Pillars of Remembrance - Elly Kleinman

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation announced that it has raised US $140m of US $156m campaign goal with help from Elly Kleinman from KFHEC and five other philanthropists. They will be recognized at the 70th anniversary ceremonies of the liberation of the Nazi German concentration and extermination camp on January 27 2015.

The “18 Pillars Campaign” seeks to complete a perpetual endowment for the preservation of all authentic remains, buildings, ruins, artifacts, documents and artworks at the Auschwitz Memorial. For that reason 18 people have been invited to help complete the mission and become Pillars of Remembrance by donating around US $1m each to secure the preservation of Auschwitz.

They are:

  • Melinda Goldrich and Andrea Goldrich Cayton and the Goldrich Family Foundation, founded by their father, Jona Goldrich, Holocaust survivor, and real estate developer
  • Elly Kleinman, a healthcare industry executive and founder of the Kleinman Family Holocaust Education Center, committed to retelling the Orthodox Jewish experience during the Holocaust
  • Ronald S. Lauder, former US Ambassador to Austria; President of the World Jewish Congress
  • Frank Lowy, Founder of the Westfield Group, an Australian-based, world leader in shopping mall ownership and management and a Holocaust survivor who lost many members of his family at Auschwitz
  • Lily Safra and the Edmond J. Safra Foundation.  Safra chairs the Edmond J. Safra Foundation, founded by her late husband. It is a leader in the support of medical research and health care, education, religion, humanitarianism, and culture
  • Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation, which supports efforts that help new generations engage with Jewish life in ways that are relevant, meaningful, and inspire people to help build a more just world

“Auschwitz, the Nazi German concentration and extermination camp, is a symbol of the Holocaust, and a witness to the horrible atrocities of the World War II,” said Jacek Kastelaniec, Director General of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation.  “It is also a one-of-a kind educational facility where young people may learn about the terrible outcomes of anti-Semitism, racism and hatred. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation’s sole purpose is to make sure that the authenticity of this unique Memorial will survive so next generations will be able to understand what the words ‘never again’ mean,” finished Mr. Kastelaniec.

Elly Kleinman whose mother survived Auschwitz and whose four grandparents were killed there dedicated his “Pillar” to commemorate the memory of members of the Orthodox community who were killed during the Holocaust.

“The vibrant Orthodox community of pre-Holocaust Europe was decimated but not destroyed. They never surrendered and the survivors were determined to rebuild. We want to make sure that future generations know the story of where the religious Jewish community in Europe originated, what  they went through, how they rebuilt, and how they maintained their faith and traditions,” said Elly Kleinman.  “We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation and State Museum to ensure that story will be told now.”