Schindler relative from Oakland to get an award in South Bay

Rosemary Schindler, a Bay Area resident and a relative by marriage of Oskar Schindler, has been chosen to receive Hillel of Silicon Valley’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the upcoming Pillars of the Community fundraiser luncheon.

Rosemary married a relative of Oskar Schindler and is often referred to as the Righteous Gentile’s great-niece. She also founded Schindler’s Ark, an evangelical organization she describes as “a Christian ministry of reconciliation encouraging righteous actions and speaking up to defend victims of injustice and terror.”

She said it was 9/11, “when anti-Semitism attacked America,” that prompted her to form the organization in 2001.

Rosemary Schindler

Schindler also is a minister affiliated with Shiloh Church in Oakland and a travel agent who works with agencies in Israel such as the Ministry of Tourism, the Jewish National Fund and Yad Vashem. She also is the San Francisco city director for Christians United For Israel.

Reached by email in Scotland, Schindler noted that she spends a great deal of time overseas “to work on bringing more people to Israel.”

Schindler also is curator of the Schindler family archives. The collection includes licenses, passports, pictures, correspondence, property deeds and other family documents, including “the family Bible from 1751, a family crest from 179 [C.E.].” It also includes genealogy records of family party officials going back to the 1600s, “to show no Jewish bloodline in the lineage,” Schindler said.

“This document was necessary to hold party positions, required by Hitler,” she added. “Most Nazis destroyed this evidence right after the war because it proved their allegiance and position to the party.”

In 2009, Schindler was among the presenters at the 70th anniversary commemoration of the SS St. Louis voyage. She also speaks at many Holocaust-related events.

“We are giving Rosemary this award for her pro-Israel work,” said Sue Maltiel, executive director of Hillel of Silicon Valley. “Rosemary is connected to the Israeli government in terms of outreach to other countries and advocating on behalf of Israel. That’s a strong part of our mission on five campuses — advocating for Israel.”

Hillel of Silicon Valley serves San Jose State University, Santa Clara University and three South Bay community colleges.

Others to be honored are the Rev. Aimee Moiso of Santa Clara University’s Campus Ministry and community members and longtime Hillel advocates Rick and Ann Tavan and Pat Werba. Student honorees are Michelle Fanwick, De Anza College; Dana Margittai, San Jose State; Ori Shadmon, Foothill College; Marc Wiesner, Santa Clara University School of Law; and Neusha Zarrabian, West Valley College.

The luncheon is at 11 a.m. April 22 at the Computer History Museum, 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View. Tickets are $90. For more information, visit www.hillelsv.org.

Patricia Corrigan

Patricia Corrigan is a longtime newspaper reporter, book author and freelance writer based in San Francisco.