BECAUSE OF YOU, OUR WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE.
Together we are feeding the hungry, comforting the sick, caring for the elderly, educating youth, ensuring a Jewish future, bridging cultural divides, and supporting Israel. We restore hope, awaken Jewish identity, and make changes in the lives of so many.
With YOU, we answer the needs of the Jewish world today. Thank you!
DEFYING THE NAZIS WITH HEROISM AND COURAGE – MUST SEE TV!
On the precipice of World War II, a Wellesley Unitarian minister and his wife accepted a mission to Czechoslovakia to save Jews and other Nazi targets. Their heroism has been captured in a new documentary,“Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War.”
The film by Ken Burns and Artemis Joukowsky will debut on KPTS Channel 8 (the PBS affiliate station in Wichita/Hutchinson) THIS Tuesday, September 20, 2016, at 8:00 pm.
“Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War” is an account of a daring rescue mission that occurred on the precipice of World War II. It tells the story of Waitstill and Martha Sharp, a Unitarian minister and his wife from Wellesley, Massachusetts, who left their children behind in the care of their parish and boldly committed to multiple life-threatening missions in Europe. Over two dangerous years they helped to save hundreds of imperiled political dissidents and Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazi occupation across Europe.
In January of 1939, as Americans remained mostly detached from news reports of the growing refugee crisis in the escalating war in Europe, Waitstill received a call from the Rev. Everett Baker, Vice President of the American Unitarian Association, asking if they would travel to Czechoslovakia to help provide relief to people trying to escape Nazi persecution. He invited Waitstill and Martha to take part in “the first intervention against evil by the denomination to be started immediately overseas.” The mission would involve secretly helping Jews, refugees and dissidents to escape the expanding Nazi threat in Europe. If they were discovered, they would face imprisonment, probable torture and death. Seventeen other members of the church had declined. With two young children at home, the Sharps accepted. They expected to be gone for several months. Instead, their mission would last almost two years.
During this time, the Sharps would face harrowing encounters with Nazi police, narrowly escape arrest and watch as the Third Reich invaded Eastern Europe. Their marriage would be tested severely and the two children they left behind would be saddened by their parents’ absence. But dozens of Jewish scientists, journalists, doctors, powerful anti-Nazi activists and children would find their way to freedom and start new lives as a result of their efforts. To recognize their heroic sacrifice, Martha and Waitstill were honored at Yad Vashem in Israel and declared “Righteous Among the Nations.” Of the thousands so honored, there are only five Americans, including the Sharps.
DEFYING THE NAZIS is cinematically told through the letters and journals of the Sharps, with Tom Hanks as the voice of Waitstill and Marina Goldman as the voice of Martha. It features first-hand interviews with the now adult children whom the Sharps saved, as well as leading historians, authors and Holocaust scholars, including William Schulz, Deborah Dwork, Modecai Paldiel, Ghanda DiFiglia and Yehuda Bauer.
Because of your contributions to our Annual Campaign, the MKJF is proud to sponsor this program on KPTS.
Watch the trailer here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cX3BOZKHsXw
UPDATE ON RECOVERY EFFORTS IN BATON ROUGE
As Baton Rouge begins to recover from devastating floods, the Jewish community is mobilizing to provide support. Federations’ Baton Rouge Flood Relief Fund is providing critical aid to the local Jewish community as volunteers and local organization begin the cleanup and rebuilding process.
In an Op-Ed written for the Jewish News Service, Brian Seymour chair of the JFNA Emergency Committee, wrote that:
This is a long and expensive endeavor. It will be a while before any sense of normal returns. But this is where each of us can make a difference. Together, we can raise the estimated $1 million the Baton Rouge Jewish community needs to recover.
Federations have launched a relief fund for support this critical post-disaster work. So far, we have raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars, including generous grants from the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans and the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana. Every donation matters. Every gift is a statement of solidarity with Baton Rouge, an act of tikkun olam in the most tangible way possible.
We need your help. First, please make a donation to our Baton Rouge relief effort. Second, invite your friends and family to give with you. Third, reach out to your Jewish community—your synagogue, Sisterhoods and Brotherhoods, your online networks—and ask them to join you in donating to amplify your impact at an even greater level. If each of us steps up, we can make a collective, tangible difference in the lives of so many.
It's not too late help if you have not yet given. You can make your contribution today by mailing your check to the MKJF, at 400 N. Woodlawn, Suite 8, Wichita, Kansas 67208 and memo the Baton Rouge Flood Relief Fund.