Bruce and Lucy Gerstein Holocaust Education Travel Fund
2015-16 Call for Applications
Background: Dr. David Gerstein has established an endowed fund, named in honor of
his parents, at Butler University that will support travel and research related to the study
of the Jewish Holocaust. The first recipient of the fund will travel with the CANDLES
(Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors) Museum trip to
Auschwitz from July 9-17, 2016.
Eligibility: The fund is available to all undergraduate Butler University students with a
3.0 GPA or higher. Preference will be given to those whose academic studies, community
service, or research focuses on eradicating prejudice, educating about history in order to
prevent future tragedies, and seeking change through action. Strong preference will be
given to returning students, although graduating seniors are also invited to apply.
Students currently on disciplinary probation are ineligible. The selected candidate is
required to have a valid U.S. passport by the departure date.
Following the trip to Auschwitz, the student will be required to pursue a research project
related to the Jewish Holocaust. The selected candidate must agree to give a public, oral
presentation in Indianapolis in the Fall of 2016 about the CANDLES trip and the
subsequent research project. If a graduating senior is selected, she/he must commit in
advance to being in the Indianapolis area for this presentation. Specific details about the
location, date, and length of the presentation will be provided when the offer is made to
the selected candidate.
To Apply: Applicants should submit the following materials to Melissa Friedman in the
CHASE office (JH 153) by noon on Tuesday, December 1. Applications that are
incomplete by the deadline will not be accepted for review.
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A completed application cover sheet form, available on the CHASE website at
legacy.butler.edu/chase
A grant statement (2 pages maximum, 12 point font, 1 inch margins) that
addresses the applicant’s interest in the CANDLES trip to Auschwitz, as well as
her/his previous focus upon eradicating prejudice, educating about history in
order to prevent tragedy, and seeking change through action. A description of the
proposed subsequent research or community engagement to be undertaken after
the conclusion of the CANDLES trip is required.
2 letters of recommendation. The student’s faculty mentor for the application
must be one of the recommenders. The other should be either service-related or a
personal recommendation.
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One copy of the applicant’s complete academic transcript(s). The unofficial
transcript from MyButler is acceptable.
Finalists will be notified by mid January. Personal interviews with the selection
committee will be scheduled, and the winning candidate will be notified after the
interviews have concluded.
About Lucy and Bruce Gerstein
Bruce Gerstein was born in Lusk, Poland, a small farming community, in 1931.
His parents were wheat merchants and owned a restaurant. His father was killed during a
1941 Nazi invasion. Bruce hid with his mother and younger brother in the hay loft of a
nearby barn with other Jews. Nazis found the hiding spot and captured and killed
everyone but Bruce, who remained unseen. Over the next four years, Bruce hid in nearby
barns and farmhouses, sometimes with other Jews, and sometimes alone. In 1945,
following his liberation, Bruce spent the next two years in a Displaced Persons Camps
(DP or refugee camps) in Germany. At age 17 he came to America alone, and settled in
New York. He lived with a distant relative for a short time, and went to night school to
learn English while working during the day.
Lucy Rothbaum was born in 1932 in Lvov, Poland, a cosmopolitan and cultural city. In
1941, her father, a middle class store owner, heard the stories of Nazi atrocities and of the
advancement of the Nazis into nearby Poland. He placed Lucy, her younger sister, and
her mother into hiding. He was captured, but subsequently escaped. Lucy hid, with false
papers, for three years with an older Polish woman. In 1944, after being forced to leave
her safe haven, she was reunited with her family. All four of them hid in the countryside
outside of Lvov, several times escaping death, for one year until Liberation in 1945. The
family also was in a German DP camp, for two years and came to the United States in
1947, settling in New York.
Lucy went to high school and attended Brooklyn College. She worked as an
administrative assistant and met Bruce in Brooklyn, while he was working as a fabric
laborer. They married in the early ’50s. Bruce started a successful leather hand bag
manufacturing company with his father-in-law and brother-in-law. They also started and
managed a real estate development firm. Lucy and Bruce had two children and seven
grandchildren. Their grandson Ari will be a first-year student at Butler University this fall
and will play on the Butler tennis team. Bruce died in 2005 and Lucy still lives in New
York.
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Application guidelines