Thanks to our past Board members and Friends of the Center
Bruce Bramlett is a religious studies scholar and teacher in Holocaust/Genocide studies, Jewish History, the History of Anti-Semitism, and the History of the Jewish-Christian relationship. He is also a trained facilitator in diversity and inter-group relations. He is an ordained Episcopal priest. He has lectured and taught courses at St. Mary’s College, University of San Francisco, the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Dominican University, and has been on the faculties of the Jewish Studies programs at Sonoma and San Jose State Universities. He teaches through Lehrhaus Judaica’s adult education program at a number of synagogues, churches and schools throughout the Bay Area.
David M. Nigel was born in Harbin, Manchuria, and spent his high school years in Manila, Philippines. His family escaped Japanese occupation moving to Seattle, Washington in 1939. David received his B.A. and M.A. from San Francisco State University and enjoyed a successful teaching career of 38 years in the San Bruno and Burlingame School Districts. He teaches Holocaust Studies at Peninsula Temple Sholom in Burlingame; 46 years as a member of that faculty. A significant highlight was studying at Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies in Jerusalem in 2002. He serves on the North Peninsula Yom HaShoah Planning Committee and his commitment to teaching Holocaust Studies continues to be an important part of his life.
Molly Robertson is a Mercy High School alumna whose passion for Holocaust education stems from hearing survivors speak during her time at Mercy. She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in marketing from Wagner College. Following university, she worked with the non-profit global education program “Up with People,” working in logistics and marketing through four international tours. Molly currently works as a tour guide in the Bay Area and is a company member of the Un-Scripted Theater Company. She is also a board member of the Lovell Foundation, a family philanthropic foundation.
Sister Patricia Ryan is a Sister of Mercy and former chemistry teacher at Mercy High School. Before entering the Mercy Community she worked at Mount Zion Hospital in a cardiovascular research lab. After retirement she was tutoring Mercy High students in what has become the Farkas Center Library. Her experience includes being President of the Mercy Community and Director of Mercy International Centre in Dublin, Ireland.
Louis deGroot was born in The Netherlands. At 13, he was separated from his family and sent into hiding for his protection. He was moved 13 times in the first 13 months and another 8 times after that before the end of the war. In April 1944, he learned that his parents and sister had been betrayed and were arrested by Dutch policemen and deported to Auschwitz where they were murdered. After liberation, Louis volunteered to go to Israel to fight for the creation of the Jewish state. He returned to The Netherlands to complete his high school education before immigrating to the United States. Louis has been active in Holocaust education to fulfill his personal goal of making sure that the truth is told about what happened during Holocaust.
Gabriel Farkas M.D., the nephew of Helen and Joe Farkas, was born in Satu-Mare, Romania. Crossing the border into freedom in 1949, the burden of carrying the 15-month-old Gabe was alternately shared by the two brothers, Gabe’s father Morris and Joe. The harrowing story of both Farkas families, all Auschwitz survivors, escaping Communist Romania, is documented in Helen’s book, “Remember the Holocaust.” Gabe went on to become a physician specializing in Ob/Gyn and infertility and recently retired after 38 years with Kaiser Permanente. He has been a musician with a variety of bands and for the last 15 years has led “Klezmer Soul,” a klezmer and Yiddish music group. In addition he has performed in community theater with the Tiburon Theater Troupe.
Morgan Blum Schneider is the Director of the JFCS Holocaust Center. She teaches seminars, mentors students and develops curriculum. Morgan also leads educator workshops and study tours to Europe and Israel. She graduated from Clark University in History, specializing in Holocaust and Genocide Studies and studied at Deakin University in Australia where she focused her Masters thesis on the forced removal of Aboriginal children as a case of genocide. A staunch advocate for innovative and interactive Holocaust education, Morgan has published several articles on the patterns of genocide, best practices for teaching the Holocaust, and the future of Holocaust education. She is active in the San Francisco Bay Area Darfur Coalition and on the advisory board of the Genocide Education Project.