"Refuge: Stories of the Selfhelp Home," a one-hour documentary by Ethan Bensiger, premiers 11 a.m. Tuesday at Oakton Community College's Skokie campus.
In the late 1930s, a group of young German Jews fled Nazi persecution and immigrated to Chicago, where they eventually established a Jewish retirement home on the city's North Side, where many of the area's last Holocaust survivors live today. Bensiger weaves together historical narrative, archival footage, and deeply personal testimony to explore the lives of six Selfhelp residents.
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Bensinger served as managing director of the Chicago office of a global immigration law firm for 25 years. In retirement, he has turned his love of gathering historical narratives into a new career in filmmaking. A panel discussion following the film will be led by Bensinger, Holocaust scholar and Roosevelt University Emeritus Professor of History Leon Stein, and Oakton Professor of History Wendy Maier-Sarti. For more information on the event at 7701 N. Lincoln Ave. (Room P103), contact Maier-Sarti at (847) 635-1458 or firstname.lastname@example.org