Independents

Ann Arnold, Isabella Fiske Create Holocaust Education Foundation

IndependentsJan 24, 2020

Ann Arnold, Isabella Fiske Create Holocaust Education Foundation

The sisters named the organization in honor of their father, Holocaust survivor Mark Schonwetter.

The Schonwetter family, from left to right: Ann Arnold, Mark Schonwetter, Isabella Fiske and Luba Schonwetter. Daughters Ann and Isabella have established a Holocaust education foundation in honor of their father.

Livingston, N.J.—Jewelry executive Ann Arnold and her sister, jewelry designer Isabella Fiske, have started The Mark Schonwetter Holocaust Education Foundation in honor of their father.

The organization’s mission is to provide support and funding for teachers at schools across the country to include Holocaust education in their lesson plans. The funds can be used for purchasing educational materials, subsidizing field trips, or covering the costs of speakers, assemblies and programs.

As a Jewish child in Poland during the Holocaust, Mark Schonwetter, along with his mother and sister, hid in the forests and others’ homes to avoid persecution. In 1961, Schonwetter arrived in the United States with five dollars in hand, unable to speak English.

He took a job sweeping the floors at a jewelry factory and his English improved as he worked his way up through the company ranks.

Schonwetter was promoted to factory manager within five years. He purchased Lieberfarb, a wedding ring and bridal jewelry company, five years after that.

He ran the company for more than 40 years with help from his daughters, but is now retired.

Ann, the chief strategy officer at Buyers Intelligence Group, wrote “Together: A Journey for Survival,” a book retelling her father’s story that was published in 2016.

After the book came out, Schonwetter and his daughters began sharing his story with students and adults throughout the Northeast.

They found a major obstacle schools face in teaching about the Holocaust is budget restraints, which is why they created the Mark Schonwetter foundation. The foundation’s website points out that only 12 states mandate Holocaust education in schools.

To learn more or apply for a grant, visit the foundation’s website.

Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

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