This month, Klein Kassenoff, a child survivor of the Holocaust who fled Nazi Europe with her parents, was honored for her passion with the 53rd Tikkun Olam Award by The Haiti Jewish Refugee Legacy Project.
“I am humbled by every award that I have received,” said Klein Kassenoff. “But this one took me by surprise. It shows that if you do the work you love, rewards will come to you.”
Named for a fundamental Jewish principle that means “repairing the world,” the Tikkun Olam Award honors individuals who have made a considerable contribution toward that principle. It was granted by the founders and publishers of the Haiti Jewish Refugee Legacy Project blog, Bill and Harriet Mohr.
Established after Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake, the Mohrs’ project seeks to gather information about Haiti’s Holocaust history. Bill Mohr and his family were members of a group of 300 Jews who were given refuge by Haiti during the Holocaust.
“We wanted to recognize the outstanding contributions of a wide range of individuals who are working to raise awareness of important issues that need to be addressed in the context of Tikkun Olam,” Bill and Harriet Mohr said in a written statement. “They have moved forward to ‘repair the world’ and from their perspective, take action in ways that have beneficial results for society and can positively impact the general welfare of humanity.”
The Mohrs added that they had “tremendous respect for Klein Kassenoff’s viewpoint, which is to compellingly present to educators the lessons of the Holocaust so their students learn moral, ethical teachings that can be brought into their present lives in an empowering way.”
Klein Kassenoff studied at Yad Vashem, the International Center for Holocaust Studies in Israel, and is a graduate of the prestigious international Vladka Meed Teachers Program. In 2014, she was selected by the Miami Consul General of Germany for a tour of “Jewish Germany Today.”
Her many credits include being an author, writer, and lecturer on various topics on the Holocaust, including “Women in The Holocaust” and “Literature of The Holocaust,” as well as co-authoring, with Anita Meyer Meinbach, two books, Studying the Holocaust Through Film and Literature and Memories of The Night: A Study of The Holocaust.