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News from the 19th Floor – Alfred Lerner Fellows – July 2020

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News from the 19th Floor


To our 2020 Alfred Lerner Fellows we are having your books for the Summer Institute, How Was It Possible? A Holocaust Reader edited and introduced by Peter Hayes, sent to you within the next several weeks.  Please be on the lookout for your book. A separate email will have the actual reading assignments.  You will have a full year to complete the readings – you may even want to read the entire book!

For those Lerner Fellows who attended the Summer Institute when the text was Voices & Views, edited and introduced by Debórah Dwork, and do not have How Was It Possible?, do consider obtaining a copy for your library.  How Was It Possible? can be purchased through the University of Nebraska Press or through Amazon.


In July, the JFR will be sending awards to each rescuer.  The JFR sends funds three times during the year – in March, July, and November.  We thank Western Union for their assistance in helping the JFR send its funds safely to rescuers living in 15 of the 18 countries.  The 3 countries that do not receive their JFR awards by Western Union are the United States, Canada, and Poland.  Rescuers living in the United States and Canada receive a bank check.  Rescuers living in Poland have their award deposited directly into their bank account.  We would like to thank Bank PEKAO, S.A. in Poland for their help in transferring funds to each Righteous Gentile in Poland.

Oksana A., from Ukraine
Jadwiga G., from Poland
Rudolf K., from Poland
Olympiada D., from Ukraine


We continue to hear from our rescuers.  The countries where they live are slowly coming out of quarantine. However, most of the rescuers are afraid or reluctant to leave their homes as they are in their late 80s, 90s, and some are in their 100s.

Daniela D., from Poland

Annually, each rescuer receiving JFR financial assistance is required to send proof of life documentation.  This documentation includes a notarized affidavit stating that the rescuer is alive and is to be received in the JFR office by July 1. This requirement is similar to what Jewish Holocaust survivors, who receive payments from Germany, are asked to provided annually.  Because of COVID-19 many of the rescuers are quarantined.  They are staying home and are not going out.  Therefore, they are unable to provide a notarized affidavit.  The solution we came up with is that each rescuer have a family member take their photo holding the daily newspaper with the date showing. The rescuer also takes a photo holding their identity document.  We thought you might like to know why each rescuer is holding a newspaper. Here are photos of Righteous from Poland and Ukraine.


Jackson is a rising freshman at Northeastern University in Boston, MA., where he was accepted into the honors program.  Jackson joined the JFR last July as our high school intern.  Due to the pandemic and New Jersey Governor Murphy’s stay at home order; we said good-bye to Jackson in March.  Jackson is back and we are delighted!

Jackson Edwards


Over the next several months, you will be hearing from our office asking you to update your contact information and to tell us what you are doing – still teaching, retired – if you are still teaching, what classes are you teaching, in what class do you teach the Holocaust, for how long, and in what grades?  We would like to know about your Holocaust unit – since attending Columbia have you been able to expand your Holocaust unit.

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