We have a few important last minute announcements we’d like to make regarding the Visas for Life program at Ellis Island, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, the Jewish History Center, the reception at the American Jewish Committee headquarters and the tour of the New York Tolerance Center.


Thank you all for your overwhelming support for these programs. We have now had more than 300 RSVPs to the Ellis Island event for Sunday, March 30, 2008.

Due to this response, we are asking everyone to please contact the ferry company to purchase pre-reserved tickets by phone or on-line. This will ensure that you are able to board a ferry that will allow you to arrive at the Island before the opening program.

The ferry service has added several boats to the schedule to accommodate the program. The 9:30 boat is nearly sold out. You can also book the following alternative boats:

8:00 departure (7:30 check-in time)
8:30 departure (8:00 check-in time)
9:00 departure (8:30 check-in time)
9:30 departure (9:00 check-in time – there will be dedicated line for Visas for Life to expedite security screening at this departure time)
10:00 departure (9:30 check-in time)

The ferry takes approximately 40 minutes to arrive at Ellis Island after the departure time. The information for reserving tickets is as follows:

Statue Cruises
Purchase the “New York – Reserve Ticket.”

There will be a dedicated security screening line for the attendees of the Visas for Life events for those taking the 9:30 boat. Please ask the Park rangers in uniform which line is for the event. This will expedite getting everybody onto the boat. We will have volunteers there to hand out tags indicating that you are attending the Visas for Life program. It is really important that you arrive early (well before the check-in time) so that you can get on the boat.

For those who need it, we will have wheelchairs available at the Ellis Island boat dock.


For those attending the Museum of Jewish Heritage tour and Visas for Life program on Monday, March 31, we need to make reservations for those who wish to have a box lunch. This will ensure that the caterers will have enough meals for everyone. The menu (which is strictly Kosher) will include choice of egg salad wrap, grilled vegetable wrap, tuna salad wrap, turkey breast wrap or grilled chicken wrap. The boxed lunches also include potato chips, an oversized cookie, and a beverage. The cost for the box lunches will be $10.95 per guest (including tax). Please bring cash or a check for $10.95 made out to: Visas for Life. For our planning purposes, please indicate the number of people in your party who will be attending and the number of boxed lunches:

Number of boxed lunches to be purchased: ______

Number who will attend program but will NOT purchase boxed lunch: ______

I would encourage everybody to attend the program at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. It will be a very interesting afternoon seminar on Americans who rescued Jews during the Holocaust. We will have families of famous American diplomats who saved Jews. These will include the families of Hiram “Harry” Bingham, Ambassador Laurence Steinhardt, and Myles Standish. There will also be representatives from the families of leaders of the War Refugee Board. The niece of Raoul Wallenberg, Louise von Dardel, will be talking about the role of her uncle in saving Jews in Budapest as representative of the War Refugee Board. We are also expecting the son of Henry Morgenthau, who was responsible for creating the War Refugee Board, which resulted in the rescue of more than 200,000 Jews in Europe. Also attending will be Harold Ickes, Jr., who is the son of US Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, who did much to advocate the rescue of Jews in the Roosevelt administration. A special guest will be Ruth Gruber, who-as many of you know-helped to save 1,000 Jewish refugees from Italy during the war.

In addition, there will be a short presentation by Three Crowns Theatricals of a very moving musical play on Raoul Wallenberg.


We also want to get confirmation for those attending the reception at the American Jewish Committee headquarters in New York. The reception will be from 5:00-6:30 pm. at 165 East 56th Street in Manhattan. The AJC is one of the major sponsors of the Ellis Island exhibit.


I want to remind everyone that we’ll be having a wonderful program at the Jewish History Center on Tuesday, April 1. This will be a special insider tour of the Center, plus an afternoon seminar on diplomatic rescue. The seminar will be very interesting. We will hear stories from the families of: George Mandel Mantello, the famous Jewish diplomat representing El Salvador; Tadeusz Brzezinski, the Polish diplomat from Prague; Charles Lutz, the Swiss diplomat who saved thousands of Jews in Budapest, Hungary; Paul Komor, the Hungarian diplomat and founder of the International Committee for the Relief of European Jews in Shanghai, China; Aristides de Sousa Mendes, Portuguese diplomat who saved thousands of Jews in Bordeaux, France. I would encourage you to attend this important and interesting program. The Jewish History Center is located at 15 West 16th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues) in Manhattan.


We would encourage you to attend a special program on Tuesday, April 1, from 3:15-4:30 p.m. This will be a tour of the New York Tolerance Center, 226 East 42nd Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues), New York (tel. 212-697-1180, nytcinfo@swcny.com). The New York Tolerance Center, in the heart of Manhattan, is a professional development multi-media training facility targeting educators, law enforcement officials, and state/local government practitioners. Through interactive workshops, exhibits, and videos, individuals explore issues of prejudice, diversity, tolerance, and cooperation in the workplace and in the community. The Tolerance Center is part of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The Simon Wiesenthal Center has been a major sponsor of the Visas for Life project for more than ten years.

For your reference, I am attaching a program for you with the finalized schedule of the Visas for Life programs in New York City. Please download it and bring it with you as a reference for all the activities.

Thanks to all of you for your help and encouragement.

Look forward to seeing you all soon!

Eric Saul
Executive Director
Visas for Life: The Righteous and Honorable Diplomats Project
Institute for the Study of Rescue and Altruism in the Holocaust, a nonprofit corporation
810 Windwood Place
Morgantown, WV 26505
(304) 599-0614