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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pictures of Resistance Comes to the Hamptons This Summer

Pictures of Resistance: The Wartime Photographs of Jewish Partisan Faye Schulman
July 24 - August 6, 2010
The Hampton Synagogue
Edelstein Hall of the Kaylie Center
154 Sunset Avenue
Westhampton Beach, New York 11978
Program at the synagogue sponsored by Shelley Holm
Saturday July 24:
Seudah Shlishit, following 7:15 pm Mincha
Dr. Jill Vexler, Exhibition Curator
Monday, July 26, 7:30 pm
Screening of Broken Promise (an Award-winning Slovakian film about the Jewish partisans).
followed by discussion with
Jan Lauren Greenfield, Director of Special Projects, JPEF

You can view the rest of the Hamptons Synagogue Summer Brochure here.

Friday, June 25, 2010

JPEF Films New E-Learning Module in San Rafael

Today is the first day of filming for our new e-Learning module. Below are production photos.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pictures of Resistance to exhibit at Palo Alto JCC

Pictures of Resistance: The Wartime Photographs of Faye Schulman To exhibit at Oshman Family JCC, Taube Koret Campus for Jewish Life in Palo Alto
 from July 14 – August 12,  2010. 
Opening reception Thursday July 15, 6-8 pm

Faye Schulman became a war documentarian at grave risk to her own life. During World War II there were approximately 20,000-30,000 Jewish boys and girls who escaped the German ghettos and work camps and formed and joined organized, armed resistance groups. These resistance fighters were called partisans. Faye Schulman was one such partisan.

After the ghetto was liquidated and her family murdered she escaped. Faye Schulman was with the Russian Molatava partisan brigade, whose encampment was near her hometown, of Lenin (formerly Poland) from 1942-1944. Along with serving as a doctor’s aid, Schulman also took photographs, developing and printing the two-inch negatives beneath blankets in the forest. Faye Schulman was one of the only – perhaps the only -- Jewish partisan photographer who captured Jewish resistance during the Holocaust.

"Pictures of Resistance” has exhibited in ten cities around the world including Zurich, Switzerland  and Tel Aviv, Israel. It continues to draw international acclaim and media attention, bringing JPEF's work to more and more communities

“Often we hear of Jews as victims, but the stories portrayed in the exhibit spoke of Jews as heroes," said Brandeis graduate student Jessica Levine. "It gave me a new, different Holocaust story to tell, one of resistance and resilience. It made me feel proud to be a Jew."

The exhibition is curated by Jill Vexler, Ph.D. who has extensive experience with Holocaust-related exhibitions, including Letters to Sala: A Young Woman's Life in Nazi Labor Camps,  Remembering Luboml: Images of a Jewish Community, and Oswiecim, Ospitzin, Auschwitz: Portrait  of Memories, the permanent exhibition at the Auschwitz Jewish Center in Oswiecim, Poland. A filmed interview with Ms. Schulman discussing specific photographs as well as a Teacher/Student Study Guide will be available on the JPEF website, 

For more information about the exhibit contact

Oshman Family JCC Taube Koret Campus for Jewish Life   3921 Fabian Way Palo Alto, CA 94303

The exhibit at the Oshman Family JCC is sponsored by the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund

The exhibit is made possible through the generous contributions of 
Thomas and Johanna Baruch, the Epstein/Roth Foundation, the Koret 
Foundation, the Purjes Foundation, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman

Family Foundation, the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture, 
the Holocaust Council of MetroWest, and Diane and Howard Wohl.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Speak up. We cannot afford to be silent any longer.

The first place winner of the 10th-12th grade category for our First Annual Youth Writing Contest was Loren Miller, a senior from North Shore Hebrew Academy High School in New York.

Loren's essay focuses on the dangers of indifference. "Silence, in fact, is deafening," she says. 
"We cannot hear the soft hum of tattoo machines, quietly stripping people of their identities.  Nor can we hear the longing of a mother’s empty arms for the child she will never see again.  Or the sound of an inmate’s heart, beating furiously as he stands, ghost-like, through interminable roll calls. We cannot hear the hush that came over the gas chambers once the work was done, like a fleeting calm after the storm. Nor can we hear a Nazi’s unspoken acquiescence.  And we cannot hear the world community’s silence--until it was 11 million lives too late."

Using the stories of the Jewish partisan, Eugenio Gentili-Tedeschi, Loren's words conjure shocking and moving imagery. 

"Jewish partisans like Eugenio seized the moment, dropping what was left of their previous lives to be reborn into fighters against tyranny, oppression, discrimination, and prejudice. In Eugenio’s words, 'I want them to be remembered as those who make the right choice at the right time.'"
Not only did this essay meet the contest's guidelines, it exemplified the inspiration between the student and the partisan, which then resonated with the readers and judges.

Congratulations, Loren!

Winning essayist Loren Miller (left) and her educator Julie Farkas (right)

Hundreds stop by JPEF booth to celebrate Israel in the Gardens

JPEF had the wonderful opportunity to participate in Israel in the Gardens at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco. Hundreds of people came out to celebrate Israel and the Bay Area's Jewish community with great music, food and dance. Rabbis, grade school teachers and educators of all kinds read through our educational materials, and kids grabbed handfuls of stickers of Eta Wrobel's RESIST portrait.

It was great to hear so many enthusiastic responses about our upcoming 'Pictures of Resistance' photography exhibition in Palo Alto. It was excellent to see so many fresh faces who were eager to learn about the Jewish partisans, and JPEF's role in sharing the stories and life lessons of these unsung heroes. Thank you to Israel in the Gardens for having us, and thanks to everyone who stopped to talk to us!

JPEF team members Rachel & Pat at our booth

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Acts of valor, even those from long ago, still inspire today

Avery Lubin, an 8th grader at North Shore Academy Middle School was chosen as the second place winner in our First Annual Youth Writing Contest. His personal reflection on the life lessons of the Jewish partisans can be found below
Although it is hard to put myself in the position of those who lived through the Shoah, I can reflect upon their heroic deeds and try to incorporate their lessons into my life.  

Picture above is Jewish partisan Abba Kovner, who inspired Avery's winning essay.

Many people bemoan the apathy of today’s youth, viewing them as self-centered and disinterested in the world at large. The youth of Iran’s recent protests contradict that view. Their actions, as well as those of the heroic youth of the resistance movement, are praiseworthy. Liberty and freedom must be preserved at all and any cost. Acts of valor, even those from long ago, still inspire today. 
Winning essayist Avery Lubin with educator Rabbi Jeffrey Kobrin

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

JPEF is Proud to Announce the Winners of Our First Annual Youth Writing Contest

JPEF is proud to announce the winners of our First Annual Youth Writing Contest.

From 500 entries representing 15 states across the country in public, private, Jewish and parochial schools the six top essays were chosen as winners: three from 8th-9th grades and three from 10th-12th grades. The students wrote about what the life lessons of the Jewish partisans meant to them. The life lessons are:
  • Stand up to tyranny, oppression and discrimination…early.
  • Question authority.
  • Young people can make a difference.

Many of the students wrote about their own personal experiences about the life lessons (listed above). The subjects ranged from Darfur to helping children with disabilities.

Essays remained anonymous to our volunteer readers. Each essay was read three times by three different readers.

"I was impressed by the caliber of the writing entries and the tremendous enthusiasm shown by the students and teachers from all over the country," stated Paul Orbuch, JPEF Board Co-Chair.

The winners were:

Lower Division (8th-9th Grades):

First place: 9th grader from Manhattan High School for Girls, NY
Second place: 8th grader from North Shore Hebrew Academy Middle School, NY
Third place: 8th grader from Tecumseh Junior High School, IN

Upper Division (10th-12th Grades):

First place: 12th grader from North Shore Hebrew Academy High School, NY
Second place: 11th grader from Solomon Schechter High School of Long Island, NY
Third place: 11th grader from Solomon Schechter High School of Long Island, NY

JPEF’s Writing Contest allowed “young people to think deeply about a piece of history that has only recently come into the public spotlight. In doing so, young people across the country have reasoned that the stories of the Jewish partisans are relevant to their own lives and critical to their understand of the Holocaust," commented David Monblatt, JPEF Advisory Board Member.

The top ten essays reflected on the stories of:


We want to take the opportunity to thank all of the students who participated in the contest, and all of the administrators, educators and mentors who encouraged their participation. We would also like to thank the 35 volunteer readers who helped us judge this contest.

These essays were deeply touching and inspiring to all of us here at JPEF: the staff, board members and partisans. We look forward to hosting the contest again next year.

For further information or questions about the contest, please contact Rachel at

The Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation is a non-profit organization based in San Francisco, California. JPEF is the only organization in the world solely focused on bringing the history and life lessons of the Jewish partisans to educational and cultural institutions across the globe.

The Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation