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News from the 19th Floor – Alfred Lerner Fellows – June 2022

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News from the 19th Floor


On June 6, 2022, we will commemorate the 78th anniversary of D-Day. Please take a moment to remember our soldiers, many who gave their lives to defeat Nazi Germany. They are the greatest generation!


On June 24 we will welcome 24 middle and high school teachers and Holocaust center staff to the JFR’s 22nd Summer Institute for Teachers (SIT).  The program will be held at the Hilton Newark Airport and runs through Wednesday, June 29, 2022.  Thirteen leading Holocaust scholars will present at the program.  The text for the SIT is How Was it Possible? A Holocaust Reader by Professor Peter Hayes.  Professor Hayes will be presenting two lectures at the program.  Since April, we have been meeting by Zoom with our 2022 Lerner Fellows.

2022 Lerner Fellows meet on zoom in preparation for The Summer Institute for Teachers
Mark Sims, Principal of Northeast High School, Columbia, SC, Sadie Rodgers, Scott Auspelmyer, Executive Director of the South Carolina Council on the Holocaust.
Sadie Rogers


JFR Lerner Fellow, Sadie Rogers (2012) from Columbia, South Carolina, was named Holocaust Educator of Excellence for 2022 by the South Carolina Council on the Holocaust.  We congratulate Sadie for her outstanding teaching, her dedication to her students, and her commitment to teaching the Holocaust.


JFR Lerner Fellow, Tricia Skelton (2017) and Goldman Awardee (2019), shared with us a project she does with her students. Tricia teaches 6th-grade History to 100 students in Opelika, Alabama.

During my Holocaust unit, I incorporate 4 different types of poetry. We start with a Blackout poem using a page out of Is It Night or Day by Fern Schumer Chapman. After researching rescuers from the JFR website, students create a Blitz poem. We create two poems about the survivors: Butterfly and I Am poems. This year, we researched Alabama survivors found on the AHEC website for our I Am poems. April is National Poetry Month, so I look forward to connecting my Holocaust unit with this event.

Click here to see the Blackout poems.

Click here to read the Butterfly poems.

Click here to read the Blitz poems.

Click here to read the I Am poems.

Valentin M., Ukraine
Ivan O., Ukraine
Anastasia P., Ukraine


Each JFR-supported rescuer in Ukraine has received $3,000 since February 2022.  Since Russia’s invasion, we have remained in contact with each rescuer and their family.  As reported previously, the JFR has offered to financially assist any rescuer who wants to leave Ukraine.  Only one rescuer has left Ukraine for Europe.

Several weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine, we received an email from a neighbor who looks after Valentin Mamchenko, a Ukranian Righteous Gentile.  The last time we heard from Valentin was in December 2017, when he picked up his Christmas award. Despite our sending Valentin multiple letters over the years, we never heard from him. Valentin did not have a telephone or email. After years of not hearing from Valentin, we assumed that he had died. Upon receiving the email from his neighbor, Valentin still does not have a telephone or email, we have verified that this person is indeed Valentin Mamchenko. We just sent Valentin $3,000, which he received on May 26. Valentin lives in Marganets, which is in the Dnipropetrovsk oblast. He will be 91 on December 25. We are featuring Valentin this month.  Here is a link to his rescue story.

In May we received photos and emails from several rescuers in Ukraine.

Ivan O. is 95 and lives in Krivoi Rog. Below is an email Ivan’s grandson sent to the JFR.

Good day!
Today I got to visit my grandfather.
I took a photo.
I am sending a photo to you.
The bank has scheduled a meeting for tomorrow.
Therefore, if everything goes well, then grandfather will receive funds.

I’ll write back tomorrow.

Andrey B.

Ivan received his funds at the bank meeting.

Anastasia P. is 95 and lives in Buchatski r-on.


The JFR supported two sisters from Slovakia, Emilia and Margita.  Emilia died in 2018.  Margita turned 91 on April 15, 2022.  The family came together to celebrate Margita’s birthday.  Below is a note from Lydia, the daughter of Emilia.

Dear Mrs. Stanlee, I would like to send you a photo from a family reunion on the occasion of the 91st birthday of our Aunt Margita. This is us 3 children from her sister Emilia with her children and grandchildren. The aunt greets the whole JFR team very nicely. We wish you all the best, peace, health and peace. Lydia

Drawing courtesy of Dara Zadikow's, JFR's Director of Development, son.


If you change names, home address, telephone numbers, emails – please do let us know so we can keep your record current.


Want to help make a difference while you shop in the Amazon app, at no extra cost to you? Simply follow the instructions below to select The Jewish Foundation for The Righteous Inc. as your charity and activate AmazonSmile in the app. Amazon will donate a portion of your eligible mobile app purchases to us.

How it works:
1. Open the Amazon app on your phone
2. Select the main menu (=) & tap on “AmazonSmile” within Programs & Features
3. Select “The Jewish Foundation for The Righteous Inc” as your charity
4. Follow the on-screen instructions to activate AmazonSmile in the mobile app

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