Office of Public Relations

Pomona, NJ  08240


Holocaust Survivors “Graduate” 60 Years Later With Honors From Stockton, Atlantic County Institute of Technology


Their Educations’ Were Cut Short While Being Held as Prisoners in Concentration Camps or in Hiding During World War II


For Immediate Release  

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Contact:   Tim Kelly

                  Stockton Public Relations

                  (609) 652-4950


GALLOWAY TWP., N.J. – Sixty years ago, their high school classes were graduating while they were suffering the living hell of the Nazi concentration camps or hiding from would-be captors during World War II.  On June 16, 2005, through the efforts of The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey’s Holocaust Resource Center and the Atlantic County Institute of Technology, they will receive high school certificates for a lifetime of achievement in their chosen careers.


They are 25 Holocaust Survivors who reside in Atlantic County who have made their way successfully in life –some very successfully- and will be recognized during the regular graduation ceremonies of ACIT.  This is the first ceremony of its kind in New Jersey and school officials think it may be one of the first of its kind in the nation. Among those being honored are an airline executive, an author, a retired U.S. Air Force major, a human resources director for an international hotel chain, a buyer for a chain of stores that began as a legendary shop on the Atlantic City boardwalk, a courtroom interpreter, a newspaper columnist, a hotel owner and a restaurateur.


Atlantic County Institute of Technology (ACIT) and The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, along with the New Jersey Holocaust Commission, will honor these extraordinary 25 men and women during the regular graduation ceremonies of ACIT at 6 p.m.


“Many of these Survivors never had the opportunity to complete their educations and receive their diplomas,” said Gail Rosenthal, Director of Stockton’s Holocaust Resource Center, which located and gathered the group. “It is appropriate and fitting that the Atlantic County Institute of Technology, a school of career and technical education, would partner with the Holocaust Resource Center to make this special day a reality for these remarkable men and women.”


The project originated in October, 2004, when discussions were held between the two institutions and Paul Winkler, Executive Director of the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education.  Jewish Family Service of Atlantic and Cape May Counties sent out the invitations to the survivors and coordinated their transportation.


In addition to honoring the individuals, the program sought to share their stories of triumph with the ACIT students.  This was accomplished by reading the books several of the Survivors wrote and through conducting personal interviews.  Stockton is also the storehouse for numerous oral and video histories of the area’s Holocaust survivors. The Survivors’ stories of hardships, physical and emotional pain, random acts of kindness and just plain luck deeply moved the students. From these lessons came a booklet entitled “Stories of Triumph” to be distributed on the night of the ceremony.


Congressman Frank LoBiondo, State Senator William Gormley, Assemblymen Frank Blee and Kirk Conover, and Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson are among the invited guests.


NOTE TO EDITORS: The names of the Survivors are not provided here out of respect for the privacy of each individual. However, the ceremony is open to the public, coverage is invited and a number of the survivors have expressed a willingness to be interviewed and have their names used.