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News from the 19th Floor – At the JFR – July 2024

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News from the 19th Floor

2024 Summer Institute for Teachers Breakout Session
Professor Doris Bergen


The 2024 Summer Institute for Teachers (SIT) was terrific! We would like to thank our 2024 Alfred Lerner Fellows – there are 22 – and our scholars for making this year’s SIT the success that it was.

The 2024 Summer Institute was held at the Hilton Newark Airport. The five days we spent together was academically stimulating, exciting, and challenging. We were 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, Volker Berghahn, Alexandra Zapruder, Lawrence Douglas, Steven Field, Edward Westermann, Daniel Greene, Avinoam Patt, Richards Plavnieks, Robert Jan van Pelt, Paul Salmons and Holly Huffnagle.  JFR’s Executive Vice President, Stanlee Stahl, presented on rescue.  The text for the Summer Institute is, How Was it Possible? A Holocaust Reader by Peter Hayes.

Click here to see pictures from the 2024 Summer Institute for Teachers.


The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous (JFR) awarded the 2024 Eduard Sonder Scholarship to Mary Ellen Richichi, a Holocaust Elective Teacher at Independence Middle School in Jupiter, Florida.

In 2007, Joan Stark and her sister, Kate Tarnofsky, established the Eduard Sonder Family Memorial Fund. The fund serves as a living memorial to their grandfather, Eduard Sonder, and the other members of the family who perished during the Holocaust. The Eduard Sonder Family Memorial Fund provides a full scholarship for a teacher to attend the JFR’s Summer Institute for Teachers. Joan Stark, who was born in 1933 in Wurzberg, Germany, died on July 28, 2023.

Mary Ellen Richichi
Danuta J., Australia with the girl she saved, Bella S.


The JFR will be sending awards to rescuers 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 close contact with rescuers in Ukraine.

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