November 16, 2018

Moving and Shaking: Samara Hutman names LAMOTH executive director, BJE supports schools

Samara Hutman, the new executive director of the L.A. Museum of the Holocaust (LAMOTH). Photo courtesy of LAMOTH.

The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (LAMOTH) has appointed Samara Hutman as its new executive director. Hutman comes to the museum from the organization Remember Us, where she has served as executive director since 2011.

“Samara’s creative vision and passion will help further LAMOTH’s mission to commemorate and educate,” E. Randol Schoenberg, LAMOTH board president, said in a statement. “We are confident that she will increase our outreach in the greater Los Angeles area in order to teach future generations about the history of the Holocaust.”

Additionally, LAMOTH and Remember Us are joining together, with LAMOTH adopting Remember Us programs. These include the Holocaust B’nai Mitzvah Project, in which b’nai mitzvah students remember a child who died in the Holocaust, and the Righteous Conversations Project, in which high school students work with survivors in creating public service announcements focused on contemporary justice issues.

“We are all looking forward to the work ahead,” read a statement released by Hutman and Remember Us board president Cece Feiler, following the Sept. 30 announcement about Hutman taking the position. “We have been working closely with the museum’s president Randy Schoenberg, who shares our hopes and dreams for the continued growth of our many projects.” 

The museum’s search for a new executive director began in December 2012, when it decided not to renew the contract of former director Mark Rothman. Schoenberg served as director in the interim.

Hutman joined Remember Us in 2007 after her daughter, Rebecca, participated in the B’nai Mitzvah Project. 

LAMOTH is the oldest Holocaust museum in the country. In 2010, it opened its $20 million site at Pan Pacific Park, and has received acclaim for exhibitions such as the Tree of Testimony, a 70-screen video sculpture displaying 51,000 survivor testimonies courtesy of the USC Shoah Foundation…

Five Los Angeles-area day schools — Kadima Day School, Beth Hillel Day School, Temple Israel of Hollywood Day School, Weizmann Day School and Yavneh Hebrew Academy — will receive technical, financial and professional support from BJE—Builders of Jewish Education now that they have been chosen in the Generations LA 2 program. A kickoff training session marking the official start of this second installment of Generations LA, a three-year initiative that aims to help day schools grow and sustain endowment funds, takes place on October 23.

“Securing a place in this program is an incredible honor and assists our community in securing the longevity of Kadima Day School. Community donors will have the opportunity to truly have a lasting impact on the future of the Jewish people,” said Bill Cohen, head of school at Kadima Day.

The schools receive help in growing and sustain endowments – which BJE believes are vital to a school’s long-term existence – in the form of technical, financial and professional assistance, in return for them meeting fundraising benchmarks.

“The goal is to build a foundation for starting an endowment initiative and after three years giving them the tools to start the initiative and helping them to continue that momentum once the program is over,” said Rebecca Spain, Generations LA coordinator at BJE. None of the schools selected for the program currently has an endowment.

Moving and Shaking acknowledges accomplishments by members of the local Jewish community, including people who start new jobs, leave jobs, win awards and more, as well as local events that featured leaders from the Jewish and Israeli communities. Got a tip? E-mail it to