nicole Slaine, Yaffa Solemanzadeh, Lily Sommer, Jordan Spak, Donna Spievak, Danielle Stadler, Kara Studwell, Ali Unger, Adrian Varga, David Wachs, Deborah Watman, Julia Welch, Alyssa Wolf
Third Generation Holocaust Survivors & Supporters (Third Gen) offers meaningful, year-round programming for grandchildren of Holocaust survivors as well as other young professionals who are passionate about Holocaust remembrance and education.
Entertainment Virtual Programming Council
Soozan Baxter, Amy Fisher, Avi Ishofsky, Rebecca Levin, Abigail Major, Elana Mandelup, Michael Nogen, Michael Sapperstein, Jason Schulweis, Lew Sherr, Simeon Siegel, Rachel Taxman, Adam Zacharius, Mark Zwerdling