Spielbergs Honor Patriarch of Family

By JTA

Published May 07, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The Spielberg clan has honored one of its own – not filmmaker Steven or one of his three sisters, but family patriarch Arnold Meyer Spielberg.

The family gathered late last month for the conferral of the first Inspiration Award by the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation Institute on the 95-year-old senior Spielberg, himself the son of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants.

Steven Spielberg established the institute after the success of his film “Schindler’s List,” and has nurtured it since.

Among high-tech and computer professionals, Arnold Spielberg’s name is almost as well known as his son’s is in Hollywood, and he put these skills to work to set the institute off on the right track.

The USC institute, with 52,000 video testimonies of Holocaust survivors and other witnesses from 56 countries and in 32 languages, is admired mainly for its historical and educational values. However, collecting, classifying, and providing school and public access to the massive material is also an impressive technological feat.

After serving as communications chief with a Burma-based bomber squadron during World War II, Arnold Spielberg became an electrical engineer and a vital figure in the incipient computer revolution.

He helped design and build the first business computer, patented the first electronic library system, designed the first electronic cash register, and took a leading role in developing the massive digital Shoah Institute archives holding more than 105,000 hours of visual history.

Early on, he promoted the concept that technology, frequently accused of diminishing man’s humanity, can instead build connections among individuals and societies.

In recognition of the first award recipient, future honorees will receive the freshly renamed “Arnold Spielberg Inspiration Award.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.