Who we are

Centropa is a non-profit, Jewish historical institute dedicated to preserving 20th century Jewish family stories and photos from Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans, and disseminating these stories and photos through films, books and exhibitions.

Our main office is in Vienna. We also have offices in Budapest, Hamburg and Washington DC.

In July, 2012, The Israel Broadcasting Authority produced a five minute report on Centropa and our Summer Academy. Click here to watch it.

Centropa is registered as a 501c3 in the United States, a KHT and foundation in Hungary, and a Verein in both Austria and Germany. Click here to view our tax-exempt papers online. For US donors, our annual 990 IRS tax returns are available here: (year 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 20132014)

You can download our latest Annual Report here



Our team

Edward Serotta

Edward Serotta


Edward Serotta is a journalist, photographer and filmmaker specializing in Jewish life in Central and Eastern Europe. Born in Savannah, Georgia, Edward has worked in Central Europe since 1985. Between 1996 and 1999, he produced three films for ABC News Nightline. Edward has published three books - Out of the Shadows, Survival in Sarajevo and Jews, Germany, Memory. He has contributed to Time Magazine, The L.A.Times, The Washington Post, and other outlets. Ed founded Centropa in 2000.

Wolfi Els

Wolfgang Els


Wolfi hails from a small wine village in the Wienerwald, where he plays bass in a rock band we cannot bear to listen to.  Wolfi studied filmmaking and is our chief filmmaker, sound engineer and sometimes graphic designer.

Fabian Ruehle

Fabian Ruehle

Education Director Europe

Fabian Rühle is our European Education Director, developing materials and running seminars for teachers all over Europe. He grew up in East Berlin but emigrated with his family to West Berlin in 1988. Fabian joined Centropa in 2008.  He is also our liaison for European governments and foundations, and he coordinates our fundraising in Europe. In 2015, he opened our Germany office and is now based in Hamburg.
Fabian has a Masters Degree from the Free University of Berlin and Rutgers University, New Jersey in History. Prior to joining Centropa, he worked for the American Jewish Committee Berlin.

Lauren Granite

Lauren Granite

US Education Director

Dr. Lauren Granite directs our US educational programs. Before joining the Centropa staff, she spent more than a dozen years teaching Jewish history in colleges, Jewish day schools and congregational schools.  As a teacher, Lauren created our first cross-cultural projects with Berlin and Budapest.  And since 2010 she has been building our network of Jewish day and congregational schools; expanding into public, parochial and charter schools; running workshops and seminars; mentoring teachers; writing lessons and projects; and establishing teacher advisory teams to advise us about Centropa curricula. 

Marcell Kenesei

Marcell Kenesei

Hungary office

Marcell Kenesei graduated as a political scientist at the ELTE University Faculty of Law. During his university years he specialized in international political relations and the history of the middle-east in the twentieth century. From 2002 he permanently took part in the work of Haver Informal Jewish Education Foundation (http://www.haver.hu) as a volunteer, a teacher, and also as a general advisor. In 2007-2008 Marcell Kenesei was a fellow at the Paideia Institute in Sweden. From 2008 Marcell took part in the establishment of the Israeli Cultural Institute in Budapest. Marcell joined the team of Centropa in June 2011. At Centropa Marcell is running its educational programs in Hungary, in Israel, and he is also the director of CJN, the Centropa Network for European Schools.

Bence Lukács

Tech Director

Bence worked as a web developer and programmer before joining our Budapest team.
He keeps Centropa's technical equipment and online
infrastructure checked, and comes up with solutions where there is space
for improvement.    

Tanja Eckstein

Tanja Eckstein

Coordinator Cafe Centropa

Tanja, our chief interviewer grew up in East Germany and moved to Vienna in 1984.  Tanja joined Centropa as an interviewer in 2002 , and since then she has conducted more than 70 interviews in Austria and another three in Israel. In 2006, she started our Vienna Cafe Centropa social club, which brings together our elderly interviewees once a month to enjoy a lecture, social program or a festive Jewish holiday meal. 

Veronika Doppelreiter

Veronika Doppelreiter


Veronika Doppelreiter has been Centropa's stalwart bookkeeper since 2000 and we can barely get by a day without her. Veronika was born in Brazil and worked as a  bookkeeper for El Al Airlines and other companies before coming to work with us.

Esther Cotoarba

Esther Cotoarba

Education Coordinator
Esther Cotoarba was born in the Netherlands but grew up in Sighisoara, Romania where she attended a German high school. She then studied Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, where she graduated in 2012. Esther joined Centropa in 2013, and she is in charge of logistics for our Summer Academies and our other European seminars. Together with Fabian, she also directs the Trans.History Project in Ukraine and Moldova.

Borbála Pál

Coordinator Centropa Jewish Network

Borbála Pál studied sociology at ELTE (Hungary) and later received her master's degree in Nationalism Studies at Central European University. Her main research interests are Jewish identification and prejudices. She also volunteers for Haver Foundation, an organization that aims to combat antisemitism among Hungarian secondary school students. At Centropa, she is coordinating the Centropa Jewish Network.

Szilvia Czingel

Cafe Centropa, Hungary

Szilvia is helping our Hungarian director Marcell Kenesei with the organization of the Budapest Cafe Centropa, which meets six times a year and brings together our interviewees from Budapest.

Daniela Sterjova

Centropa Coordinator for Macedonia

Damjan Snoj

Centropa Coordinator for Slovenia

Gintarė Liorančaitė

Centropa Coordinator for Lithuania

Branislava Rasic

Serbian coordinator
Branislava has a degree in The English Language and Literature. She graduated from Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade in 2010 and has been an English teacher ever since. Working as a substitute at 10 primary and secondary schools in Belgrade, she finally settled at The Thirteenth Belgrade Gymnasium, the school she had finished herself. She is privileged to be working with the teachers that once taught her, and pleased she can relate to her own students. Branislava got acquainted with Centropa when they first came to Belgrade in 2012 and has been a Centropa teacher ever since.

Nance Adler

Centropa Jewish Network Coordinator, North America

Nance Adler is a teacher at the Jewish Day School of Metro
Seattle. For Centropa, she coordinates the Centropa Jewish Network
(CJN) in North America, and she is also the coordinator of the CJN
video competition - Family History film projects.

Tomislav Šimić

Centropa Coordinator for Croatia


Centropa Austria
Selzergasse 10, Top 5-8
1150 Vienna, Austria
Tel: +43 1 4090 971
Fax: +43 1 4090 971 4

Centropa Germany
Centropa-Zentrum für jüdische Geschichte e.V. 
Krochmannstr. 2
22299 Hamburg
Tel. +49 176 457 51975
Amtsgericht Hamburg, VR 23236

Centropa Hungary
Ferenciek tere 7-8.
1053 Budapest
Tel: +36209738338

Centropa USA
Tel: (301)787-0052
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