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Thursday, February 22, 2018

(l-r): Michael Cohen, Angela Midgette-David, Maya Ross, library interim director Abby Sanner and Molly Craig-Berry.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Englewood Public Library co-hosted author Maya Ross on Wednesday, January 11, at the second in their lecture series on promoting tolerance and Holocaust education for the city and region.

Michael Cohen, eastern director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, gave the introduction at this standing-room-only event and announced that the book had just been approved for sale at the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance Bookstore, which is known for its rigorous vetting process for such materials.

Included in the audience were Englewood Public School Board of Education member Angela Midgette-David and newly elected President of the Board of Education Molly Craig-Berry, who were both enthusiastic about the possibility of bringing such programming to the school district.

Maya Ross, author of “Abe vs. Adolph,” the captivating tale of Abe Peck, a teenager who made it through nine different concentration camps, losing everything but his determination to live, discussed how her volunteerism led her to meet Abe. Ross, an attorney by profession, detailed how this chance encounter changed her life and led to her wanting to both tell his story and work to ensure that future generations could benefit from his experiences and ability to overcome. Ross also displayed her innovative approach to attracting the attention of the next generation to stories such as Peck’s. She produced a video book version to go along with the book, containing live footage interviews with Peck and historical background and visual aids to assist in bringing this story to life in youth educational environments.

Ross lives in Wayne, New Jersey, and the previous program speaker, Ann Arnold, who wrote “Together: A Journey for Survival,” is from Norwood, New Jersey.