A 21st Century Resource Center

The Mercer County Holocaust-Genocide Resource Center is located on the West Windsor, NJ, campus of Mercer County Community College. We are dedicated to providing the most current resources on Holocaust and genocide education for the 21st Century classroom. Learn more about us at

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Local Holocaust Survivor's Story to Debut on PBS THIRTEEN!

Over 200 were in attendance at our Yom HaShoah screening of this documentary last year.  Now, we're proud to share in the announcement that Only A Number will debut on public television this month!

THIRTEEN/WNET Presents Broadcast Premiere of Only A Number Award-winning documentary to air for the first time on public television

TRENTON, N.J.--AriJoe Productions, LLC announced today that the award-winning documentary, Only A Number, will have its broadcast premiere on public television station THIRTEEN/WNET on Sunday, September 23 from 7-8PM (ET).

Only A Number is a one-hour documentary about the experiences of Aranka, a Holocaust survivor with dementia.

Many years before the disease began to eat away at her memory, she documented the horrors she endured at the hands of the Nazis and how she met her husband Josef in a concentration camp. Their story is told through a journey of rediscovery by their son, Steven, transporting the viewer to the ghettos, concentration camps and slave-labor factories as they are today and unearthing the horrendous occurrences long-since buried there. It is a true story of the struggle to survive, to love and to remember.

"We are very proud that THIRTEEN/WNET will be airing the premiere broadcast of Only A Number. It's especially meaningful at this time of year," said Executive Producer/Director Steven Besserman, referring to the Jewish high holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. He added that, "as students begin another school year, Only A Number tells an important story that demonstrates what hatred and intolerance can do to people when taken to the extreme. It has relevance to what we're still seeing in the world today, and to the bullying that occurs in schools and communities in our country."

When asked about Only A Number, Ana Ramos, Programmer at THIRTEEN said, "This film is quite evocative and haunting, with a strong narrative that unfolds against the backdrop of present-day locales of Steven's parents' extraordinary journey. The result is not a film about death, but about survival and about hope."

Only A Number premiered on the film festival circuit at the Garden State Film Festival 2011, where it was awarded Best Music Composition. The film went on to receive the special Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature at the Jersey Shore Film Festival 2011, and had screenings at the Santa Rosa International Film Festival's Cinema of Conscience. Only A Number was nominated Best Documentary by the Orlando Film Festival 2011 and received the special Jury Award for Best Documentary at the New Hope Film Festival in 2012. A special edition DVD of the documentary and an accompanying Study Guide have been distributed to educators in New Jersey and recommended by Dr. Paul Winkler and the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education for use in the curriculum with students in grades 7-12.

For more information about Only A Number, visit

About AriJoe Productions, LLC: AriJoe Productions was formed in 2010 for the purpose of realizing Steven Besserman's life-long ambition of bringing his parents' Holocaust survival and love story to the screen. The resulting documentary, Only A Number, is based on his mother Aranka's memoir. The company takes its name from Aranka's nickname "Ari" and her husband's nickname "Joe."

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