Livingston, N.J. Jan. 23, 2020. Ann S. Arnold and sister Isabella S. Fiske have much to be proud of in this life. Both are accomplished professionals in jewelry—Arnold is the chief strategy officer of BIG, a merchandising and inventory management solutions firm for retailers and manufacturers, and Fiske heads up her personal shopping and jewelry design business dubbed ISF Jewels—and they are the daughters of Mark Schonwetter, the former owner of wedding jewelry maker Lieberfarb. Their dad is also a Holocaust survivor who shared his deeply personal story of the Holocaust in “Together: A Journey for Survival,” a book inked by Arnold a few years ago. Now the sisters are honoring their dad in a way that can benefit even more people, through the creation of The Mark Schonwetter Holocaust Education Foundation.
The organization’s mission is to expand and support Holocaust education for students around the country and to provide funds for educators to include Holocaust studies in lesson plans. According to Arnold, funds “can be used to purchase educational materials, help subsidize field trips, speaker costs, or host assemblies and programs.”
Schonwetter, along with his mother and sister, survived the Holocaust as child in Poland by hiding in the forest and in the homes of sympathetic families. Schonwetter emigrated to America in 1961 with five dollars to his name and no English-language skills. He obtained work at a jewelry factory where he swept floors, learned English, rose to manager within five years, and bought the company within 10 years. He ran Lieberfarb for over 40 years.
In retirement, Schonwetter has been sharing his Holocaust story, discovering that one of the biggest obstacles schools face with Holocaust education is budget restraints. The Foundation aims to aid schools in bringing these important history lessons to students today.
Learn more about The Mark Schonwetter Holocaust Education Foundation online. Teaching institutions can also apply for grants.
Catch the family tomorrow in the 3rd Hour of “The Today Show” on NBC, where Schonwetter will share his story and talk about the Foundation.
From left: Ann S. Arnold, Mark Schonwetter, Isabella S. Fiske, and Luba Schonwetter
Editor’s Note: I read “Together” and loved it! I highly recommend others read this incredible personal tale of survival. Never again!
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