Fascinating Interview Discussing Dr. Korczak ~ Front Page Headlines Announcing US Embassy Move to Jerusalem13th December 2017

I hope everyone is enjoying the festive holiday of Hanukkah! There is a deep freeze here in New York after a nice balmy fall. Zero degrees with the wind chill factor! Brrrr!


Discussion on Janusz Korczak

Click here to listen to the interview

Last Friday, December 8, 2017, Irving Roth, Director of the Holocaust Resource Center, and I had a discussion with Luciana Castrillon, Ph.D., who has been studying the educational models and philosophies of Janusz Korczak for the past 30 years.

Janusz KorczakFor those who are new to this newsletter, Janusz Korczak was an eminent doctor, writer, educator, philosopher, radio host, and director of a Jewish orphanage in Warsaw Poland during WW II who gave his life for his children. When given multiple opportunities to escape to safety, he insisted on staying with his children. First hand accounts from children who were raised in his orphanage (whose children have been in touch with me!) and survived the Holocaust are a testament to his kind, wise, and benevolent character.

In the interview, Luciana explained that Dr. Korczak always said that children need ambassadors of their needs and their perspectives. He anticipated that the media would be a child-friendly medium to disseminate information and to advocate, and that is why he had a radio program. Transcripts exist of some of the radio programs.

During a visit the Jewish Museum in Warsaw, Poland, Luciana met a Polish man who said that his mother used to spank him and beat him until she heard Dr. Korczak’s program on the radio. “I owe this guy.” He was at the museum to see pictures of Janusz Korczak.

Another women Luciana spoke with was the daughter of a man who was one of Dr. Korczak’s orphans. As a child psychologist with training in trauma, it was difficult for her to understand why her father was so sweet when he went through hell. She attributes it to being raised by Dr. Korczak.

While she was in Warsaw, Luciana walked the 4-6 mile walk from the orphanage in the Warsaw Ghetto to Umschlagplatz, the station where the Jews were transported in cattle cars to Treblinka.

Listen to our entire conversation here and let me know what you think.

Luciana Castrillon wrote a 10 page paper, “On Becoming a Korczak Educator.” If you are interested in reading it, reply to this email and I will send it to you. It will give you tremendous insight into Janusz Korczak, and you will be left deeply touched by it. Below is the first paragraph, which is an enticement to read the rest.

“In the end, he took the lead, singing a song and asking the children to wave their flags into the air. It was his way to keep the children with him for the duration of that final picnic – he would not leave their side, he would not refuse to witness their suffering and the defeat of all hopes, he would continue to love and respect them for as long as he possibly could. For the survivors, he left a treasure in memories, pictures, writings and words. Inheritors of this legacy are able to identify Dr. Korczak’s compassionate wisdom, sometimes expressed in absolutes, as when he affirmed the citizenship of children, sometimes in ambivalences, as in his remorseful reflections about how to discipline a child who steals in times of starvation. Pulling baby teeth, telling a story or directing a play, he demonstrated how to respond to children’s needs in innovative, respectful and caring ways.”


I was pretty excited last Wednesday to see the headlines of my local New York newspapers announcing the US decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, officially acknowledging that Jerusalem is the capitol of Israel.

I was so excited that I embarked on a mission to take a screenshot of every U.S. newspaper that blared this headline. I found a website that displayed the front page of 800 newspapers. I quickly learned that I really needed about 20+ hours to do this, which I did not have 6 days before Hanukkah, so I got up to F for Florida (+ the NY papers). Enjoy the collage!

Jerusalem collage

Jerusalem collage


Enjoy the second night of Hanukkah! I hope you are eating lots of potato latkes and sufganiyot and other goodies!

Enjoy the rest of the week!

Risa Borsykowsky, Owner

Risa Borsykowsky

P.S. If you would like brochures for your Hebrew school class to teach the story of Janusz Korczak, reply to this email with the quantity you would like.

P.P.S. If you would like to read the 10 page paper written by Luciana Castrillon, Ph.D., On Becoming a Korczak Educator, reply to this email.

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