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Source: Gloria Freeland, 785-532-0721 gfreela@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Emily Vietti, 785-532-2535, evietti@k-state.edu

Friday, Sept. 17, 2010

AUTHORS TO DISCUSS 'THEY WERE JUST PEOPLE: STORIES OF RESCUE IN POLAND DURING THE HOLOCAUST'

MANHATTAN -- Bill Tammeus, the Faith Matters blogger for the Kansas City Star, and Rabbi Jacques Cukierkorn, spiritual leader of the New Reform Temple in Kansas City, will deliver a lecture at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22, in the Big 12 Room of the K-State Student Union.

The lecture is sponsored by the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Kansas State University and is part of Community Cultural Harmony Week, a campus- and community-wide celebration of diversity and inclusiveness.

The men will discuss their book, "They Were Just People: Stories of Rescue in Poland during the Holocaust." The book tells the stories of Jews in Poland who survived the Holocaust with help from non-Jews. In most cases, these stories are based on interviews -- in the United States and in Poland -- with survivors and with members of the families who helped them survive.

Work on the book began after Cukierkorn returned from a 2004 visit to Poland, where he met Irena Sendler, a woman who helped save some 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto. Inspired by Sendler's work, and knowing that many of the stories would be lost if they weren’t recorded, he called Tammeus and asked him to help write about others who had risked their lives to save Jews in Poland, where more Jews lived at the start of World War II than in any other country.

Tammeus is also a monthly columnist for The Presbyterian Outlook and a biweekly columnist for The National Catholic Reporter. He won the Kansas Press Association’s first-place award for religion writing in 2004 and the Literary Artist of the Year from Imago Dei in 2007.

Cukierkorn is one of the founders of Kulanu, an organization that reaches out to lost and dispersed Jewish communities. In that capacity, he has led missions to Uganda and Brazil to search for lost Jewish communities. He was featured in the 2007 documentary "The Longing: The Forgotten Jews of South America."

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Gloria Freeland at 785-532-0721 or gfreela@k-state.edu.