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PR # 187 March 26, 2009


The Honorable Christine Todd Whitman, former Governor of New Jersey, will be the keynote speaker at Raritan Valley Community College?s (RVCC) annual Make A Difference Award luncheon, Friday, April 24, at 12:30 p.m. The event will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the establishment of RVCC?s Holocaust and Genocide Resource Room and The Morris and Dorothy Hirsch Research Library of Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

The program is being sponsored by the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, a joint project between the College and the Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren Counties. It will be held in The Conference Center at RVCC?s North Branch Campus.

The event also will recognize three local Holocaust survivors: Maud Dahme of Flemington, a child survivor featured in the documentary, The Hidden Child , who is former president of the New Jersey Board of Education and a member of the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education; Tova Friedman of Highland Park, a child survivor featured in the documentary, Surviving Auschwitz , and a former executive director of Jewish Family Services; and Ursula Pawel of Bedminster, a Holocaust survivor, community leader and author of My Child is Back .

Governor Whitman is the president of The Whitman Strategy Group (WSG), a consulting firm that specializes in energy and environmental issues. WSG offers a comprehensive set of solutions to problems facing businesses, organizations and governments.

She is also co-chair of the Republican Leadership Council (RLC), which she founded with Senator John Danforth. The RLC?s mission is to support fiscally conservative, socially tolerant candidates and to reclaim the word Republican. The RLC was created in March 2007 by joining forces with Governor Whitman?s political action committee, It?s My Party Too. She is the author of a New York Times best-seller by the same name, which was published in January 2005.

Governor Whitman served in the cabinet of President George W. Bush as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from January 2001 to June 2003. She was the 50th Governor of the State of New Jersey, serving as its first woman governor from 1994-2001.

RVCC?s Make A Difference Award program also will feature a preview of the documentary Sharing our Legacy ? The Second Generation , which includes filmed testimonies of children of survivors. Narrated by Dr. Elizabeth Wilen-Berg, a psychologist and consultant to the project, the film has been produced by Harry Hillard, RVCC Adjunct Associate Professor of Film, and directed by Peppy Margolis, Director of Cultural Outreach at RVCC.

The Make A Difference Award recognizes those who, through their actions, promote tolerance and understanding in the community and who embody the values of teaching tolerance and diversity. The Jewish Federation, through its Holocaust and Genocide Endowment, built and furnished the Institute?s Resource Center in the College?s Evelyn S. Field Library.

The annual ?Learning Through Experience? three-day workshop, which will be held April 22-24 at the College, are funded by the Federation. Each year, more than 3,000 middle and high school students and their teachers attend sessions with Holocaust and genocide survivors, their rescuers and liberators. The program includes an art and writing competition based on the title of the three-day workshop: ?Rescue and Resistance During the Holocaust.? The competition winners will be announced during the program. The three-day workshop also will feature members of the Second Generation who will speak with their parents to ensure that the legacy of remembering will be transmitted to the next generations.

A suggested donation for the Make A Difference luncheon is $36 per person. For information and tickets, contact Peppy Margolis, 908-526-1200, ext. 8524.

RVCC, located on Route 28 and Lamington Road in North Branch, NJ, and serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for 40 years, offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates. In addition, customized training programs and non-credit courses are available for those seeking personal and professional development.

The College is committed to offering a quality and affordable education through effective teaching, liaisons with the community?s businesses and state-of-the-art technology. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu .

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