The Mercer County Holocaust-Genocide Resource Center and Mercer County Community College (MCCC) will present award-winning children’s author Rebecca Upjohn on Nov. 19 at 4:30 p.m. Her book, “The Secret of the Villa Fool,” retells the story of an improbable hero and the Polish Jews he saved during World War II.
Two of the children he saved were Shelley Zeiger (Milek in the story) and his older brother Michael (Munio). Shelley Zeiger’s wife, Marion, and children, Jeffrey and Jennifer, are hosting the reception in his memory.
The event will be held at the Conference Center on Mercer’s West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. The $25 ticket price includes a copy of the book signed by the author. Additional copies of the book will be available for $19.95 through the holiday season. Proceeds from ticket sales, sponsor donations and book sales will help to establish the Shelley Zeiger Memorial Scholarship for MCCC students studying business.
Zeiger, who passed away in 2013, was a longtime champion for business in the city of Trenton and helped bring the Marriot Hotel to the city in 2002. His business connections in the former Soviet Union led to a sister-city pact between Trenton and the Central District of Moscow in the late 1980s. He coordinated visits by the Bolshoi Theatre and Kirov ballets to Trenton, among other cultural events, to benefit local charities and non-profits. He was a director emeritus for the MidJersey Chamber of Commerce.
“The Secret of the Village Fool” is the winner of Canada’s 2014 Silver Birch Express Award and received strong praise for its introduction of the difficult topic of the Holocaust to younger children. The book is suggested for children ages eight and older.
MCCC President Patricia C. Donohue notes that since its opening in 2003, the county’s Holocaust Center has provided invaluable learning opportunities about the Holocaust and other genocides for Mercer students and the community at large, including K-12 teachers and their students. “This event is another example of the meaningful activities this 11-year-old partnership has brought to the college,” she said.
More information is available at mccc.edu or by calling 570-3616.