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Preserving the Memory – Teaching the History – JFR 2018 European Study Program

The JFR’s European Study Program to Germany and the Netherlands was exceptional. The design and flow of the study program provided each of us the opportunity to explore and understand different aspects of the Holocaust in greater depth.

We met at the Frankfurt airport and traveled to Bad Camberg where we met Ann Mollengarden (Lerner Fellow 2003), from the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center in Birmingham, AL. Ann’s father’s family was from Bad Camberg. We met with Dr. Peter Schmidt, a local historian, who guided our group through the small town and provided history of what happened to both Ann’s family and the Jews of Bad Camberg during the Holocaust. We ended our first day at the Fritz Bauer Institute where we met with Professor Dr. Sybille Steinbacher, the Director of the Institute, and several members of her staff. We discussed Holocaust education in Germany at both the high school and university levels and we learned about the work of the Fritz Bauer Institute.

The next day we explored the Holocaust memorial to the Jews of Frankfurt. Professor Hayes gave a lecture on the horror of the round-up and deportation of Frankfurt’s Jews. We then traveled to Speyer and Worms, two of the three towns where Jews initially settled upon their arrival in Germany. During our visit with Dr. Susanne Urban, Managing Director of the ShUM Cities of the Rhine, which includes Speyer, Worms, and Mainz, she provided a grounding in the beginnings of the Jewish community in Germany. Dr. Urban gave background on the synagogue and the Jewish cemetery as she walked our group through Worms. Our visit to Speyer and Worms provided a firm base for an understanding of the development of Jewish life in Germany.

We traveled to Weimar, Buchenwald, Dora-Mittelbau, Westerbork, and Amsterdam. Each of these sites added different layers to our knowledge of camps – concentration, slave labor, and transit. Each site was distinct and different. Perhaps Dora-Mittelbau was the site that impacted the group the most. While one can describe going into the tunnels, words do not do justice to one’s feelings and personal experience. Dr. Stefan Hördler, Director of the Dora-Mittelbau site, spent the day with us and provided detailed background on the slave labor facility and the other sub-camps in the area. The mortality rate at Dora-Mittelbau was higher than at most other concentration camps; the average life expectancy of a new inmate was six to eight weeks.

Part of our Study Program followed Anne Frank’s journey during the Holocaust. She was born in Frankfurt in June 1929. We saw the small steel blocks for Anne, Margot, and their mother at the Holocaust Memorial Wall in Frankfurt near the Judengasse Museum. The Frank family fled Germany in 1933 for Amsterdam. We went to the Frank home in Amsterdam and to the Secret Annex attached to her father’s factory in Amsterdam. We went to Westerbork, to the site of the punishment block the Frank family was placed in upon their arrival in Westerbork, and we were in Bergen-Belsen where Anne and Margot died of typhus before the British liberated the camp on April 15, 1945. This study program did not visit Auschwitz where Anne and the others in hiding were deported to from Westerbork. However, this part of the Study Program afforded participants a deeper understanding of how life was for Jews trying to survive during the Third Reich.

We look forward to hearing from our Study Program participants over this coming school year to see how they have incorporated their time in Germany and the Netherlands into their Holocaust unit of study.

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Celebrating an Anniversary!

September 7, 1992, was my first day at the JFR.  Last week, I celebrated my 25th anniversary at the JFR – it has been a terrific 25 years! I have no idea where the time has gone. I work with an outstanding board, fabulous leadership, and a dedicated staff – and I thank you.

It has been my honor and privilege to help repay a debt of gratitude on behalf of the Jewish people to those precious few non-Jews ,who risked their lives and often the lives of their families, to save Jews during the Holocaust. The rescuers we support are very special and we are helping them to live out their lives in dignity.

To our Alfred Lerner Fellows, you are the very best! I am so fortunate to know you. Together we have improved the quality of Holocaust education.

To our donors – none of the above would have been possible without your continued support and commitment. I thank you for helping the JFR to make a difference in the lives of the rescuers, our teachers, and their students.

To the future!

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Remembering an American Solider Who Gave his Life for our Country – Stanley Goldblum

The grave of Stanley Goldblum

The grave of Stanley Goldblum

On May 28 1944, PFC Stanley Goldblum was killed in action in the battle of Rome. Stanley Goldblum was my uncle and I am named for him. My Uncle Stanley was in the 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division. He is buried at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery which is on the north edge of the town of Nettuno, Italy, which is immediately east of the Anzio beachhead. The Italian campaign was brutal and we lost many young men. Rome was liberated on June 4, 1944, seven days after my uncle Stanley was killed.

His Hebrew date of death is 28 Iyar – which this year is May 28, 2014 – exactly 70 years ago to the day he died.

May his memory be for a blessing.

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Remembering a Noble Man

Guido[1]

Guido de Gorgey, a Righteous Gentile from Hungary, passed away peacefully this morning in New York City at the age of 93.  Guido was a very special man.  In meeting Guido one would never know that this kind, gentle man stood up to the Nazis to save Jews during the Holocaust not only risking his life, but also the lives of his family.

Guido would come and speak with our teachers and would meet with New York City school children.  May his memory be for a blessing.  To read his rescue story, please click here.

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Preparing for our 2013 Summer Institute for Teachers

Alexandra Zapruder and Stanlee Stahl

Alexandra Zapruder and Stanlee Stahl

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted.  Life at the JFR has been hectic to say the least.  We are busy making final plans for our 2013 Summer Institute for Teachers.  This year we will be welcoming some 25 educators from across the United States, Poland, and Croatia.

The JFR is fortunate to be partnered with 15 outstanding Holocaust centers.  These centers nominate middle and high school educators to attend the JFR Summer Institute which is held the last week in June at Columbia University in New York City.

More to following on our scholars and our teachers.

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Learning at the Summer Institute for Teachers

2012 Alfred Lerner Fellows

Here at the JFR we are settling in after another successful Summer Institute for Teachers. This year’s institute included 28 teachers from throughout the United States and from Poland and Croatia who joined us at Columbia University for 5 days of intensive scholarship. The caliber of the teachers’ enthusiasm, dedication, and devotion to Holocaust education was truly inspiring.  Additionally, the lectures given by each of our 10 visiting scholars were thought-provoking and intellectually stimulating.  One of the wonderful aspects of this program is the opportunity for teachers to network with one another, learn from each other, and share useful teaching tools and resources. If this year’s cohort of Alfred Lerner Fellows is any indication, the future of Holocaust education in America looks very bright

 

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Welcoming New Additions to the JFR!

The JFR is pleased to announce the arrival of some new additions to the office. Ben Kamelhar will be the new education intern for the summer, and Kim Nates will be joining the JFR as a volunteer in the development department. After spending a gap year in Israel, Ben will enter NYU this fall. Originally hailing from South Africa, Kim graduated from Brown University this May. Welcome to the JFR Ben and Kim!

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Remembering our Heroes

The grave of Stanley Goldblum

On May 28 1944, PFC Stanley Goldblum was killed in action in the battle of Rome. Stanley Goldblum was my uncle and I am named for him. My Uncle Stanley was in the 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division. He is buried at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery which is on the north edge of the town of Nettuno, Italy, which is immediately east of the Anzio beachhead. The Italian campaign was brutal and we lost many young men. Rome was liberated on June 4, 1944, seven days after my uncle Stanley was killed. May his memory be forever a blessing.

As we take time today to remember those men and women who have made the supreme sacrifice on behalf of our country, let us also remember the men and woman who protect our freedom today. May this Memorial Day find the members of our armed forces both here at home and around the world safe.

Go to the following link for more information about the Sicily- Rome American Cemetary: http://www.abmc.gov/cemeteries/cemeteries/sr.php

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Updating our Website

It’s been three years since we have made any major changes to our website. Since we are currently changing web hosts, we decided to take the opportunity to make several of our web pages more user friendly. These changes will allow our site to be available and accessible to users on all platforms, especially those using smartphones. Additionally, we will soon be able to offer our donors access to their giving history. More information on that will follow shortly. This summer, be sure to log onto www.jfr.org to read new rescue stories, to check out our updates, and to see our redesigned pages.

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Speaking Engagement in Atlanta

Giving a presentation on rescue during the Holocaust

This Thursday, May 17th, I will be in Atlanta, Georgia, to speak about rescue during the Holocaust. This speaking engagement coincides with the loan of the JFR’s traveling exhibit, Whoever Saves a Single Life… Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust, to Am Yisrael Chai! and Congregation Beth Tefillah in Atlanta, Georgia. The program will be held at Congregation Beth Tefillah 5065 High Point Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30342, at 7:30 p.m.

For those of you who will be in the Atlanta area on May 17th, please contact the JFR office for more details on the event at jfr@jfr.org or (212) 727-9955. I hope to see some familiar faces this Thursday!

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Planning for Next Year

Spring and summer are busy seasons for the education department at the JFR. We are arranging the next locations of the traveling exhibit, Whoever Saves a Single Life…Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust, and coordinating speaking engagements featuring members of the JFR’s Speaker’s Bureau. Currently, we are arranging the loan of the exhibit to the Rust Library in Leesburg, Virginia beginning September 15th. On September 23rd, in conunction with the exhibit, I will be speaking to the community on the importance of rescue during the Holocaust. It is great to see the exhibit getting such exposure across the country. Those of you who are interested in hosting the exhibit should also try to arrange for a member of our Speaker’s Bureau to speak on a related topic. Members of the JFR’s Speakers Bureau are experts in their individual fields and provide a plethora of information and resources on selected topics. Click here to learn more about members of the JFR Speaker’s Bureau and to obtain further information on our exhibit. 

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Celebrating a Special Birthday

Frieda Adam

Beloved JFR rescuer Frieda Adam had a very special birthday this past Friday, May 4, as she celebrated her 94th year. In July, participants on the European Study Program to Germany and Poland will have the opportunity to meet Frieda. We wish this wonderful rescuer a very happy birthday, and we look forward to seeing her again in July. Click here to read more of her rescue story during the Holocaust.

 

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The Passing of a Beloved Rescuer

Image

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of beloved rescuer Wladyslaw Miazgowicz. Wladyslaw was born on June 28, 1911 and passed away on March 27, 2012 at the age of 101.  Wladyslaw and his wife Marta hid two Jewish sisters on their farm in Poland during the Holocaust, and were recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 1998. The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous supported the Miazgowicz’s since 1998.

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Commemorating Yom Hashoah

April 19th marks the commemoration of Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. This is a day chosen to honor, remember, and reflect upon the lives of six million Jews that were taken over 70 years ago. We remember those that suffered, that fought, and that died, and we honor their legacy through their memory and through their families. The impact of the Holocaust is one that is still felt today, still as strong and as vivid to some as it was then. Let us never forget the atrocities that so changed the world, and let us use the implications and lessons of that time to embrace diversity with respect, tolerance, and understanding.

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Speaking on Rescue

This week I will be traveling to Florida to speak at programs commemorating Yom Hashoah. Yom Hashoah is the annual day of remembrance that is dedicated to honoring the memory of 6 million Jews who were killed during the Holocaust. This year, the theme of Yom Hashoah is “Choosing to Act: Stories of Rescue.” I will be speaking on rescue and the actions of righteous gentiles during the Holocaust at Temple Emanu- El of Palm Beach on April 19, 2012 (190 North Country Road, Palm Beach, Florida), at 7:30 p.m. The theme of this year’s commemoration presents an opportunity to tell the important stories of our selfless rescuers, and to highlight the good that was done in a time of unspeakable evil.

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Celebrating the Holidays

Here at the JFR we are getting ready for the start of Passover. For those of you who are either holding or attending a Passover Seder, be sure to download a copy of our 2012 Haggadah Supplement featuring the incredible rescue story of Jerzy Bielecki. We hope that everyone enjoys this holiday with family and friends, and that you get your fill of Matzah, Charoset, and Gefilte fish! For those who celebrate, we wish you a zissen Pesach and a Happy Easter!

Go to the following site to download our supplement.

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