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News from the 19th Floor – At the JFR – July 2023

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News from the 19th Floor

Wanda. H, from Poland - Wanda turned 100 on June 21, 2023
Lidia S. from Ukraine (currently in Switzerland)


The JFR will be sending awards to rescuers at the end of July. The JFR sends funds three times during the year – March, July, and November. Funds are sent after the JFR receives proof-of-life documentation from each rescuer receiving financial assistance from the JFR. Proof-of-life documents are due into the JFR office July 1st. Funds are not sent until these forms, which includes a notarized affidavit stating that the person is alive, are received. We continue to remain in contact with rescuers in Ukraine.


The 2023 Summer Institute for Teachers (SIT) was terrific! I would like to thank our 2023 Alfred Lerner Fellows – there are 28 – and our scholars for making this year’s SIT the success that it was.

The 2023 Summer Institute was held at the Hilton Newark Airport. The five days we spent together was academically stimulating, exciting, and challenging. We are proud to welcome a group of gifted, talented, and committed educators to the program.


Our scholars this year were, in order of their lecture – Doris Bergen, Benjamin Carter Hett, Avinoam Patt; Rebecca Erbelding, Peter Hayes, Lawrence Douglas, Steven Field, Edward Westermann, Robert Jan van Pelt, Jeffrey Burds, Alexandra Zapruder, and Paul Salmons.  JFR’s Executive Vice President, presented on rescue.  The text for the Summer Institute is, How Was it Possible? A Holocaust Reader by Peter Hayes.

Click here to see the full photo album!

Avinoam Patt and Edward Westermann at the 2023 Summer Institute for Teachers

Doris Bergen Lecturing at the 2023 Summer Institute for Teachers
Benjamin Carter Hett Lecturing at the 2023 Summer Institute for Teachers
Rebecca Erbelding Lecturing at the 2023 Summer Institute for Teachers
Lawrence Douglas Lecturing at the 2023 Summer Institute for Teachers
Dr. Steven Field Lecturing at the 2023 Summer Institute for Teachers
Robert Jan van Pelt lecturing at the 2023 Summer Institute for Teachers
Valentin M., Ukraine


Valentin Mamchenko, a Righteous Gentile from Ukraine, passed away at the end of May, at the age of 91. May Mr. Mamchenko’s memory be a blessing. Click here to read his story.


Alfred Lerner, the founding chairman and chief executive officer of MBNA Corporation, passed away in October 2002. He was a valued advisor and supporter of the JFR from its early years.

In tribute to Al Lerner’s commitment to the work of the Foundation and in particular to his special interest in Holocaust education, The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous established the Alfred Lerner Fellowship program in 2002. All of the teachers who attend the Summer Institute for Teachers are known as Alfred Lerner Fellows. It is both a pleasure and an honor for the Foundation to confer on each of these men and women the privilege of bearing the name of this remarkable and beloved friend of the JFR. Today there are more than 700 Alfred Lerner Fellows.

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