Speakers Bureau

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The CUJF Holocaust Education Center helps educators connect with survivors and descendents of survivors who are willing to speak and share their stories.

In order to get in touch with a speaker, call Linda Bauer at 765-231-6877.

Speaker Bios

 

William (Baruch) Gingold

Holocaust Survivor

 

William (Baruch) Gingold, a Holocaust survivor from World War II, was born September 20, 1939, one day before the hospital, (in which he was born), was bombed and destroyed by Nazi, Germany. The Gingold’s (immediate family) were incarcerated in the Warsaw Ghetto until eventually escaping to the Russian border in January of 1942. Upon reaching the Russian encampment, they and other Jewish people were transported in trucks to trains which took them to a Siberian lumber work camp. In November of 1942 the Gingold’s were allowed to leave the camp and move about within Russia and eventually finding their way to Zhambly in Kazakhstan.

In the spring of 1945, (May 8th), Hitler was dead and Germany surrenders. Upon those events, the Gingold’s reach their goal in September of 1945 by arriving at and entering the American Sector in occupied Berlin. Shortly thereafter in May of 1946, the Gingold’s were sent to the Föehrenwald Displacement Camp. After six years living at this camp, the Gingold’s emigrate to the United States of America in May of 1951 and arrive by boat to Ellis Island, NY. Soon thereafter the Gingold’s are resettled in Milwaukee, WI, where new lives and many transitions began in their start of the American dream and way of life. 

His story is illustrated by a series of photos, as well as by passing around “Tunnel, Smuggle, Collect: A Holocaust Boy”, a book about Gingold’s older brother, Sam. The book was researched and written by Gingold's nephew, Jeffrey Gingold.

 

Brian B. Kahn

Family of Holocaust Victims and Survivors

 

While many survivors have now passed, Brian B. Kahn is part of that generation of children and grandchildren of survivors and victims, sharing stories of their family during the Holocaust. He is a former middle school social studies teacher and retired associate professor of Teacher Education at the University of Illinois at Springfield. He has been teaching the Holocaust since the early 1990's, both at the secondary and post secondary levels and has published several articles in national and international journals dealing with this subject. Currently retired from academia, he serves as the co-chair for the Holocaust Education Center of the Champaign Urbana Jewish Federation, while also speaking in area classrooms and sharing the legacy of his family's experiences during the Holocaust.

Linda Bauer

Family of Holocaust Victims and Survivors

 

Linda Bauer has lived in Champaign-Urbana for the past 40 years. Linda's parents were Polish Jews who survived the Holocaust. They met and married after the liberation, and Linda was born in 1948 while they were in a displaced persons camp in Germany.

Linda and her parents emigrated from Germany to the US after World War II. They settled in Pueblo, Colorado, where Linda grew up.

Linda received a BA degree and later an MA in English from the University of Northern Colorado in 1973. She has worked in the areas of marketing and public relations, computer software, fundraising, and grant writing.

Most recently, she was Executive Director of the Champaign Urbana Jewish Federation, until her retirement in June 2022.

Below is a presentation she gave about her family.

Michael LeRoy

Family of Holocaust Victims and Survivors

 

Michael LeRoy is a son of a Holocaust survivor. He offers a 35-45 minute presentation (with time for follow-up questions) about his father's experiences, focusing on how his father's childhood and teenage years in Hungary gradually introduced isolation, intimidation, and eventual "resettlement" to a camp, which led to a painful journey to Auschwitz and a labor camp. Michael has spoken to grades 4-8, and high school; and is a University of Illinois professor.

 

Max Libman

Family of Holocaust Victims and Survivors

 

In 2017, while Max Libman was in sixth grade, he began writing a screenplay inspired by his great-grandmother's life under the Nazi regime. He submitted the screenplay to a screenwriting competition, and his short Ein Stern (A Star) was chosen as one of the winners and filmed in German with English subtitles. This short movie has been viewed by thousands and inspired conversations with diverse groups of all ages.

As Max began to dig deeper into his great-grandmother's life, he found a firsthand account shared by her on film. Max incorporated it into a short documentary that he produced, and created a presentation on her life to help spread Holocaust awareness. Max has been presenting to schools, universities, organizations, places of worship, government officials and attendees at community events.

Max serves as a Speaker for the St. Louis Holocaust Museum, and he has served on the Teen Leadership Board at the Illinois Holocaust Museum. As a teen leader, Max moderated a panel of a Holocaust survivor and descendants, as well as serving as a panelist too. This was the first time in the history of the Illinois Holocaust Museum that it had four generations on a panel together. To learn more about Max and his effors to spread awareness, visit www.holocaustedu.com.

Rebecca Lawson

Content Area Specialist

 

Rebecca Lawson is an English teacher at Sullivan High School in Sullivan, Illinois. She has a B.A. in English and in Journalism, a Master's in Education, and a Master's in English (Creative Writing) from Eastern Illinois University. She has received several national and state fellowships: the Belfer Teaching Fellowship at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (1994); the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar Fellowship for Theatre of the Holocaust, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (1994); the Mandel Teacher's Fellowship at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (1996); the National Endownment for the Humanities Seminar Fellowship at the National Institute on Teaching Shakespeare, Shakespeare & Company/Simon's Rock College, Great Barrington, MA (1996); the Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Teacher's Fellowship (sponsored by the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, the Jewish Labor Committee, and the American Federation of Teachers) (1998); the Leo and Antonia Gershanov Teaching Fellowship at the Illinois Holocaust Museum, Skokie, IL (2004); and a Teacher Fellowship with the Eastern Illinois Writing Project, Eastern Illinois University (2011). She has directed two Holocaust plays (Who Will Carry the Word? and I Never Saw Another Butterfly) and has worked extensively on teaching Holocaust literature, especially through drama, poetry, and Elie Wiesel's Night. She has presented throughout the region about Holocaust literature. She has also helped organize several Holocaust workshops and visits to her community and area schools by Holocaust survivors. A member of the Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation's Holocaust Education Center for over 20 years, she has been honored for her outstanding innovation and dedication to Holocaust education.

Bob Lehmann

Content Area Specialist

 

Bob Lehmann is a teacher at Westville Senior High School and a doctoral candidate in Holocaust & Genocide Studies at Gratz College, Philadelphia, PA. His research interests and dissertation project will be focused on the efforts of Orthodox Christians in rescue and resistance operations during the Holocaust. Bob was selected to be an interviewer for the video history project "Survivors of the Shoah" and has received two national fellowships in Holocaust education research: the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Teacher Fellowship (1998) and the Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Teacher's Fellowship (2000). He has been an active committee member of the Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation's Holocaust Education Center for over 20 years, and has coordinated and presented at many of their educator seminars on various aspects and topics of the Holocaust history and pedagogy. Additionally, he has presented on the Holocaust for the U.S. Army in Kuwait, and at other educator and community events and workshops around the Midwest. He received his B.A. in History from Western Illinois University, and M.A. in Secondary Education from Northern Michigan University, and an M.A. in History with a Graduate Certificate in European History from American Public University.