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

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News from the 19th Floor

Oksana Antipchuk
Oksana A. (Ukraine)
Vladimir Chernovol with his son
Vladimir Chernovol with his family


In anticipation of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine and the sanctioning of Russian banks, the JFR sent $1,000 to all rescuers in Ukraine and Russia on February 7.  Rescuers were expecting to receive their award on March 26.  Rescuers in both countries received their awards.

The day of the invasion, February 24, we received an email from the family of Oksana Antipchuk, from Kiev, Ukraine. Please see below.

“Our dear friends, we are forced to turn to you for help in connection with the current situation in our country! We are at war, people are leaving their homes, looking for shelter, they are left without water and food.  Shops are closed.  Everyone is leaving for safe places indefinitely.  If there is any way to help our family financially, we will be very grateful to you.  Forgive us, with best wishes, Oksana Markovna Antipchuk’s family!  Peace to all of us and take care of yourself.”

Upon receiving the email, the JFR Board of Trustees immediately voted to send an additional $2,000 to each rescuer in Ukraine.  Three transfers were sent, via Western Union, to rescuers in different cities to see if the funds would be available for pick-up.  Oksana Antipchuk was one of the three rescuers who was sent a transfer.  Emails informing these three rescuers that an emergency award of $2,000 had been sent and asked them to let us know if they were able to pick-up their funds.  We heard back from one rescuer, Vladimir Chernovol.  He received his second emergency award of $2,000. He wrote:

Good afternoon. Received money today. Thank you very much.
V. Chernovol”

A JFR board member made calls to the other two rescuers. He was only able to get through to Oksana’s granddaughter. Below is what we learned.

“We spoke to Oksana Antipchuk’s granddaughter (her cell is the only number that worked). The entire family is in a bunker underground.  She says there is no place open to get money–no banks, no nothing.  Her father, Aleksandr, is currently in the military.”

We wanted you to have as full an understanding of the situation with rescuers in these countries.  We will keep you posted.  If you have questions, please email us at [email protected].


The 2022 Summer Institute for Teachers (SIT) will start on Saturday, June 25, 2022, and will be held at the Hilton Newark Airport.  This is the same venue where the Advanced Seminar is held. The program ends on Wednesday, June 28, 2022.  An email announcing the Summer Institute was sent to Holocaust center and education directors last week.  Applications are due Thursday, March 31, 2022.  We have an outstanding group of scholars presenting at the SIT this year.  Teachers participating in the 2022 SIT, must provide proof of vaccination for COIVD-19.

2018 European Study Program Participants


Unless there is a war or a new COVID-19 variant, we intend to offer our European Study Program to Germany and Poland this July.  The program will be announced shortly.  We are waiting for some last details from our travel agent.  We will leave the U.S. on Saturday, July 2, arriving in Munich, Germany on Sunday, July 3. We leave for the U.S. on Saturday, July 16, 2022.  Professor Robert Jan van Pelt is our scholar for the program. This will probably be our last study program to Germany and Poland as it is currently structured.

The Study Program begins in Munich, where the Nazi party started and ends in Oswiecim where we spend four nights. If you are attending the 2022 SIT, you can join us in Europe. To participate in the European Study Program, one must be fully vaccinated.


We continue to receive notes and cards from the rescuers. We wanted to share some with you – please click here.

Elena Z., Ukraine
Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds
Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds

The JFR and the Sousa Mendes Foundation are Sponsoring a Program on Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds – Sunday, March 6, 2022

Join us this Sunday, March 6 at 4:00 p.m. ET and 1:00 p.m. PT for a program on Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds.  Roddie Edmonds’ son, Pastor Chris Edmonds, and Stanlee Stahl, JFR Executive Vice President, will discuss the story of Master Sgt. Edmonds. The program is free, registration is required. Upon registering you will receive a link to the documentary and a password that will permit you to view the JFR’s award winning documentary on Master Sgt. Edmonds.

Click here for more information and to register for the program.


For those who celebrate Purim, which begins March 16th, or have family or friends who celebrate, the JFR is offering a Purim eCard. For a donation of $18 or more, you can send the eCard to ten email addresses. If you have any questions about the Purim eCard, please contact the JFR office at 973.736.1800. Click here to schedule your eCards in advance.

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