The Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation Committee is a group of historically minded individuals who believe that the existence of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial, its authenticity, and its message will help prevent a reoccurrence of the hatred, racism, antisemitism, and xenophobia that led to the Holocaust.
The Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation Committee was set up under the leadership of Mr. Ronald S. Lauder. It provides the donors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation (based in Poland) and the Friends of Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation (based in the U.S.) with a platform for voicing their advice and concerns regarding the preservation of Auschwitz-Birkenau for future generations. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation Committee is an advisory body within the structure of Friends of Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation whose work and projects it oversees and mentors.
Friends of Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation (FOABF) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization established in 2012. Its main mission is to support the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, located in Poland, in raising an Endowed Fund established to secure the preservation and conservation of all the authentic remains of the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau supervised by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. The Endowment Fund of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation is supported by governments of 36 countries, as well as by individual and institutional donors.
Board & Staff
Ronald S. Lauder
International philanthropist, diplomat, public servant, entrepreneur, investor and patron of the arts, Ronald S. Lauder is deeply committed to his Jewish heritage and has worked tirelessly to help the Jewish community, worldwide, through a wide range of philanthropic and professional endeavors.
In 1983, Mr. Lauder began his public service career when he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Affairs. In 1986, he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Austria, by President Ronald Reagan. Upon his return from Vienna in 1987, he established The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, which now maintains 35 Jewish schools, kindergartens and summer camps throughout 15 countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Over 7,500 children are enrolled in these schools today, and 2,500 children attend the summer camps. Over the years, the Foundation has educated more than 30,000 children in a region that was sadly devoid of Jewish learning during the Communist era and this has, in turn, helped build thriving Jewish communities throughout this area.
In June 2007, Mr. Lauder was elected to lead the World Jewish Congress, and has served as the organization’s President ever since. In this capacity, Mr. Lauder meets with heads of countries, diplomats and religious leaders around the world, representing Jewish communities in 100 countries.
In 1986, Mr. Lauder visited Auschwitz-Birkenau for the first time and was shocked to see that the camp had fallen into a terrible state of repair. Worried that the artifacts were disintegrating and would not be available for future generations to see, he immediately brought conservators from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to help preserve these historic objects. Mr. Lauder spearheaded the international campaign that raised $40M for the preservation of the remaining barracks of Birkenau, as well as the mountains of shoes, suitcases, eyeglasses and other personal items that the Nazis took from Jewish inmates before they murdered them. Mr. Lauder believes this effort is of utmost importance in an age of Holocaust deniers and growing anti-Semitism throughout the world. Soon, the last eye-witnesses of the Holocaust will no longer be with us and the camp will stand as the only testament to what took place. For all these reasons, Mr. Lauder believes the integrity of the camp must always be maintained.
MEMBER OF THE BOARD
Gail Becker is a founder and CEO of Caulipower. Prior to Caulipower, Ms. Becker served as as Western Region president at Edelman, as well as chair of Edelman’s Global Women’s Executive Network (GWEN) overseeing the company’s effort to increase the number of women at the senior most levels of the firm. She has served as strategic counsel on a range of clients including Warner Bros., Starbucks, Microsoft, Norton, and MPAA.
Before joining Edelman, Ms. Becker served as vice president of communications for Warner Bros., director of communications for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and on the national press staff for the Clinton/Gore presidential campaign in 1992. She began her career as a local broadcast journalist and then as a correspondent in Washington, D.C.
MEMBER OF THE BOARD
Joel Citron is Co-CEO and Principal of Tenth Avenue Holdings, LLC (TAH). Prior to founding TAH in 2008, Mr. Citron spent 24 years as an executive of several operating and investment companies. Mr. Citron has served on the Board of Directors of many public and private companies in Europe and the United States. Mr. Citron is currently Chief Investment Officer of TAH Management, LLC, Chairman of the Board of Tenth Avenue Commerce LLC, Avenue Income Credit Strategies Fund (NYSE: ACP), Avenue Mutual Fund Trust (Avenue Credit Strategies Investors ACSAX and ACSBX). He also serves on the Board of Evolution Gaming Group AB (SS: EVO), Attivio, Inc., Hello Products, LLC and Boulevard Acquisition Corp II.
Mr. Citron is actively involved in philanthropy. He is the past President and current executive committee member of the Board of Trustees at the Abraham Joshua Heschel School in New York (Nursery through 12th grade). Mr. Citron is a board member of the Birthright Israel Foundation, the USC Shoah Foundation, Paideia - the European Institute for Jewish Studies, and Starfall Education Foundation. Mr. Citron holds an M.A. in Economics and a B.Sc. in Business Administration from University of Southern California. Mr. Citron was born in Sweden and is the son of Shoah survivors. He is married and has three children.
MEMBER OF THE BOARD
Martin E. Karlinsky
Martin Karlinsky is the founder of Karlinsky LLC. The touchstones of his career have always been the focused attention he brings to client matters, his devotion to trial and appellate advocacy at the highest level, and his commitment to giving back to the community. He has extensive and broad experience in trial and appellate advocacy, governmental investigations and proceedings, in arbitration and mediation before all principal U.S. forums, and in legal counseling for businesses and not-for-profits.
Mr. Karlinsky has held leadership positions with American Friends of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the ADL ( including Chair of its New York Regional Board, Chair of its National Legacy Campaign, Chair of its National Legal Affairs Committee, and Chair of its Litigation Oversight Committee).
MEMBER OF THE BOARD
Harry Krakowski manages and operates several hotels. He also is involved in real estate in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. He is involved with the Birthright Israel Foundation, National Jewish Outreach Program (NJOP), and is a Member of the Next Generation Council USC Shoah Foundation.
Mr. Krakowski is supportive of Chabad on campuses and is a Board Member of the Hampton Synagogue. He is a son of Holocaust survivors and has raised four daughters – Rachel, Sarah, Sophie & Leah. He lives in NYC.
Since discovering her Jewish ancestry in her early teens, Beata has dedicated her life to studying and teaching Jewish history and the history of the Holocaust. Beata earned both her Master's degree and Ph.D. in Geography and Religion from Jagiellonian University, in Krakow, Poland. She was awarded a Junior Fulbright Advanced Research Grant for her doctoral research, and went on to become a Visiting Scholar at New York University.
Currently, Beata is the Managing Director of Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation Committee, and oversees all fundraising efforts in the United States. In 2014, she managed the yearlong campaign that led to the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Previously, Beata worked at the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation where she organized genocide prevention seminars for government officials and military officers from around the world. She has also worked for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, the Jewish Community of Warsaw, and the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland.
AFFILIATED SCHOLAR, volunteer
Maria is a Ph.D. candidate in Cinema and Media Studies at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, a 2016-2018 Mellon Ph.D. Fellow in the Digital Humanities, as well as 2017 Graduate Research Fellow at USC Shoah Foundation. Her research interests include cinematic representations of the Holocaust; documentary film; national and transnational modes and media of memorialization; politics of technologized memory; place and space in cinema; and history as film/film as history. Her dissertation project, “#Holocaust: Rethinking the Relationship Between Spaces of Memory and Places of Commemoration In The Digital Age,” focuses on the relationship between interactivity, documentary film studies, and Holocaust memory.
After receiving her M.Phil. from University in Oxford, Maria served as the director of the Warsaw office of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation (2009-2010). Since 2010, she has continued to work for the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Foundation on a volunteer basis. In 2017, Maria joined the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation Committee as a volunteer and affiliated scholar. She continues to work on her interdisciplinary doctoral work that advances contemporary Holocaust research. Her research develops new directions in Holocaust Studies and innovative responses to the challenges facing Holocaust Education and Commemoration in the Digital Age.
Maria was born and raised in Warsaw. Her great-grandfather was killed in Auschwitz.
MEMBER OF THE BOARD
Kathy H. Rocklen
Kathy H. Rocklen is a Partner in the Corporate Department and co-head of the Financial Services Group. She has more than 30 years of corporate and securities law experience. Ms. Rocklen joined Proskauer Rose LLP in 2000 after serving as general counsel for a prominent UK investment bank, a regulator for the New York Stock Exchange, and previous private practice.
Ms. Rocklen counsels major financial institutions, including full-service and boutique brokerage firms, domestic and foreign investment banks, investment advisers, hedge funds, commercial banks, and self-regulatory organizations on a board range of regulatory, transactional, enforcement, and litigated matters. She advises clients on the formation of regulated entities, SEC, SRO and state regulation and compliance, domestic and cross- border capital markets transactions, mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, investment product development, internal investigations, defense of civil enforcement proceedings and criminal prosecutions, and securities arbitrations and litigation.
Ms. Rocklen is an adjunct professor of law at Fordham University School of Law, where she teaches broker-dealer regulation. She also serves as Vice Chair and Treasurer of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, one of New York’s leading not- for- profit civil rights law firms, and is a former Vice President of the New York City Bar. Kathy is the past Chair of Proskauer’s Diversity Committee.
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT, 3RD GENERATION COORDINATOR
Linor Abrahamian Andreoli
Linor Abrahamian Andreoli was born in Israel to parents of Persian and Romanian descent, respectively. Her father fled Iran at age 16 and emigrated to Israel, where he promptly joined the military (IDF), lying about his age to fight for the Jewish nation. His parents and eight brothers and sisters fled shortly after that to join him in Israel. Linor’s maternal grandparents, both Holocaust survivors, left Romania after the fall of the Nazi regime to settle and rebuild their lives in Israel, as well.
Linor studied Holocaust and Genocide studies at Stockton College, New Jersey, the first school to offer a master’s degree in Holocaust studies in the country. She went on to receive her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Gender studies from Rutgers University. Although Holocaust studies have always been Linor’s passion, her trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau solidified her dedication to preserve the memory of those who perished and those who survived.