The Polish Rescuers Projects

The Interfaith Coalition to Honor Polish Rescuers sponsored a year-long series of activities to enhance community awareness of these individuals and their noble deeds. On May 4, 2000, there was a remembrance ceremony to commemorate victims of the Holocaust and to honor Polish rescuers.

The Polish Rescuers Project

The Interfaith Coalition to Honor Polish Rescuers is a group of religious and secular organizations and individuals gathered to recognize the Polish rescuers--the largest group of Righteous honored by Yad Vashem.

The Avenue of the Righteous, an interfaith organization of Chicago's North Shore that honors and remembers the Righteous, initiated a year-long project to celebrate the Polish Righteous' good deeds.

After inviting other groups to join the project--and receiving a tremendous response--the Avenue organized the InterfaithCoalition to Honor Polish Rescuers.

Through awareness of these heroic individuals, we aim to encourage brave and virtuous behavior by all people in their daily lives. By remembering ordinary people who did extraordinary things, we highlight the value of moral courage, and treating those who are different with care and respect.

Sponsored by the Interfaith Coalition to Honor Polish Rescuers, the Polish Rescuers Project is a year-long series of activities to enhance community awareness of these individuals and their noble deeds. Programs are planned to promote education, culture, dialogue and the support of those aging rescuers in need.

Our Partner Organizations

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) is a national organization that aims

  1. to safeguard the welfare and security of Jews throughout the world,
  2. to strengthen the basic principles of pluralism around the world, as the best defense against anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry and
  3. to enhance the quality of American Jewish life by helping to ensure Jewish continuity and deepen ties between American and Israeli Jews.

The Association of Descendents of the Shoah-Illinois is dedicated to remembering those who perished in the Shoah (Holocaust). To carry on the spirit of the survivors' mission ("to ensure that their legacy will be carried on through future generations"), the Association provides a variety of programming for descendants and the community at large.

Avenue of the Righteous

The Chicago Friends of the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous promotes local awareness and support for the New York-based Jewish Foundation for the Righteous (JFR). Rabbi Harold Schulweis created the JFR in 1986 to fulfill the traditional Jewish commitment to hakarat hatov, the searching out and recognition of goodness. it is the only organization that provides direct financial assistance to those aging Righteous who are in need. Currently the Foundation cares for 1,700 surviving Righteous in 30 countries. Close to 1,000 of these people are in Poland. Through its educational programs, the Foundation also educates future generations about the rescuers' extraordinary acts and the importance of moral courage.

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is the umbrella body for 40 major Jewish organizations in the Chicago area, and it is the community relations arm of the Jewish Federation/Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago. The JCRC serves as the instrument through which diverse Jewish organizations collectively make policy on behalf of its constituent members. It also mobilizes the community for action by interacting with government officials, the media, and other ethnic and religious communities.

The Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Center for Theology and Ministry at Catholic Theological Union prepares future church leaders through academic training and scholarships, and sponsors theological research, public discussion, and topical conferences. The Center is committed to fostering the understanding and study of issues closely associated with the late Cardinal Bernardin, including Catholic-jewish dialogue and peacemaking.

The Lira Ensemble is a professional performing arts company that specializes in Polish music, song, and dance. The Lira Ensemble includes five performing groups that present the music of Poland, sung in the Polish language, and Polish folk and court dances. The company's repertoire includes popular and folk songs and dances, as well as classical selections. The mission of the Lira Ensemble is to help acquaint Polish Americans with the richness of their thousand-year-old heritage of music and dance, and to help other Americans learn about and appreciate Polish culture and traditions.

National-Louis University is a private, not-for-profit university that educates a broad range of students, including those who historically have had limited access to higher education. The mission of National-Louis University is to develop highly competent and humane individuals for service and leadership through quality academic programs. The education provided by National-Louis University enables the learner to fulfill personal and professional goals as a citizen of a diverse society and a global community.

For more than 75 years, the Polish American Association has helped several generations of individuals who have left their homeland to begin new lives in America. Founded in 1922 as the Polish Welfare Association, it is the nation's only human services organization that provides comprehensive bilingual and bicultural services to the Polish community. Each month over 3,000 people are served through education, employment, immigration, outreach and an array of social services. These services target the poor, seniors, youth, the homeless, and victims of domestic violence. Specific programs include substance abuse treatment, parenting classes and homemaker services to the elderly and disabled.

The Polish American Leadership Initiative (PALI) was recently formed in order to enhance the participation of the Polish American community in the affairs of the greater community to maximize its representation and influence at every level. PALI will be a resource to existing organizations and a catalyst for the empowerment of the Polish American community through initiatives promoting leadership, representation, community service and cultural heritage.

The Polish American Priests Association is a national organization that brings together priests of Polish American heritage working with and for Polonia in the United States. The organization creates a forum for priests to share ideas, to support each other, and to develop a pastoral plan for ministry to Polonia. The Chicago chapter was founded in 1990.

The School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) is an international congregation of Roman Catholic women religious ministers headquartered in Rome, Italy. Represented in 31 countries around the globe, the SSND is one of the largest mission-sending congregations with about 5,000 members. In response to contemporary society's varied needs, the SSND responds as educators, and it views education as a means of transforming the world into a more just place.

Individual Partners:

  • Consulate General of Israel
  • Consulate General of Poland
  • Lisa Derman
  • Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.
  • Rabbi Samuel Gordon
  • Ambassador John Kordek
  • Rabbi Harold Kudan
  • Rev. John Pawlikowski, O.S.M.
  • Rev. Francis Rog, C.R.
  • Rabbi Herman Schaalman
  • Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky
  • Maynard Wishner
  • Alderman Michael Wojcik

The Coalition welcomes your contributions to help fund these ongoing activities, as well as continuing to provide direct financial help to those aging Polish Rescuers who are in financial need. Checks should be made payable to "Avenue of the Righteous-PRP" and mailed to 840 Vernon Avenue, Glencoe, Illinois, 60022.

Interfaith Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony

Program - May 4, 2000 7:30 p.m. at St. Hyacinth Parish Hall


Ellen Fisher, Cellist

Largo, from Cello Sonata, Op.65, by Frederic Chopin


Rev. Francis Rog, C.R.

St. Hyacinth Parish


Maurine Pyle

President, Avenue of the Righteous, Co-Chair, Interfaith Coalition to Honor Polish Rescuers


Lisa Derman

President, Holocaust Foundation of Illinois

The Polish Righteous of Chicago

Brian Abrahams

Expression of Gratitude

Michael Zolno

President, Association of Descendants of the Shoah-Illinois


Ellen Fisher, Cellist

Biale Roze, by M. Kozar-Slobodzki


Rev. John T. Pawlikowski, O.S.M.

Co-Director of Catholic-Jewish Studies, Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Center at Catholic Theological Union


Rev. John T. Pawlikowski, O.S.M.

Co-Director of Catholic-Jewish Studies, Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Center at Catholic Theological Union

Rabbi Herman E. Schaalman

Rabbi Emeritus, Emanuel Congregation

Lighting of Memorial Candles

Jill Gardner, Narrator

Chicago Friends of the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous

Co-Chair, Interfaith Coalition to Honor Polish Rescuers


Rabbi Harold Kudan

Am Shalom Congregation

Co-Founder, Avenue of the Righteous

Memorial Candlelighting

I. In memory of the six million Jewish lives lost in the Holocaust

Honorable Tzipora Rimon, Consul General of Israel, accompanied by Taylor Horn, granddaughter of survivors Dr. and Mrs. Felix Horn.

II. In memory of the millions of non-Jewish Poles who died in the Holocaust

Honorable Ryszard Sarkowicz, Consul General of Poland, accompanied by Roksana Pietrasienska, daughter of Polish Consul Pawel Peitrasienski.

III. In memory and honor of the Righteous who risked their lives to save others

Zophia Kuklo, Righteous Among the Nations, accompanied by Samantha Lula, her granddaughter.

IV. In memory of the Polish and American soldiers who died fighting the Nazis

Nathan Firestone, Jewish-American War Veterans, accompanied by Ben Rothschild, his grandson. Wieslaw Chodorowski, President, Home Army Foundation, accompanied by Aleksandra Niebrugge, his granddaughter.

V. In memory of Sister Maria Antonina Kratochwil and all of the Polish priests and sisters who helped Jews in need

Sister Libera Mezzari, School Sisters of notre Dame, accompanied by Erin Barth, St. Mary of Celle School.

VI. To hope and to life

Beata Bors, Polish American Association Youth Program Hershel Zolno, Association of Descendants of the Shoah

Program Speakers

Lisa Derman is a Holocaust survivor and was a resistance fighter during the Nazi occupation of Europe. Mrs. Derman has spoken extensively on radio and television, and in schools, universities, seminars, churches, synagogues, and Jewish and Christian organizations about her experiences. In 1992, Lisa Derman and her husband Aron took a group of 110 high school and college students to Warsaw, Aushwitz, Treblinks, and Majdanek. A documentary film about this trip ("Journey of Remembrance") received two Emmy Awards, a certificate of merit at the International Television Festival, and many other awards. Lisa and Aron Derman were featured in the video "Voices...Memories of Survivors in Chicagoland", as well as Bill Curtis' Investigative Reports "The Nazi's Secret Killing Squads" on A&E. Mrs. Derman is currently the president of the Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois, and the director of its Speaker Bureau.

Reverand John T. Pawlikowski is America's leading Catholic expert on the Holocaust, and he is co-director of the Catholic-Jewish Studies program within the Cardinal Bernardin Center at Catholic Theological Union. Father Pawlikowski is a founding member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council; a member of the Advisory Committee on Catholic Jewish Relations for the National Conference of Catholic bishops; past co-chair of the National Polish-American/Jewish-American Council; and vice-president of the American Association for Polish-Jewish Studies. His work has been recognized with the Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Award for Distinguished Contributions to Religion and the Distinguished Service Award from the American-Jewish Committee, among others. Author of numerous books, Father Pawlikowski graduated from Loyola University of Chicago, studied at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, and was ordained in 1967.

Rabbi Herman E. Schaalman is a native of Munich, Germany, and was ordained at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. Rabbi Schaalman has been affiliated with Emanuel Congregation of Chicago since 1955. Rabbi Schaalman has served as past president of numerous Boards of Directors, including the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Chicago Board of Rabbis, the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, and the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago. He currently serves as chair of the Advisory Committee of teh American Jewish Committee, and he is a member of the Education Committee of the American Jewish Committee, and he is a member of the Eucation Committee of the National Holocaust Musuem. Rabbi Schaalman holds the Jewish Chautauqua Society resident lectureship at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, and at Chicago Theological Seminary. Rabbi Schaalman has received many awards: he was named one of the outstanding foreign-born citizens of Chicago; in the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago bestowed on him their highest awards, The Julius Rosenwald Medallion.

Special Thanks Barbara Glatt & Jeff Liggett of ANET Internet Solutions, The Lira Ensemble, and St. Hyacinth Parish. Find out more about Polish rescuers and partner organizations of the Polish Rescuers Project.

In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer, Written by Irene Gut Opdyke as told to Jennifer Armstrong, ©2001 Alfred A. Knof, Inc.

In September, 1939 Irene Gut was a teenager in Poland studying to become a nurse. She was on her way to the hospital when the German blitzkrieg began dropping bombs on her native land, shattering her dreams and separating her from her family. Later ordered to work as a housekeeper for an officer of the Third Reich, Irene Gut found herself fighting back in a unique and brave manner--by hiding Jews inside the very house she was working and living in. For the first time ever, after years of suppressing the haunting memories and images of man's cruel injustices towards his fellow man, here is her story, told in wonderfully simple and human terms. More than the courageous tale of her one-woman effort to save the lives of those around her, In My Hands is the story of humankind's potential for altruism and brotherhood--made all the more valiant by the risks Irene Gut took, risks that could well have ended in her own execution.

One of the few non-Jews to be awarded the Israeli Medal of Honor by Yad Vashem Study Center and Memorial to the Holocaust, Irene Gut Opdyke's story is a remarkable eyewitness account of life in Eastern Europe during the middle of the twentieth century: of its poignancy as well as its pain, of its loves as well as its losses. In My Hands chronicles the forced growth of one girl from teenager to adult, and through her eyes we see the gruesomeness of the Holocaust and its effect on people on both sides of the war. That Irene Gut Opdyke survived at all, and risked her life so that other could survive it, is a testament to a bravery, a faith, and an ingenuity that belied her years. More so, Into the Flames is a testament to mankind's refusal in the face of life-threatening and overwhelming odds to succumb to the forces of evil. An inspiring book that should be added to both historical and non-fiction collections.

To purchase the book, visit Penguin Random House here.

Portrait of a Rescuer: Featuring the Deeds of Marisia Szul

Untold Stories

In the darkness of the Holocaust during World War II, there were some shining lights. You may recognize names like Schindler and Wallenberg-but what about the thousands of untold stories? Over 17,000 non-Jews have been recognized by yad Vashem, as "righteous Among the Nations" for risking their lives to save Jewish ones--often complete strangers.

Some saved a single life; some saved hundreds, or even thousands. Today, descendents of those rescued number in the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands.

For two years while thousands perished in ghettos and concetration camps, Marisia Szul and her mother, at great personal risk, cared for the refugees hidden on their farm. Marisia's selfless deed was recognized and she is honored as part of the Avenue of the Righteous. To read about her story, go to Marisia Szul under Stories of the Righteous.

The October 29, 2000, Marisia Szul's deeds were shared through a short film, play and panel discussion.



Rabbi David Kudan

Am Shalom


Howard Stolar

Co-founder, Chicago Friends of Jewish Foundation for the Righteous


Short Film of Marisia's Story

Angel in the Night

1-80 Drama Co.
Pawlina (Marisia)--Becca Kotler
Golda--Cassandra Bissel
Domicela--Rebecca Spence
Bruno--Julian Stetkevych
Ernst--Seth Zurer
Mania--Rebecca Spence
Stanislaus--Saket Soni

Read more about the cast below.

Meet Marisia Szul

Howard Stolar

Panel Discussion with Audience

Maurine Pyle

President, Avenue of the Righteous Co-Chair, Interfaith Coalition to Honor Polish Rescuers

Panelists:Marisia Szul, Mania Birnberg, Frieda (Schachter) Weinberg, and Martin Schachter

Concluding Remarks

Jill Gardner

Co-Founder, Chicago Friends of Jewish Foundation for the Righteous
Co-Chair, Interfaith Coalition to Honor Polish Rescuers

Special Thanks

On behalf of the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous--and the people they support--we thank all of our donors, with special recognition to the following individuals and groups for their generous help:

BENEFACTORS ($1000.00)

Carol Wolk Interiors
Hugh & Mary Suenaga
Mel & Bobbi Adess

SPONSORS ($500.00)

Hugh Balsam
Jill Gardner
Maurine Pyle

PATRON ($250.00)

Elizabeth Feldman
Joan Davis Levin

DONATIONS of Goods and Services

Concorde Printing & Copying Inc.
I-80 Drama Company
Am Shalom
Randolph Flower Shop

Other Midwestern Polish Rescuers

Most Rescuers were unassuming, ordinary individuals. What motivated them ot risk their lives--and the lives of their families--to save others? Many have said simply, "It was the right thing to do." Some attributed their actions to their conscience. Most, however, ultimately gave credit to God, "It's what God would want me to do," "it's how I was raised as a Christian," or "God gave me the strength to help His chosen people." Here are brief overviews of the Polish Rescuers who are current or pst residents of the Midwest.

Kamille Pelc

Mrs. Pelc's husband died in a Russian POW camp, and she was left alone with her six-year-old son, Karol. In 1941, she agreed to care for two-year-old Irene, a Jewsih child whose parents were sent to a work camp. Mrs. Pelc managed to avoid German searches, and she and Karol treated Irene as a daughter and a little sister. Three years later, when Irene's parents returned, their gaunt appearance frightened the child, and she refused to leave the house with these unrecognizable "strangers". Kamille again agreed to keep Irene for six more months, and at the age of six, she returned to her parents.

Jan Roscieszewki, Stefania Wiluszynska calow, and Janina Wiluszynska Maciuba

In 1942, sixteen-year-old Shalom Brayer approached his non-Jewish classmate, Jan Roscieszewski, in a small town in Poland. He asked for help finding a hiding place for his family of four. Instead of taking them to his home with many Ukrainian and German neighbors, Jan found an underground burrow where he brought bread and milk to feed the family. He shared his secret with his two fifteen-year-old cousins, Janina and Stefina. They then helped him to prepare and bring food to Shalom and his family. The entire operation was conducted with the knowledge of their parents, but it was initiated and carried out by teenagers.

Stefania Hingler and Kazimierz Pierz

Mrs. Stefania Hingler, a retired opera singer in her sixties, hid Ziegfried Rappaport for two yers. She also hid his wife, Lidia, for one year, after a failed attempt to escape as a Polish woman. After her neighbors noticed the increase in food consumption and laundry on the line, Mrs. Hingler enlisted the help of Mr. Pierz, who brought additional food and took the laundry. Mr. Pierz also delivered correspondence between the hidden couple and their family elsewhere. Lidia Rapport's father wrote to Mr. Pierz, "You are a real hero who deserves honor."

To read more stories of Midwestern Polish Rescuers who have been honored at the Avenue of the Righteous, click here:

Helena, Ignazy and Cezary Chorazyczewski
Zofia and Francizcek Kuklo
Albina Przybyszewska Kusek

About the Actors & I-80 Drama Company

Cassandra Bissel (narrator, Golda, others): Cassandra is a graduate of the University of Chicago. Recent credits include "Desdemonda" with Tri-Arts Productions and "The Berlin Circle" at Steppenwolf Theatre. Cassandra has also appeared in various productions in Pittsburgh and Buffalo.

Becca Kotler (Pawlina, others): Becca is a fourth year student at the University of Chiago where she most recently performed in "As You Like It." Becca will appear in greasy joan and co.'s upcoming production of "A Family Affair."

Rebecca Spense (Domicela, Mania, others): Rebecca most recently made her Chicago debut in "Desdemona" with Tri-Arts Productions, and has performed extensively in Texas. She currently works at the Goodman Theatre.

Saket Soni (Stanislaus, others): Saket is a graduate of the University of Chicago where he most recently directed "As You Like It" and "Arabian Nights." He has assistant directed at the Court Theatre, the Goodman Theatre, and greasy joan and co. As an actor, he appeared in "The Berlin Circle" at Steppenwolf Theatre.

Julian Stetkevych (Bruno, others): Julian is a graduate of the University of Chicago While there he appeared in "Travesties," "Macbeth," and performed with Off-Off Campus improv troupe. He also appeared in "The Berlin Circle" at Steppenwolf Theatre.

Seth Zurer (Ernst, others): Seth is a recent graduate of the University of Chicago, where he appeared in "Travesties," "The BathHouse," "The Seagull," and "As You Like It," among others. He has also worked as a drama teacher throughout Chicago.

Chloe Johnston (director): Chloe is a founding member of I-80 Drama Company. She currently works as the Arts in Education Associate at the Goodman Theatre.

I-80 Drama Company: Based in New York and Chicago, I-80 Drama Company is an ensemble of artists committed to the workshop process and the creation of work that affects social action and conversation.

The Honor of Humanity Project

The Marisia Szul Story

In 1942 in a village near Zborov, Poland, a young Polish girl named Marisia Szul made a heroic decision. At the age of fourteen years, she risked death for herself and her village by hiding Jews in her family's barn. Among those she hid in a shallow bunker were a Jewish woman, her infant son, and two young girls. For two years, Marisia was their sole protector and provider.

By 1944, the Germans suspected Marisia of hiding Jews and arrested her. She was brutally beaten and tortured, yet she never revealed anything, repeating that she knew nothing. Through the help of one of the guards, she escaped and returned to her village, running barefoot for seventy miles to find that her wards were safe. When asked how she found the courage to save others, Marisia simply replied: "I do what I could."

The Vision

The compelling story of Marisia Szul's courage has inspired a vision of a drama for young audiences which will communicate the idea that each of us has the ability to unconditionally love and care for our fellow logo of play project human beings. The play will engage the audience in an examination of universal values: courage, fear, heroism, sacrifice, moral dilemmas.

Through this play and the immediacy of live theater, young audiences will experience the challenges faced by people during the war years and the Holocaust. In addition, a specifically designed educational component of this project will encourage students to relate the issues addressed in the play to the difficult choices they face today. The play provides an excellent opportunity for all individuals to reflect and rekindle the light of hope that lies within. To order the play, visit Dramatic Publishing Co.

Goals for the Porject
  1. Commission and produce an original play inspired by the true story of Marisia Szul.
  2. Sponsor a Touring Company to stage the play through Illinois, the United States, and abroad.
  3. Provide educational study materials and teach support for classroom learning experiences before and after the play (including creative drama, music, history, creative writing, poetry, etc.)
  4. Create and produce a sixty minute broadcast-quality documentary of the Marisia Szul story and the Honor of Humanity Project to include footage of: A return trip to Poland for Marisia, those she saved, and the playwright; the writing and staging of the original play; and the play production.
About the Play

The play will be inspired by righteous acts of Marisia Szul, as she protected Jews during the Holocaust. The play will portray the courage of Marisia, the plight of her Jewish charges, their determination to live, and their hopes for the future. While the play is intended for young audiences, adults will find it equally compelling.

The play, approximately 90 minutes in length, will be performed by university students from National-Louis Children's Theater Company. National-Louis will serve as the executive producer and originating theater for the play under the direction of Rene Alexander Roy. Award-winning playwright Joanna Kraus has been commissioned to write the play. National-Louis University has agreed to commission and produce the play in affiliation with the Avenue of the Righteous.

Advisory Board

Honorable Joan Barr, Mayor of Evanston, Illinois, Dr. James W. Compton, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chicago Urban League, Bishop R. Sheldon Duecker, Northern Illinois Conference, United Methodist Church, Monsignor John Egan, Assistant to the President for Community Affairs at DePaul University, Sister Anna Marie Erst, S.H.C.J., Eugene J. Fisher, Catholic-Jewish Relations, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Wilbur H. Gantz, President, Baxter International Inc., Justice Arthur J. Goldberg (1908-1990), Dr. Neil Harris, Professor of History, University of Chicago, Wayne E. Hedien, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Allstate Insurance Company, Dr. Orley Herron, President, National-Louis University, Rabbi Harold Kudan, Founding Member of the Avenue of the Righteous, Am Shalom Congregation, Dr. Andre La Cocque, Director, Center for Jewish-Christian Studies, Dr. Robert Leininger, State Superintendent of Education, State Board of Education, Rabbi Sholomo Levine, President, Board of Rabbis, Ezra Habonim Congregation, William A. Lofquist, Director, Associates for Youth Development, Inc. Bruce Osborne, Senior Vice President, Harris Trust & Savings Bank, Father John Pawlikowski, O.S.M., Ph.D., Catholic Theological Union, Honorable Dan Pierce, Mayor of Highland Park, Illinois, Senator Paul Simon, State of Illinois, Studs Turkel, WFMT Fine Arts, Reverend Dr. David Tracy, Founding Member of the Avenue of the Righteous, North Shore United Methodist Church, Sister Margaret Ellen Traxler, Director, Institute of Women Today, Reverend David M. Whitermore , Executive Director, Church Federation of Greater Chicago

Artistic Director

Artistic Director Rene Roy is the Director of the Theater Arts Program at National-Louis University. A graduate of Northwestern's M.F.A. Directing Program, Rene has also served on the Executive Board of the Illinois Theater Association. He has directed dozens of production ranging from Shakespeare to theater for young audiences. His professional directing credits include: Theatrical Director for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra "Pied Piper Fantasy" with flautist James Galaway; and Creative Consultant for NBC's Emmy nominated children's program "Flying Whales and Peacock Tales."


Joanna Halpert Kraus, Ed.D., is best known for her literary work which encompasses stories, articles, and plays. Her full-length plays for young audiences have been widely produced and include The Ice World, Mean to be Free, The Last Baron of Arizona, and Circus Home. In 1971, the Children's Theatre Association awarded Joanna Kraus the Charlotte Chorpenning Award for achievement in play wrighting, and in 1976 she received a CAPS (Creative Artists Public Service) Fellowship in Playwrighting from New York State Council on the Arts. Her play Kimchi Kid was a finalist in the Second IUPUI Children's Theatre Playwrighting Competition and Symposium. Her most recent play, Remember My Name, won first place in the same competition in 1998 and is published by Samuel French. Dr. Kraus serves as professor of Theater at State University of New York, Brockport.

Building Bridges: A Dialogue Between Polish and Jewish Teens

Building Bridges was a weekend retreat that brought together Polish and Jewish teens on December 2-3rd, 2000. General sessions included a talk by Rabbi Herman Schaalman and Father John Cusick; a trust-building challenge course; a workshop by Chuck Meyers (Facing History and Ourselves); an interactive program by Imagination Theatre about stereotypes an prejudice; and a moving talk by Lisa and Aaron Derman about being rescued during the Holocaust by non-Jewish Poles. Each of these sessions was followed by small groups that helped kids talk further about these sessions.