Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission Awareness - Education - Inspiration

Sandra B. Lessig

Sandra B. Lessig

Commissioner
Houston, TX

Originally from Indianapolis, Sandy Breisacher Lessig grew up with a father who was a Holocaust survivor from Breisach, Germany.  After working for several years in development for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the American Diabetes Association in New York, she and her husband moved to Hong Kong -- where she consulted on special event planning for Citibank and Exxon -- and Singapore, where she started the country’s first progressive Jewish congregation. Sandy moved to Houston 25 years ago with her husband and two children. After working in development for the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston for over 18 years, Sandy retired in October 2018.

She has served on several boards including the World Union for Progressive Judaism, American Jewish Committee, Congregation Beth El and Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH), where she currently sits on the Advisory Board and the program committee.  She has co-chaired Houston’s community wide service for Yom Hashoah for 10 years and served as a co-chair of the Survivor/Descendant committee at HMH. Sandy is also on the board of the World Federation of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust & Descendants (WFJCSHD) and spent 3 years on their executive committee.  In 2015, she co-chaired the organization’s conference in Houston attended by approximately 400 survivors and descendants from all over the world.

Sandy is the creator of “Through Their Eyes,” an interactive video presentation of a survivor and his or her adult child developed in conjunction with Holocaust Museum Houston.  Using segments of the survivor’s video testimony, the presenter tells the survivor’s story together with the survivor. The project is meant to provide presentations to schools and other organizations that request a survivor to speak when no survivor is able to do so. She has represented HMH by presenting this project at 5 WFJCSHD conferences as well as to the AHO (Association of Holocaust Organizations) and assisted Holocaust organizations in Calgary, St. Petersburg and Naples, Florida at their invitation to help them develop their own versions.

After visiting Holocaust museums and educational centers throughout the U.S., Europe, Australia and Israel and following a recent visit to Mexico and South America, she began working with the Holocaust Education Center in Lima, Perú to assist staff with Spanish language resources. She visited Rwanda and its Genocide Remembrance Museum for the 20th anniversary of that genocide.  Sandy also helped create and organize “Connections,” a project that has matched Houston survivors with younger adults to create meaningful friendships that benefit both.

Sandy was a member of Holocaust Museum Houston’s first class of docents and has spent the last 23 years striving to provide a transformative experience to students.  She is dedicated to honoring the memory of survivors through finding ways to make the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides relevant today.