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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Two JPEF Jewish Partisan Birthdays in December

Blaichman in Polish partisan uniform, 1945
This month, Jewish partisan Frank Blaichman celebrated his 88th birthday. Frank was only 16 years old when the Germans invaded Poland. Month by month, life became harder until in 1942, the Jews of Frank's hometown of Kamionka, were to be resettled in a ghetto. Determined to keep his freedom, Frank left his family and eventually joined other Jews hiding in a nearby forest. When Frank was only 21 years old, he became the youngest platoon commander in a partisan unit. Frank met his wife, Cesia, while they were both in partisan units.

Frank has documented his stories and experiences from his life as a partisan in his book: Rather Die Fighting. Purchase this incredible resource here.

Frank has appeared in multiple JPEF documentaries including "Antisemitism in the Partisans" and "Introduction to the Partisans."

Eta Wrobel portrait, 1945
Polish Jewish partisan Eta Wrobel (z"l) was also born on December 28, 1918. She was the only child in a family of ten to survive the Holocaust. Eta described herself to be "born a fighter." In 1942 Eta's ghetto was forced into concentration camps, but Eta and her father escaped into the woods. Eta helped to organize an all Jewish partisan unit of about 80 people. At one point Eta was shot in the leg and dug the bullet out of her leg with a knife.

Because of her exceptional military skills, she was active on missions with men and made important strategic decisions.

Eta is featured in the JPEF film, "Women in the Partisans," and she also inspired the original JPEF poster and sticker images.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bold Plans for JPEF's Future

JPEF's staff and board are thoughtfully planning the organization's next 10 years. Existing programs
are being strengthened and new ones are being developed to reach thousands of educators and
millions of students. "We want to reach every 6th-12th grade student in public, private, and parochial
schools, ensuring that they all learn about and are inspired by the history and the life lessons of the
Jewish partisans," says JPEF board co-chair Elliott Felson. To accomplish that goal, JPEF has
introduced the E-Learning Platform, a new technology that has the potential to reach millions more
and will have a far-reaching and profound impact in the field of education.

JPEF will also focus on strengthening its relationship with over 5,000 educators and organizations
who currently use JPEF material making them easily accessible to every educator who wants to use
them. This will include the establishment of an endowment, a planned giving campaign, and plans to
promote JPEF programs in Israel, Europe, and the former Soviet Union. These efforts ensure that
JPEF's bold vision will become a reality. For more information, please contact JPEF's executive
director, Mitch Braff,


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Class Trip to Yad Vashem

Ilana Fine Bar-hai (see Meet a JPEF Educator) recently took her class to Yad Vashem. During the visit, her class used the JPEF website to do research.

Israeli student learns about Jewish partisan Brenda Senders