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January 21 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Jews in the Garden: Author Talk with Judy Rakowsky at Jewish Museum of Florida


January 21
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU
301 Washington Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33199 United States
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Books & Books and Jewish Museum of Florida present…



Jews in the Garden: A Holocaust Survivor, the Fate of His Family, and the Secret History of Poland in World War II

(Sourcebooks, $17.99)

 Sunday, January 21 at 3:00pm to 4:00pm | Jewish Museum of Florida


Part memoir, part detective story, part family history, this is the account of one family’s quest for answers; a timely investigation of Poland’s attempts to obscure its entanglement in the Holocaust, and a poignant portrait of those who nevertheless remember…

**Please note this event will take place at the Jewish Museum of Florida at 301 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33199 United States.

About the Book:

Villages of Poland hide the lost secrets of World War II

1944: Heavy footfalls thud on the road on a rainy May night. A band of gunmen scour a hilltop farm, acting on rumors that it harbors a Jewish family. For 18 months, the Rozeneks have been hiding safely, but their luck is about to run out. Only one from the family of six will live to see the sunrise. Sixteen-year-old Hena Rozenek shelters in the woods until morning… and then she runs.

Forty years later: Holocaust survivor Sam Rakowski Ron has lived in the United States for decades, never thinking he could return to the Polish village he fled as a teenager. But now he’s ready to talk about what he heard, what he saw, and what he knows about two separate families of cousins who were his neighbors, and presumably were killed during the war. The story Poland presents to the world is that Poles saved more Jews than citizens of any other nation, that any murders in Poland were committed by Nazis and Nazis alone. But Sam, while defending his countrymen, suspects a painful truth. The stories he shares with his younger cousin, Judy, an investigative journalist, send them off on a decades-long journey unlike any other to find out what happened to the Rozenek family and ultimately reveal the secrets the Polish government is still desperate to keep.

Jews in the Garden is a globe-trotting detective story that turns investigative eyes and ears toward the hidden events in Poland during the Holocaust. Judy and Sam, the unlikeliest of sleuthing duos, knock on doors, petition court documents, seek clandestine meetings, and ultimately discover what really happened to the “Jews in the garden next door.”


About the Author:

Judy Rakowsky is a career journalist who grew up knowing little about her family’s Holocaust story. As a young reporter, she got to know Cousin Sam who had just returned from his first visit to his hometown in Poland since the war. Sam is a survivor of the Krakow ghetto and four Nazi concentration camps.

After spending decades covering crime and legal affairs for newspapers, including The Boston Globe and The Providence Journal, one very personal story riveted her: the fate of relatives in Poland.  Again and again she traveled to Poland with Sam. In interviews in barnyards and around kitchen tables in the Polish countryside and from  official documents they learned the truth of what happened to relatives in hiding. That truth was outlawed in 2018 by the Polish government.