December 29, 2009

End of the Year letter by Baruch Tenembaum

Dear Friends,

This has been a year of encounters.

We have organized a Wallenberg’s survivors reunion, where old friends saw each other for the first time since living in Budapest more than sixty years ago.

We have also reunited a Jewish survivor and her family with the living relatives of a Polish woman who saved her life more than sixty five years ago..

This has been a year of lessons, both taught and learned.

Thousands of students were touched by our educational programs, which were expanded to Israel and include Eli Yossef’s play narrating Wallenberg’s story, ”Heart of Stone, Heart of Flesh.”

The play is also one of the many new e-books published by the Foundation. The collection includes titles in English, German, French, German, and Spanish.

Our Foundation is working hard to unearth and divulge more rescue stories, instilling the rescuers’ values of solidarity to youngsters and adults alike.

We have also engaged in film screenings, such as the annual film marathon ”Savior on the Screen,” exhibits -such as ”Austrian Rescuers,”- book presentations, tributes, and other events generate awareness among adult audiences.

This has been a year of advocacy.

In addition to reaching the general public, the Foundation worked toward Wallenberg’s recognition at an official level.

Ten U.S. States joined the Foundation’s campaign to proclaim ”Wallenberg Days” in their territory, and local organizations have instituted events for their constituents following our suggestions.

Following extensive research and documentation conducted by our team, several cases were presented to Yad Vashem for official recognition; including that of Karolina and Zsuzsanna Reszeli, who were declared ”Righteous Among the Nations” this week.

Unfortunately, this has also been a year of loss. Despite his advanced age, the death of Guy von Dardel (Raoul Wallenberg’s brother) seems premature.

After devoting his life to campaign for his disappeared brother, von Dardel died without achieving his lifelong dream of bringing Raoul home. We are committed to follow his steps.

Warm Regards,
Baruch Tenembaum