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News from the 19th Floor – At the JFR – December 2019

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News from the 19th Floor

Harvey Schulweis (JFR Board Chairman, right) presenting Raymond and Yolanda Kunz (2019 Honorees) with the Recognition of Goodness Award

JFR Annual Benefit, Monday, November 25, 2019

Yolanda and Raymond Kunz were honored with the JFR’s Recognition of Goodness Award at its annual benefit on November 25, 2019.  It was a very special evening.  We thank Yolanda and Raymond for giving the JFR the opportunity to honor and to acknowledge them for their good works over the past 30 years!

In accepting the Recognition of Goodness Award, Yolanda said:

We always admired the courage, resilience, hope and love of both the rescuers and survivors.  After every JFR dinner, Raymond and I would ask each other:  Could we ever do what they did?   What will be our answer after we leave tonight’s viewing of the documentary?  How will this reunion and their story affect a change in us?  How will our legacy be defined?  I would like to quote Melpomeni’s remark when she recently met the family of the Holocaust survivors that she had rescued: “I can die quietly,” words that underscore her immense satisfaction.  Melpomeni and all the rescuers said “yes” when faced with the challenge and opportunity to help save lives – at great risk to their own lives.  Both rescuers and the survivors shared courage, faith, hope, and charity.  They are perfect role models for all of us.    It’s all about choices.

A highlight of the evening was the screening of the JFR’s latest documentary, “Village of Angels.”  The documentary tells the story of Melpomeni Gianopoulou Dina and how she and her sisters saved the Mordechai family in Greece.  The documentary should be on our website by mid-December 2019.

As is our custom, the JFR invites local schools to be our guests at the benefit.  This year we were pleased to welcome students from Immaculate Heart Academy, Washington Township, NJ, SAR, Riverdale, NY, and Convent of the Sacred Heart, Manhattan, NY.

Click here to see a photo gallery from the evening.


Patricia Skelton (2017 Alfred Lerner Fellow) received the 2019 Robert I. Goldman Award for Excellence in Holocaust Education at the JFR annual benefit.  Tricia, as she is called, teaches 6th grade English language arts and history at the Opelika Middle School in Opelika, Alabama.

In accepting the award, Patricia said:

Survivor and rescuer testimonies have transformed my students and their understanding of the Holocaust. Hearing Roman Kent speak and share his story was one of the most powerful moments during my time with the JFR. His story is one of many that I share with my students. Reading his book, “Lala,” is a highlight of our unit. My students connect with Mr. Kent on a personal and emotional level that just can’t be accomplished by reading textbooks.

As Mr. Kent says, “Never be a bystander” and “Hate is never right and love is never wrong.” May we all continue to live by those words and inspire others to do the same.

Stanlee Stahl (JFR Exceutive Vice President) presenting the Robert I. Goldman Award to Patricia Skelton (JFR Lerner Fellow and 2019 Robert I. Goldman Awardee)


Thanks to the generosity of many, the JFR will be sending each JFR supported rescuer an additional $1,750 award for the purchase of food, home heating fuel and medications during the 2019 Christmas holiday.  Thank you for your support of the rescuers!


For a donation of $18.00 or more, you can send the JFR Hanukkah eCard to up 10 email recipients. A JFR eCard is a great way to send Hanukkah wishes to friends and family while at the same time supporting the work of the JFR. Click here to send Hanukkah eCards.


As you do your holiday shopping, if you place orders through Amazon, please consider ordering through AmazonSmile and indicate the JFR as your charity. The JFR receives a small portion of the proceeds from every sale made through AmazonSmile when you specify the JFR as your charity.


The JFR is pleased to be part of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) this year.  The CFC is the Federal government’s workplace charity campaign and covers all civilian, postal, and military employees. The CFC’s campaign season is September 9, 2019, through January 12, 2020. If you know someone who works for the Federal government, the U.S. military, or the U.S. Postal Service, please ask them to consider selecting the JFR as the recipient of their gift. The JFR’s CFC number 10744.

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