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The International School for Holocaust Studies

Sponsors


Adelson Family Foundation

Adelson Family Foundation

The Adelson Family Foundation was established in 2007 by Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson.
The primary purpose of the Foundation is to strengthen the State of Israel and the Jewish people.




Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany

Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany works to secure compensation and restitution for survivors of the Holocaust.
Since 1951, the Claims Conference - working in partnership with the State of Israel - has negotiated for and distributed payments from Germany, Austria, other governments, and certain industry; recovered unclaimed German Jewish property; and funded programs to assist the neediest Jewish victims of Nazism.


The International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims

The International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims

ICHEIC was established in 1998 following negotiations among European insurance companies and U.S. insurance regulators, as well as representatives of international Jewish and survivor organizations and the State of Israel.
ICHEIC's settlement agreements with various insurance companies and the German Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility, and Future" provide for funds to be made available for humanitarian purposes related to the Holocaust.
The ICHEIC Program for Holocaust Education in Europe is charged with preserving and perpetuating the memory of the Holocaust and its lessons, combating the rise in antisemitism, safeguarding human rights and preventing racism and xenophobia.


The Asper Foundation

The Asper Foundation

Established in April 2002, The Asper International Holocaust Studies Program at the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem supports a biannual international conference on Holocaust education, professional development seminars for teachers at Yad Vashem and abroad.
As a result of the generous support of the Asper Foundation, Winnipeg, Canada, major efforts have been made over the past few years to promote Holocaust education. It appears that teachers not only need to learn more about the facts of what happened during the Holocaust, but also be better equipped on how to approach the teaching of this difficult and complex subject matter in their classrooms. Our mission is to provide teachers with study seminars and in-service training courses that include both factual knowledge and pedagogical guidelines on how to teach the Holocaust.


Dutch Jewish Humanitarian Fund

Dutch Jewish Humanitarian Fund

The Dutch Jewish Humanitarian Fund (JHF) started operating in 2002. The organization was established as a result of the negotiations on Jewish war claims in the Netherlands. In 1999 and 2000 the Dutch government, the Netherlands Bankers' Association, the Association of Insurers, the Amsterdam Stock Exchange Association, and the Amsterdam EOE Index acknowledged that the process for restitution of money and stolen goods by the Nazis following the Second World War was unsatisfactory. In a historic settlement, with the Central Jewish Board of the Netherlands (CJO) and Platform Israel (representative organization of Dutch Jews in Israel), 347 million euros was collectively provided to the Dutch-Jewish community. Of this amount, 181.51 million euros was contributed by the Dutch government.
The Jewish community saw this settlement as supporting its position that whatever possessions could not be returned to the individuals entitled to them or their heirs after the Shoah should be entrusted to the Jewish community in the Netherlands, as moral heir of the Dutch Shoah victims.
In the settlement between the Dutch Jewish community, the Platform Israel, and the Dutch government, it was agreed to allocate part of the Dutch government's contribution toward a fund to support projects dedicated to restoring Jewish life in former communist countries, providing Jewish education, promoting mutual respect between people, and supporting civilian victims in war zones. The JHF was conceived as a joint initiative of the Dutch government and the Dutch-Jewish community. The formal background of the Dutch Jewish Humanitarian Fund can be found in the letter of the Dutch government to parliament of 21 March 2000 (Tweede Kamer, vergaderjaar 1999/2000, 25839, no. 13).
Since 2002, when the Foundation was established and announcements placed in newspapers, the JHF has disbursed annual grants to qualified projects.


Genesis Philanthropy Group

Genesis Philanthropy Group

The mission of Genesis Philanthropy Group is to develop and enhance Jewish identity among Russian-speaking Jews worldwide, with a particular emphasis on the former Soviet Union, North America, and Israel, where up to three million Russian-speaking Jews reside.
We are committed to supporting and launching projects, programming, and institutions that are focused on ensuring that Jewish culture, heritage, and values are preserved in Russians-speaking Jewish communities across the globe. We believe that informed and engaged Russian-speaking Jews will enrich their communities, strengthen the Jewish people, and contribute to the betterment of humanity.


The Kennedy Leigh Charitable Trust

The Kennedy Leigh Charitable Trust

The Kennedy Leigh Charitable Trust is a Family Trust founded by the late Michael Kennedy Leigh. Based in London, the Trust supports various projects in Britain and Israel.


Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation

Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation

Edmond J. Safra created a major philanthropic foundation to ensure that needy individuals and organizations would continue to receive assistance and encouragement for many years to come. Following his passing in 1999, and now under the chairmanship of his beloved wife Lily, the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation draws continuing inspiration from its founder's life and values. With Mrs. Safra's leadership, the Foundation has assisted hundreds of organizations in over 50 countries around the world, and its work encompasses four grantmaking areas: Education; Science and Medicine; Religion; and Humanitarian Assistance, Culture, and Social Welfare.


World Holocaust Forum Foundation

World Holocaust Forum Foundation

The World Holocaust Forum Foundation is an international organization dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and its important lessons for all of humanity. The Foundation has been charged with two major functions. The first of which is the organization and administration of International Holocaust Forums on a continuing basis. The Forums are unique in that they call for the direct participation of World Leaders in the examination and the advancement of Holocaust awareness and commemoration in their respective nations and throughout the world. Moreover, the Forum will monitor the state of global anti-Semitism and will work in conjunction with the respective world leaders for its eradication.
The Foundation’s second major function is the creation and administration of the European Holocaust education program. Founded upon the initiative of Yad Vashem and the European Jewish Congress, the education program will commence with teaching seminars that will create a core of European educators that will be able to disseminate Holocaust education throughout the various European nations. This core of educators will in turn be able to instruct other educators in each of the individual nations as well as prepare instruction materials in each of the European languages. Furthermore, the materials will be culturally sensitive so that this essential information can be imparted in the most efficient manner.
The Foundation was established in 2005 following the First International Holocaust Forum in Krakow, Poland and marked the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of KL Auschwitz-Birkenau. Recognizing that the world will soon lose the last of the survivors of the Holocaust and in light of the troubling upsurge of global anti-Semitism, the World Holocaust Forum Foundation is committed to eternalizing the knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust and to foster tolerance between religions and nationalities in the aspiration of eliminating all forms of anti-Semitism, racism, and xenophobia. The Foundation currently has offices in Moscow, Geneva, and Jerusalem.
Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor, the founder of the Forum, is a prominent public personality, international philanthropist and entrepreneur, who has greatly contributed to revitalizing Jewish life inside and outside Europe.


The Ted Arison Family Foundation

The Ted Arison Family Foundation

The Ted Arison Family Foundation was established in 1993 by the late businessman Ted Arison and his daughter, Shari.
The Foundation's worldview is giving that is based on three core Jewish values: Tzedakah, charity; Hesed, acts of loving-kindness; and Tikkun Olam, transforming the world - in the hope of bringing about essential change, encouraging excellence and social responsibility, and building a better society.
The private, family-held Foundation does not raise funds from outside sources.
Each year, the Foundation donates to various projects and to hundreds of associations and organizations that are active in the fields of health care; education; children and youth; culture, the arts and sports; populations in distress; disabilities; and scholarships and research.

The foundation kindly supports the program of training Israeli peripheral teachers to teach the Holocaust.


Gandel Philanthropy

Gandel Philanthropy

Gandel Philanthropy, originally founded in 1978, is the main vehicle of philanthropy for John and Pauline Gandel of Melbourne, Australia, and involves their entire family. All their married life, John and Pauline have worked together in the community and are known for their generosity and commitment to both Israeli, Jewish and general causes.



The Salomea Gruener Endowment Fund

Salomea Wiener was born in 1911 in Krakow. She lived with her parents until the outbreak of the war. Subsequently she and her fiancé, Henryk Gruener, left for Lviv, where they married in 1940. Towards the end of 1940, Salomea and Henryk Gruener were arrested and deported by Soviet authorities to Central Asia. Released in 1941, they joined the Polish army formed by Gen. Wladyslaw Anders in the USSR. Salomea and her husband worked for the army until 1945, initially in Teheran and then in Bombay, from where they emigrated to Australia after demobilization. In July 1942, Salomea’s parents were shot to death in the Krakow ghetto.
Salomea’s husband died in Melbourne, Australia, and since then she lived alone and childless, but with a close group of friends – mainly Jewish and mainly Holocaust survivors. In her latter years, Salomea lived at the Jewish Care facility in Melbourne. She had out-lived most of her friends by the time she passed away, and regretfully her funeral was a lonely affair.
Her commitment to the Jewish people is admirably testified by her substantial bequest to Yad Vashem and the establishment of the The Salomea Gruener Yad Vashem Scholarship.


Tessler Rudolph and Edith

Before World War II, Rudolph Tessler lived with his family in the town of Viseu-de-Sus in Romania; at that time it was home to 5,000 Jews. A large synagogue dominated the center of the city. Family and Middot were the center of his life, and the importance of his faith, his family was Hasidic, was evident in the celebrations of each holiday.
This came to an end when all of the Jewish people of this area were loaded onto trains during April and May 1944. Under the guise of being taken into Hungary to work in labor camps, between 8,000 and 14,000 Jews from this region were taken to Auschwitz instead.
As Rudolph Tessler's mother Esther Tessler stepped from the train in Auschwitz, shortly before she was sent to the gas chamber, she heard "Hello, Esther." In a polite tone, a young German SS officer greeted her as he would any old friend. His family lived down the road from the Tessler family in Viseu-de-Sus. They, like the rest of the town, admired Esther for her wonderful cooking, particularly the delicious cakes she brought them each Christmas. Now he ushered her and six of her children to their deaths.

In his memoir, Letter to my Children, From Romania to America via Auschwitz Rudolph wrote the following:
"Sixty-seven members of my family—my mother, her father, my three sisters, three of my brothers, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins—were murdered at Auschwitz." Of the thousands packed in trains and transported from Viseu to Auschwitz, just a small group survived to see liberation. Among the survivors were Tessler, his father, and two of his brothers – Hasidic Jews caught in the chaos and terror of the Holocaust.
Tessler's upbringing had emphasized community and family devotion—traits not forgotten in the concentration camps, where he and his family members often rescued one another from certain death. Few fathers and sons survived the concentration camps together. In spite of the odds, Tessler and his brother Buroch managed to stick together, sharing their father's labor assignments to protect him from death, preserving not only their family bond but also their spirituality. Tessler's father, always a source of strength and guidance to his family, provided counsel to many prisoners in the camp and eventually assumed the role of rabbi.
After surviving the selection in Birkenau, the Tessler’s were sent to the Warsaw Ghetto as slave laborers to help clean up the rubble after the uprising of the previous year. In the summer of 1944, they were taken on a death march to Muhldorf-Waldlager, a camp near Dachau.

Despite an environment in which their captors tried to reduce them to animals, Tessler's remaining family and seven other Jews from Viseu made a special effort to observe their faith. Bending rules in ways that risked their lives, they worked together to smuggle wheat, grind it into flour, and bake matzos to distribute for Passover. The group also secretly gathered to pray on the eve of Rosh Hashanah. These religious observances offered some comfort in the camp.
After liberation, Rudolph spent time at the Funk Kasserne camp, a transient DP camp in Munich and left to America on the Ernie Pyle September 13th, 1947. Over the next couple of years he worked as a waiter and brought his father and brothers, Mendel and Boruch, to America in 1949.
Rudolph met Edith Hoffman in New York City in 1950. Edith was originally from Papa, Hungary. Prior to the Shoah, her family had lived there for close to 200 years. They were an extremely wealthy and prominent family; her great grandfather was the Chasam Sofer, the renowned rabbi of Bratislava. She was the youngest survivor of a family of ten children. Her parents and seven brothers and sisters were murdered at Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen and Muhldorf as were her brother-in-law, nieces and nephew. Edith was one of the 25,000 Jewish women who were prisoners at Bergen-Belsen at the war’s end, and was just 17 years old when liberated. After the war, she recuperated in Sweden for close to three years and then came to America and lived with her sister Rose and her brother-in-law Marvin. After a courtship of several months Rudolph and Edith were married in 1951.

Shortly afterwards, they moved to Chicago Rudolph worked as a tailor for nearly two decades until he saved enough money to start a real estate business. With Edith by his side the business grew considerably.

Rudolph became a successful businessman. Always prioritizing the values of humanity, family and community in his work, he dedicated a major part of his life to public service, as did Edith. Together they donated generously to Israeli health care and educational institutions. In addition, The Tessler family are dedicated friends of Yad Vashem and are deeply committed to Holocaust remembrance. They have three children, Florence, David and Mordy and many grandchildren.


The Winnick Family Foundation

The Winnick Family Foundation

The Winnick Family Foundation was founded by Karen and Gary Winnick in 1983.
The Foundation focuses giving in the program areas of education, literacy, health care, art, culture, animal welfare and the needs of the worldwide Jewish community.
The Foundation encourages project-specific programs but also selectively supports capital campaigns and unrestricted gifts to grantee organizations.


The Najmann Family

Chuno Najmann was born in 1898 in Zdunska Wola, near Lodz, Poland, to an orthodox family of humble means. Blima Najmann, née Konopinski, was born in 1906 in Sosnowiec, near Krakow, Poland.
During the First World War, south-west Poland was occupied by the Imperial German Army, whose policy at the time towards boys nearing military age was deportation to Germany as forced laborers. Chuno was sent to Breslau, the capital of Upper Silesia (now Poland and renamed Wroclaw) to work on the railways.
After the war he stayed in Breslau and in 1924 married Blima Konopinski, the sister of a friend who had arrived under similar circumstances. He was 26 years old; she was 18.

Chuno worked in the textile trade and they made a comfortable home, rich in Jewish tradition for their four children: Isaak (John), born in 1924; Herbert, born in 1929; and twins Jechiel (Jochi) and Hanna, born in 1935. From 1933, when Hitler came to power, Jewish children could only be named from an official list draw up by the authorities.
By 1935 the family was preparing to make Aliyah. A "Certificate" had been granted and the family possessions were packed for shipping. However, when the twins were unexpectedly born, Chuno and Blima decided to give up their certificate for a later one, and the family remained in Germany.
Over the next few years the situation for Jews in Germany deteriorated rapidly and every avenue of escape was explored, but to no avail.
In 1938, Chuno was classified as "stateless person". Never having been able to obtain German nationality, he received an expulsion order as part of Hitler's early attempts to rid Germany of its "Jewish problem".
He left Germany illegally in December of that year and smuggled himself on foot into Belgium on New Year's Eve. From there he went to France, where he had relatives. His hopes of escaping the Nazis and bringing the rest of his family to Paris and then Palestine were again thwarted by the outbreak of war in September 1939. His attempt to enlist in the French army was also rejected. Isaak and Herbert were accepted for the Kindertransport and arrived separately in England in December 1938 and April 1939. Jochi and Hanna were too young to qualify. However, in June, when another transport was about to leave from Berlin, Blima took the twins to the station and begged the woman in charge to take them with her. Blima pinned labels on them with their names and Isaak's address in England. For the duration of the war, the children would be orphans – Isaak was 14, Herbert 10 and the twins were 4 years old.
With her children safely in England, Blima left Breslau for Poland (she had a Polish passport), hoping to make her own way to Paris to join Chuno. By now any escape for Jews was impossible and she was ordered into the ghetto in Pietrokow, where she worked as a nurse in the hospital.
Working in the typhus ward might explain why she survived the liquidation of the Pietrokow's Ghetto's 28,000 Jewish inhabitants in October 1942. They were either shot in the nearby Rakow forest or transported to the gas chambers of Treblinka. Blima was sent to the labour camp in Blizyn.
On Erev Pesach 1942, Chuno was arrested by the French police and handed over to the Gestapo. On July 27 at 10:30am, Chuno Najmann, with 742 Jewish women and 247 Jewish men, were transported for 'forced labour' in Convoy 11 from the train station at Le Bourget/Drancy – destination Auschwitz.
Convoy 11 arrived in Auschwitz on July 29 and the men received numbers 53829 through 54076, the women 12340 through 13081. Unusually no one from Convoy 11 was gassed on arrival. We have recently discovered the Chuno survived until September 30, when he was included in a selection from the hospital for the gas chambers. He was most probably murdered that same day. He was 44 years old.
In July 1944, Blima was transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. On surviving the initial selection (she had no children with her) she was tattooed with the number 15655 on her left forearm and became one of the hundreds of thousands of expendable slaves working for I.G Farben. She was 38 years old.
With the knowledge that her children were safe in England, she survived all the deprivations, hardship and horrors as well as numerous selections. "Some soot in the hair to mask the grey and a little blood on the cheeks to make you look healthier", she once remarked.
With the advance of the Russian Army came the notorious 'death march' towards Germany during the terrible winter of 1945, and finally liberation by the Russians in the vicinity of Terezin, Czechoslovakia.
On hearing of her survival, Isaak joined the American Army of Occupation to facilitate her recovery and arrange documentation for her to travel to England. They were reunited at Deggendorf Displaced Persons Camp near Munich in September 1945. Blima had last seen him as a boy of 14. Now he was a man of 20.
Recovering some of her health and overcoming many bureaucratic difficulties, she rejoined her children in England in 1946. Blima Najmann died in London in 1969 at the age of 63.
Herbert Najman joined the Machal in 1948, and has lived in Israel ever since.
Jochi and Hanna Nyman live in London.
Isaak Najmann married Hertha Friedlander, a fellow refugee from Vienna, and led a prosperous and fruitful life. He died at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem on May 27th, 1998, preparing to give the first of the Chuno and Blima Holocaust Educational Achievement Awards he had established in the memory of his beloved parents. He was 73 years old.