Academy Award-winning screenwriter of BlacKkKlansman, Charlie Wachtel, and acclaimed author and educator Dr. Shirley Russak Wachtel joined the Center for Holocaust, Human Rights & Genocide Education (Chhange) on Saturday, June 1, 2019 to celebrate 40 Years of Chhange. Starry Night: Generations Writing for Right was hosted by Vita and George Kolber at their beautiful home on the Navesink River in Middletown. Over 100 people attended this spectacular event in honor of Chhange’s 40th anniversary and in support of Chhange’s educational initiatives.
Guests enjoyed a riveting, interactive discussion with featured speakers Charlie and Shirley Wachtel. Shirley, gifted writer and proud mother of Charlie, described how her writing has been profoundly influenced by her life experience as a child of Holocaust survivors. Charlie shared personal insights about his journey to the Academy Award ceremony. Attendees also viewed a powerful video produced by George Kolber and his brother Charles about their family’s remarkable journey to Shanghai during the Holocaust. This memorable evening concluded with a presentation of Star Awards of Appreciation to the Wachtels and to Vita & George Kolber by Chhange Board President Howard Dorman, Executive Director Dale Daniels, and Special Projects Co-Director Susan Yellin.
Sponsors of this event received signed copies of the BlacKkKlansman script, Shirley Russak Wachtel’s book My Mother’s Shoes, and Thrown Upon the World, written by George Kolber and his brother Charles Kolber.
Since 1979, Chhange has been dedicated to its mission to educate about the Holocaust, genocide, and human rights issues and promote the elimination of racism, antisemitism, and all forms of prejudice. Chhange educates, inspires, and empowers individuals to stand up to injustice and become active, involved citizens. Each year, Chhange connects with over 25,000 students, educators, and community members. Funds raised from Starry Night: Generations Writing for Right will be used to support Chhange’s educational initiatives.
To learn more about Chhange, please visit www.chhange.org or call 732-224-1889.
Photos Courtesy of Pat Paladino, Patty’s Pixels