An Inspirational Message

Ben Olander’s visit to New York City prompted to be extremely inspirational.

Monday, March 14, 2006. Ben Olander, a renowned Swedish folk singer, educated many students during his visit to New York City. In association with the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, Ben featured two schools a day for four consecutive days spreading Holocaust awareness to children as young as eight years old to young adults as old as twenty-one years of age. His message was clear, concise, and riveting, guiding students towards one united goal: to be kind to others, to be accepting of the people who appear different, and to stand up for what we believe in, constantly fighting against evil.

His journey started at the Raoul Wallenberg School in Brooklyn where he captured the hearts and minds of hundreds of amazing fourth and fifth graders. By the end of his presentation, the students were so moved that they paid tribute to Ben Olander in a song about Raoul Wallenberg, written and composed by Ms. Marion Levy, the school’s music teacher. At the UN school, the students were equally engaged in the presentation. Mr. Olander accepted the more mature age of the students and presented a more graphic yet sententious speech. The audience gave Mr. Olander their fullest attention. By the end of the week, Ben attended the John V Lindsay Wildcat Academy Charter high school where these troublesome youths gave Mr. Olander his best audience. They were captivated by his presence and eager to hear his story. They asked questions, took pictures, and took some cds of his music to help become a part of spreading a message that Ben is so eager to relay.

Beyond his school-based presentations, Ben Olander also was given a chance to interview for several news affiliates. Steve Lipman of the Jewish Week held his most impressive interview. Mr. Olander was able to convey his purpose behind which his motivations come, all the while seeking acknowledgement for his humble deeds.

Ben Olander finds his motivation through the inspiration of his grandparents. They were Swedish resistance fighters during the Second World War, and when Ben was a child, he was educated through experience about the Holocaust and Raoul Wallenberg. The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation considers it an honor to have hosted Mr. Olander through his visit to New York City and prides itself on being part of such a huge cause. The Foundation only hopes that they can be a part of the experience again in the future.

For more information about Ben Olander, Raoul Wallenberg, or the Foundation, please visit our website at www.raoulwallenberg.net.