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

Director
serotta(at)centropa.org

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

Filmmaker
els(at)centropa.org

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
ruehle(at)centropa.org

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
granite(at)centropa.org

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

Deputy Director, Centropa Director, Centropa Hungary
kenesei(at)centropa.org

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. Marcell is the deputy director of Centropa; besides he is the director of CJN - Centropa's network of European Jewish schools, and he is also responsible for our programs in Israel and in Hungary.

Bence Lukács

Tech Director
lukacs(at)centropa.org

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.    

Veronika Doppelreiter

Veronika Doppelreiter

Bookkeeper
accounts(at)centropa.org

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.

Borbála Pál

Coordinator Centropa Jewish Network
pal(at)centropa.org

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
czingel(at)centropa.org

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.

Maximilian von Schoeler

Trans.History project assistant
schoeler(at)centropa.org

Maximilian studied Social Science at Humboldt University of Berlin and received his master’s degree in Holocaust Communication and Tolerance at Touro College Berlin.

From 2009 until 2015 he worked at Center for Digital Systems (CeDiS) at Free University of Berlin for the online oral history archives „Forced Labor 1939-1945“ and „Witnesses to the Shoah“, and assisted organising and conducting the annual CeDiS Summer School from 2013 until 2016.

As historical consultant and scientific editor Maximilian worked with an interdisciplinary team of journalists, film makers, web designers and historians on the award-winning web documentary „The Sand Mine“ about the shooting of 127 Italian forced labourers in Treuenbrietzen, Germany at the end of WWII which went online in April 2016 (imidoc.net).

Since August 2017 he is supporting Centropa’s Trans.History project in logistics and fundraising, and is responsible for social media and website content.

Anna Domnich

Administration assistant
annadomnich(at)centropa.org

Anna hails from a small town in the heart of the Russian Ural mountains. When she was 7 she moved to Ukraine where she finished high school. She holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration and a Master degree in Management and Leadership from Lauder Business School, Vienna.  At Centropa she will be taking over administrative tasks and assisting the director, Edward Serotta.

Magdaléna Farnesi

Education coordinator
farnesi(at)centropa.org

Magda Farnesi studied English and Polish philology and Jewish Studies in Olomouc, Czech Republic and Central European History at the CEU in Budapest. She loves languages, dogs, and if she´s not in the Hamburg office, she is translating young adult literature, singing, writing poetry or out on the boat. She is the motor of all logistics issues in the German team: she organizes seminars and summer academies.

Daniela Sterjova

Centropa Coordinator for Macedonia
sterjova(at)centropa.org

Daniela Šterjova studied philology at the Saints Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje, at the department for English language and literature. She works as an English teacher at the Petar Pop Arsov Public Primary School. Daniela has attended many seminars and workshops on Jewish history and the Holocaust, including few Centropa Summer Academies. Being part of the Centropa network of teachers, she has conducted several Centropa-based projects in her school creating student exhibitions on Jewish history, culture, and the Holocaust of the Macedonian Jews. Since 2013 Daniela has coordinated Centropa educational programs for Macedonia.  

Damjan Snoj

Centropa Coordinator for Slovenia
snoj(at)centropa.org

Damjan comes from Ljubljana, Slovenia. He studied Geography and History at Ljubljana University. He has been a teacher for more than 20 years. He teaches Geography and History and also works as deputy headmaster at his school which is located about 25 km south-west from Ljubljana. He likes to join national and international projects either alone or with his pupils to give them skills and motivation for their future. He was introduced to Centropa back in 2013, participated in his first Centropa seminar in Skopje and his first CSA that year. He has been helping as a coordinator for Centropa in Slovenia ever since. 

Tanja Eckstein

Tanja Eckstein

Coordinator Cafe Centropa
eckstein(at)centropa.org

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. 

Gintarė Liorančaitė

Centropa Coordinator for Lithuania
gintare.liorancaite(at)gmail.com

Gintarė Liorančaitė was born in Vilnius. In 2008 finished history in Vilnius Pedagogical University, 2010 received Local history master‘s degree, 2011 her second master's in International diplomacy from Vilnius University. Gintarė has taught hight school students at Sholom Aleichem ORT school for more than six years. She joined Centropa in 2012. Gintarė organized Centropa's seminar in Lithuania, has held several projects on how to teach “My town’s Jewish history” based on the Centropa method, published Centropa Lithuanian magazine, organized video competitions and local school projects.

Tomislav Šimić

Centropa Coordinator for Croatia
simic(at)centropa.org

Tomislav comes from Zagreb, Croatia. He graduated in History and Czech language and literature BA programme at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb. Currently Tomisalv is working as a history teacher in a Jewish elementary school Hugo Kon in Zagreb. Since his first visit to Centropa Summer Academy in 2011 he became a Centropa teacher. He is also coordinator for Centropa in Croatia. 

Jonathan Schwers

schwers@centropa.org

Jonathan was born in Germany and received his Bachelors degree in Political Science and Sociology in 2018 at the University Trier. Jonathan began as an intern at Centropa in 2018 and we asked him to stay on. He has been carrying out research in our archive as well as helping with our teachers’ seminars. Jonathan is continuing his education and is now working on a Master’s degree in Political Science at the University Vienna with an emphasis on International Relations, EU and Europeanization.

Rosie Whitehouse

Historical Advisor
Rosie Whitehouse is a journalist specialising in the Jewish life after the Holocaust and survivors stories. Born in Liverpool, Rosie is a graduate of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies and the London School of Economics. She was a BBC News Trainee and a Senior Producer and Presenter at the BBC World Service. Rosie has just completed a book on the Jewish exodus from Europe and illegal immigration to Palestine after the Second World War. She has written widely on the displaced person’s camps in Germany and the Jewish underground movement in Italy 1945-8. She has contributed to BBC Online, The Observer, The Independent, Tablet Magazine, The Jewish Chronicle, Haaretz and other outlets. Rosie is currently researching into the story of the child-Holocaust survivors brought to the UK after war for the survivors organisation, The 45 Aid Society. She is also the founder of the Ascot Holocaust Education Project, a new initiative in Holocaust education in the UK, that uses the story of the boys and the hostel they were cared for to teach the story of Jewish pre-war life and the Holocaust in a local history context.

Jelena Kručičanin

Serbian Coordinator
krucicanin(at)centropa.org
Jelena Krucicanin is a teacher of Serbian language and literature at The Third Grammar School in Belgrade. She graduated from the Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade, and has been working as a teacher for more than 15 years. Jelena has attended many seminars and workshops on Jewish history, including Centropa seminars in Sarajevo and Skopje, as well as Centropa Summer Academy. She has been a mentor teacher in many schools and international school projects, most of them related to the topics about WW2, the Holocaust, culture of remembrance etc. She became Centropa’s teacher in 2015, and as of 2018 she has been assigned with the role of Centropa’s coordinator for Serbia.

Anna Kožemjakin

kozemjakin(at)centropa.org
Anna Kožemjakin was born in 1986 in Ukraine. She obtained her MA in History and Jewish studies at the International Solomon University in Kiev, Ukraine. Anna studied at "Paideia - European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden“. before moving to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2009, where she volunteered in the Jewish community ( Sunday school, art projects; preparing prayer books for the community etc.) and with youth throughout Bosnia as a part of youth organization of Inter religious council in B&H too. In 2017, Anna joined Centropa as their coordinator in Bosnia.

Katarzyna Kotula-Domagała

Centropa Coordinator for Poland
katarzyna.kotula(at)galiciajewishmuseum.org

Katarzyna Kotula-Domagała has been a coordinator of Centropa's activities in Poland since 2015. She works as an Education Assistant at the Galicia Jewish Museum and is also involved in anti-discrimination education and global education. If you want to learn more about seminars, travelling exhibitions or educational materials provided by Centropa in Poland, or if you want to join the Centropa teacher network, please contact Katarzyna.

Contact

Centropa Austria
Selzergasse 10, Top 5-8
1150 Vienna, Austria
Tel: +43 1 4090 971
Fax: +43 1 4090 971 4
office(at)centropa.org

Centropa Germany
Centropa c/o wework
Axel Springer Platz 3
20355 Hamburg
Germany
ruehle(at)centropa.org
Tel. +49 176 457 51975
Amtsgericht Hamburg, VR 23236

Centropa Hungary
Ferenciek tere 7-8.
1053 Budapest
Tel: +36209738338
budapest(at)centropa.org

Centropa USA
Tel: (301)787-0052
granite(at)centropa.org
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