Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Mandelkern launches first book,  'Beneath White Stars,' at The Holocaust Center


The Holocaust Center's resource educator Mitch Bloomer with Mandelkern. 

Over 130 people gathered at the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center for the book launch of local poet and Holocaust educator Holly Mandelkern. 

The release of her book, "Beneath White Stars: Holocaust Profiles in Poetry," included an introduction from the Holocaust Center's resource educator, Mitch Bloomer. He also served as a history editor for the book. Program participants for the event included Holocaust survivor Helen Greenspun and her granddaughter, Toni Turoci, who read a poem from the book in honor of Helen. Director Justin Chase and members of the Lake Nona High School chorus performed and read poems from the book. Other speakers included members of the Interfaith Council, including Bryan Fulwider and Reverend Danielle Morris; Al Rocheleau, a member of the Florida State Poets Association and founder of the Twelve Chairs advanced poetry workshop; and Byron Marshall, the book's illustrator. 

Mandelkern concluded the program by thanking her family, friends and guests for joining her for this book launch. 

A Vanderbilt University graduate, Mandelkern has traveled to Poland and Israel to study Holocaust resistance with some of the world's leading scholars. Other honors received by Mandelkern include the Thomas Burnett Swann Poetry Prize for 2016. She is also a 2015 graduate of the Twelve Chairs Advanced Poetry Workshop. Her work has appeared in journals of the National Council of Teachers of English, the Gwendolyn Brooks Writers Association of Florida, and the Florida State Poets Association. Her most recent Holocaust poems appeared in Yeshiva University's spring 2016 edition of Prism. "Beneath White Stars" synthesizes her background in the Holocaust and her extensive study of poetry. 

Readers can visit the author's website at www.hollymandelkern.com.

The Holocaust Center, whose work includes education as well as initiatives committed to fighting hate and injustice of all forms, hosts regular programs and traveling exhibits. For more information, visit www.holocaustedu.org.


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