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Donor Stories

Maureen and Robert Freedland Funds for Studies of the Shoah (Holocaust)

August 5, 2019

Katie Berkedal, Program DirectorBy Katie Berkedal, Program Director

Maureen and Robert Freedland with Fred Feran, Maureen’s father and Holocaust survivor

Maureen and Robert Freedland established their funds that support Holocaust education in our region to honor the memory of their families and all others who perished in the Holocaust. Maureen’s parents immigrated to the United States from Czechoslovakia after WWII, having survived the tragic murders of their entire families in the Holocaust. This family trauma has inspired Maureen and Robert’s work on Holocaust education programs for students and teachers in our community.

They have two funds at La Crosse Community Foundation that support Holocaust education:

  • Maureen and Robert Freedland – La Crosse Public Education Foundation Fund for Studies of the Shoah (2007)
  • Maureen and Robert Freedland Community Fund for Studies of the Shoah (Holocaust) (2015)

The goals of these funds are: (1) to expose students and the community to the history of the Holocaust and related topics; (2) to teach students and the community to recognize the historical events and beliefs that made the Holocaust possible and to relate them to the present; and, (3) to assist students and the community to understand the impact of the Holocaust and the potential for genocide today.

School District of La Crosse teachers received a grant in 2018 to coordinate Holocaust curriculum in the district

“Through these funds, we can help educate about the tragedy of the Holocaust so that when questions of refugees worldwide, issues of the dehumanization of people, and hate and prejudice arise, they shall be confronted with a more tolerant and understanding perspective.” – Maureen and Robert Freedland

Maureen and Robert also have another donor advised fund at the Foundation (Maureen Freedland Social and Environmental Justice Fund) that Robert started as a gift to Maureen to recognize all of her community service work.

Those who would like to join Maureen and Robert in this good work are invited to make contributions to one of the Freedland funds.