With over 8500 affiliated educators and over 1 million students reached universally, the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation has created an educational curriculum to raise awareness around Holocaust pioneers.
But most who’ve been following JPEF aren’t aware of the monumental feats the foundation has been able to conquer nor our plans for future growth. JPEF originally began as a library of interviews of surviving Jewish partisans and grew into a movement to educate thousands of schools at a global level about this part of history.
The Jewish partisans are a group of 20,000-30,000 Jews who were active in the resistance against the Nazi regime. Unbeknown to the majority, the surviving Jewish partisan population is still prevalent in the US, which is the cause our foundation was built upon.
The idea was conceptualized when Mitch Braff, Founder and Executive Director of JPEF, encountered a Holocaust survivor who also happened to be a Jewish partisan. His initial goal was to interview surviving partisans. From that library of content he would create short films intended for schools and educational functions. This revolutionary group is not only somewhat of a mystery to our nation as a whole, but to the newer generations of the Jewish religion as well.
Eventually, Braff’s vision grew into an organization that operated upon a much larger scale. JPEF began to focus on distribution through educators and broadening the schooling of this blanketed part of history. Our focus soon shifted from building a vault of video content around the heroic resistance to spreading the knowledge instrumentally at a macro level.
With a clear direction and stable team, JPEF was able to expand the foundation’s audience and, in turn, grow the educational reach. It was an honor to help JPEF establish a presence in the New York City communities. In my years with JPEF, I’ve seen major organizational triumphs, like the ability for JPEF to offer free, ready-to use materials for teaching History, Leadership, Ethics and Jewish Values.
JPEF is known for its online learning platform but its presence in the classroom is just as strong. The foundation currently has curated a total of 20 different printed guides and a multitude of short historical documents which are an integral part of the curriculum.
With over 8500 participating educators around the world, JPEF’s presence is undoubtedly impactful but a movement doesn’t grow to this level without a vision. JPEF reaches over 1 million students universally — a direct result of the crafted internal model of the foundation.
JPEF houses two parts to its business, content development and distribution. The two lanes compliment one another nicely. The content development consists of the creation of Jewish partisan interviews on film, study guides, and of course the online learning platform. But the distribution focus of JPEF is the lane that will spearhead the foreseeable future of the organization.
Plans to expand out of the classroom and partner with other Holocaust-related organizations are in the works. JPEF is the only organization in the world teaching about the Jewish partisan group. Working with foundations like the US Holocaust Museum and the Houston Holocaust Museum creates another outlet to further our educational goals and add a new aspect to Holocaust related museums that isn’t readily available now.
JPEF is looking to create a network of hand-selected partnering organizations to help teach the Holocaust history in whole. Expect new and exciting changes in JPEF’s learning initiative in the near future.