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Passport for Life: Holocaust Rescue and Survival

Join us on August 26 at 7:00 pm for a presentation by Georgia Highlands College Assistant Professor of Communication Alexandra MacMurdo Reiter and special guest Heidi Fishman. The presentation will focus on the heroic efforts of MacMurdo’s grandfather Stefan Ryniewicz during WWII. Ryniewicz, a Polish diplomat, was part of a covert group that forged passports to give to Jewish families. These passports ultimately saved thousands of Jews from the horrors of the Holocaust, including Heidi Fishman’s grandfather.

This is an online, Zoom lecture.

Free for members. $7.00 for non-members.

Get tickets here

About the Speakers:

photo of Heidi Fishman and Alexandra MacMurdo Reiter

Heidi Fishman (left) and Alexandra MacMurdo Reiter (right) pose for a photo following a joint presentation.

Alexandra Reiter, MA, EMBA

 Alexandra Reiter is an Assistant Professor of Communication with 13 years of experience teaching Communication courses at Georgia Highlands College.  Alex received her Bachelor of Science in Communication from Florida State University, and her Masters in Organizational Communication and Executive MBA from Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts.

Alex teaches courses including Human Communication, Intercultural Communication and Public Speaking.  Alex’s mission is to help people become more confident communicators and presenters.  Her areas of expertise and focus include speech delivery and presentation, audience analysis and nonverbal communication.

In June 2019, Alex accepted the Virtus Et Fraternitas medal presented to her by Polish President Andrzej Duda.  Only 14 medals of this type have been given in Polish history.  This medal was given posthumously for her grandfather’s bravery in saving Jews in occupied German territory during World War II through the creation of fake foreign passports which saved thousands of lives.

Alex lives in Dallas, GA with her husband Brady and their 4 daughters, 2 cats and 1 dog.  In her free time, she enjoys yoga, boating, watching Florida State football and Atlanta United soccer and spending time with her family.

Heidi Fishman, MA, EdD, Author

Heidi Fishman is an author and psychologist. She has an M.A. and an Ed.D. in Counseling Psychology and worked at Dartmouth College and in private practice for 20 years focusing on helping people overcome trauma and eating disorders.

While Heidi always knew her mother and grandparents were Holocaust survivors, she didn’t start researching their story until she retired. Five years of investigation led to Tutti’s Promise (2017, MB Publishing, Bethesda) which, while fictionalized for the purpose of allowing conversations among characters, follows the Lichtensterns’ true story from May 10, 1940, in Amsterdam through two Nazi camps, liberation, and resettlement; the book contains a significant number of original documents.

Fishman won the Joseph Zola Memorial Holocaust Educator Award from the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford. Tutti’s Promise was designated by the National Council for the Social Studies and the Children’s Book Council as a Notable Trade Book for Young People and has won numerous other awards.

Heidi speaks to schools and community groups in order to teach about the perils of prejudice and bigotry. She has made multiple visits to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC to sign copies of Tutti’s Promise. Pre-Covid, she travelled throughout the US. In this time of Covid, she presents remotely. Heidi is also on the board of the Vermont Holocaust Memorial and is Vice-Chair of the International Committee of the Ładoś Group.

She lives in Vermont with her husband and an aging border terrier. When she isn’t staying home due to Covid safety measures she likes to travel and discover new places and meet new people.