SAN FRANCISCO and NEW YORK (June 15, 2016) — Dr. George Elbaum of San Francisco, a businessman and aerospace engineer, who writes and speaks about his experience as a child survivor of the Holocaust, was awarded an Honorary Fellowship on June 5 from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. The ceremony took place during the Technion Board of Governors (BOG) meeting (June 4-8, 2016) on the university campus in Haifa.
Accompanied by his wife, Mimi Jensen, Dr. Elbaum was recognized for “devotion to the Technion and Israel . . . business accomplishments that have spanned the globe and bridged countries . . . and for sharing (your) story, in order to impart the message of tolerance to present and future generations.”
A steadfast supporter of the Technion and Israel, Dr. Elbaum is an active member of the American Technion Society (ATS) National Board of Directors, the ATS North Pacific Region Board and the Technion Board of Governors.
Together with his wife, he is a Technion Guardian — an honor reserved for those who support the Technion at the highest level. The couple has supported the Technion with gifts that include the George J. Elbaum Fund for the Satell Technion-MIT Leadership Program, the Whiteman International Foundation Fellowships (named after Dr. Elbaum's mother) in the Grand Technion Energy Program, and the Formula Student Race Car project.
Dr. Elbaum was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1938. As a child, he was smuggled out of the Warsaw ghetto and lived with a series of Polish families who hid him and his Jewish identity from the Nazis. Only he and his mother survived, as they lost 10 family members to the Holocaust. In 1949, Dr. Elbaum immigrated to the U.S., and in 1955 he enrolled at MIT, where he earned four degrees — a bachelor’s and a master’s in aeronautics and astronautics, along with a second master’s and a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering.
He began his career in Los Angeles in the aerospace industry, and then moved into the international business arena. In 1972, he co-founded Intertorg, a consulting firm representing American and European corporations in the Soviet Union (including General Motors, U.S. Steel, Reebok, etc.), where he marketed their products and services. After 25 years, he switched gears again, turning to commercial real estate investment and development.
In 2010, he wrote and published Neither Yesterdays Nor Tomorrows, a book of vignettes from his childhood during the Holocaust, and started speaking to student groups across the U.S. and in Poland about survival and tolerance. In 2014, he followed his first book with a second volume, Yesterdays Revisited, about the feedback/letters he’s received from students at the 100-plus venues where he’s spoken.
The five-day BOG meeting was comprised of award ceremonies and dedications, presentations by speakers that included Middle East expert Ambassador Dennis B. Ross, and other events such as an Innovation Panel Discussion, featuring Technion graduates such as Dov Moran, inventor of the DiskOnKey (USB flash drive). Other San Francisco-area participants included Ruth Owades and Lou Lenzen.
Photo: George Elbaum (right) receiving an Honorary Fellowship from Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie at an awards ceremony on the Haifa campus on June 5, 2016.
Children experienced the Holocaust in a unique way. Some had their identities changed and lived with new families, others became the young providers for sick parents and siblings. 1.5 million children were killed in the Holocaust. Amidst the tumultuous landscape, children still created adventure, experienced the ups and downs of friendship and love, and some even wrote it all down for future generations to serve as witnesses to their tenacity, creativity, and spirit.
"I would enthusiastically recommend this program. I believe that nowhere else would a traveler get the experiences that you provided." - Traveler, 2018
Trip includes: Warsaw, Warsaw Zoo, Treblinka, Tykocin (where we will help restore a Jewish cemetery), Bialystok, Krakow, Schindler's Factory, Auschwitz-Birkenau; meetings with a survivor, rescuer, and local educators and students; and Shabbat dinner in Krakow.
"I would definitely recommend this trip to others. Absolutely. The trip gave me a much needed moral clarity about what matters in the world, in politics, and in human relations." - 2018 Traveler
Deadline for application: February 1, 2020.
Itinerary (subject to change)
DAY 1, Saturday, July 4 - Arrive Warsaw | Meet group, Welcome Dinner, optional evening walking tour
DAY 2, Sunday, July 5 - Warsaw | Warsaw Ghetto, POLIN Museum
DAY 3, Monday, July 6 - Warsaw to Bialystok by bus | Treblinka, meet with rescuers - Righteous Among Nations, Overnight in Bialystok
DAY 4, Tuesday, July 7 - Bialystok | Visit Tykocin, volunteer work to maintain Jewish cemetery; tour provided by local students
DAY 5, Wednesday, July 8 - Bialystok to Krakow by train | Tour Krakow Jewish heritage sites; visit Galicia Jewish Museum, Schindler’s Factory
DAY 6, Thursday, July 9 - Krakow | Kazimierz District; afternoon visit to Auschwitz
DAY 7, Friday, July 10 - Krakow | Morning visit to Birkenau, lunch at the Oswiecim Jewish Center. Optional afternoon walking tour in Krakow. Closing dinner with live Klezmer music.
DAY 8, Saturday, July 11 - Depart Krakow
This trip is geared toward those who want an in-depth and meaningful experience with other open-minded travelers. Pre-reading materials will be suggested, and a pre-trip meeting will be held in Seattle in late May. For those researching and exploring their own family histories, we are happy to help make suggestions or connections. Clock hours are provided for Washington State teachers. Custom extensions are available. Please note: Each day’s schedule is quite full. Please consider extending your trip if you want more personal exploratory time. This trip includes a significant amount of walking.
$2995 (per person, double occupancy) | Single room supplement: $590
$500 deposit is due upon application.The deposit will be applied to the payment balance. Payment due in full May 1, 2020. Costs are based on a group size of 15 and include: accommodation in 4- and 5-star hotels, breakfast daily, 4 lunches, 3 dinners, land transportation, all guides, and entry fees. Cost does not include airfare.
From past travelers:
"From the bottom of my heart, thank you for this experience. I didn't know what to expect at the beginning but I know I could never have asked for a better experience."
"The experience was once in a lifetime and the information was so in depth!"
"I am blown away by the experience I had between the people I met, the tour guides we were lucky enough to have, as well as the opportunities for seeing what tourists don't get to see."
"I'm still processing all the information we received. It was truly a trip of a lifetime. Thank you!"
"The meaning and depth of emotion and learning with both head and heart seems to increase as time passes and I contemplate all I experienced."
"I never experienced a tour that was so well put together and carried out as this one."
"The trip was one of the best experiences of my life. I will never forget it."
Henry Friedman was born in 1928 to a Jewish family in Brody, Poland (present-day Ukraine). When the Nazis invaded Brody in 1941, they swiftly deprived Jews of their basic rights. One day in February 1942, a young woman named Julia Symchuck ran to the Friedman’s house and warned Henry's father that the Gestapo was coming for him. Thanks to Julia, Henry’s father was able to flee. In the fall of 1942, the Nazis forced the remaining Jews in the area into a ghetto in Brody. Henry, his mother, his younger brother, and their female teacher hid in a barn owned by Julia Symchuck's parents. The Friedmans remained in hiding for 18 months, freezing and slowly starving as food became scarce. Finally, in March 1944 they were liberated by the Russians. Julia Symchuck was later recognized as Righteous Among the Nations.
Henry helped found the Holocaust Center for Humanity in 1989 and is an active member of the Speakers Bureau.
"When I was in hiding, I feared I would be the only Jew who survived. A terrible empty feeling came over me at the loss of so many cousins, and I felt as though I were standing all alone in a huge stadium." - Henry Friedman
Survivor Encyclopedia: Washington State - Henry Friedman. Read more about Henry, view photos, and watch video clips.
Peter was born in Amsterdam in 1935. In 1942, when Peter was 7, the Nazis seized Peter's entire family except for Peter and his mother. Peter's mother contacted the Dutch Underground for help. The Underground found Klaas and Roefina Post who agreed to shelter Peter and his mother on their small farm in northern Holland, putting their own lives at risk. For two years they lived with the Posts until it became too dangerous and they found another hiding place with two women in The Hague. Peter, his mother, and his aunt were the only survivors of his family. Klaas and Roefina Post have been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.
After the war, Peter and his mother immigrated to the United States in 1949, arriving in New York. Peter was 13 and didn't speak any English, but was placed in the 8th grade. Peter had a long career as a radiology technologist. He and his wife raised two children in California and moved to Seattle in 1997. Peter continues to be an active member of the Holocaust Center for Humanity's Speakers Bureau.
"My mother and I slept together in a bed that was inside a closet. I remember lying in that bed trembling in fear at times." - Peter Metzelaar
Survivor Encyclopedia: Washington State - Peter Metzelaar. Read more about Peter, view photos and watch video clips.