The Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines has commissioned two books to be written about two local Jewish survivors. Fred Lorber and David Wolnerman have been honored at events, complete with a meal and a program, open to the entire community. What an honor it was for me to attend both events and stand alongside these two amazing men.
Young authors and illustrators from their Jewish community worked hard to capture their stories and writing coach Sheila Hudson (a teacher from Des Moines) has assisted in the process. It's been a huge success with the last event, David Wolnerman's, was captured on the full front page of the Des Moines Register. We were excited when it was picked up on the AP and picked up in USA Today! So David's complete story and A BOOK by ME was mentioned in this national newspaper. Who would have ever dreamed this would happen?
See the USA Today Article Here
Pictured: Terri Toppler, USHMM Midwest Regional Education Corps member; Harold Kasimow, Professor Emeritus for the Religious Studies Department, Grinnell College; Shelia Hudson, Instructional Coach, West Des Moines Community Schools; David Wolnerman, Jewish Holocaust Survivor; Deb Bowen, A BOOK by ME; Stephen J. Gais. Director, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education, Cedar Falls, Iowa; and Mark Finkelstein, Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines. Missing is Stephanie Rosenberg Wagner, Social Studies Consultant, Iowa Department of Education.
Thanks to an endowment, the Des Moines Jewish Federation was able to sponsor these books statewide to schools and public libraries. We've created an Eisenhower poster that clearly shows the need to capture the last of the stories from the WWII generation. It's our hope that many more stories are funded to go into schools statewide in Iowa and other states across the nation.
If you happen to know of a funding source who would be delighted to help with this work, please let us know. The stories of brave men and women (survivors, veterans and more) need to be told before the window for a young person to meet a subject closes. Time is running out which is why I call the last opportunity to share the stories Operation Write Now.