Irene Skolnick, a member of Bat Yam – Temple of the Islands on Sanibel, will speak about her personal experiences surviving the Holocaust at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 27 at Florida South Western State College, Building U Room 102, 8099 College Parkway, Fort Myers. There will also be a round table luncheon at 12:30 p.m. so that the students are able to meet and speak to Holocaust survivors including Skolnick.

Skolnick was born in Poland to a Jewish family and was two years old when World War II broke out in 1939. She and her family survived the Holocaust by changing their identity and passing themselves off as Catholics to the Nazis and to the Russian communists. She will describe the daily challenges of survival faced by her family until WW II ended in 1945.

After the war, the family immigrated to France and came to the US in 1952. Skolnick graduated from Brooklyn College with a major in Chemistry and from Columbia University with a Masters in Library Service. After moving to Pittsburgh, she added a MBA from the University of Pittsburgh and then co-founded a medical manufacturing company that was sold in 1998. She wrote about her war experiences in a published book, “In the Shadow of Majdanek – a Holocaust Survival Story”. She and her husband Leon split their time between Sanibel and Pittsburgh.

Holocaust Memorial Week will be observed by FSW from March 25 to March 29. This year’s theme is “The Holocaust: Unheeded Warnings”. Events are free and open to the public. More information is available at