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!
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • 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.