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, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)

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.

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. 

Borbála Pál

Director, Centropa Budapest

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. She has been joined Centropa in 2016 as the coordinator of the Centropa Jewish Network (CJN); currently, she is the acting director of Centropa Budapest, and oversees our Hungarian and Jewish school programs.

Jonathan Schwers


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.

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.

Maximilian von Schoeler

Trans.History project assistant

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). Maximilian joined Centropa in August 2017. He is coordinating the Centropa’s projects in Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Georgia and Germany and assists Fabian Rühle in fundraising and content development.

Anna Domnich

Administration assistant

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

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.

Valentina Hemera

Centropa Jewish Network Coordinator

Tina graduated with an Events Management degree from the Manchester Metropolitan University focusing on cultural festivals and celebration events. Part of her degree, Tina organised charity events for the university and as a member of the Jewish Society she organised balls and educational events. After completing her degree, Tina spent a year in Tallinn, Estonia as a JDC Entwine Yesod fellow. Her role included program planning and educational advisory for the JCC. At Centropa she is responsible for coordinating our Centropa Jewish Network programs, our Israeli programs and social media communications.

Sára Szilágyi


Sára studied Minority and Ethnic Studies at ELTE University in Budapest. She has been working in NGOs and education projects about social issues for many years. She really enjoys facilitating trainings with non-formal education methods and supporting young people in creating their own initiatives. She was part of different Jewish youth and educational organizations in Hungary and also the Roma Genocide Remembrance Initiative. At Centropa she is the coordinator of the programs in Hungary.

Ninja Stehr

Education coordinator

Ninja Stehr studied History at the University of Hamburg with a focus on media, gender, and culture in the 20th century.  After graduating with a Master degree, she did a traineeship in a studio for exhibition design in Berlin, where she specialized in museum education and editing. In March 2020, joined Centropa Hamburg's team to assist our education programs. Ninja will also provide content for the social media & website of Centropa’s Trans.History project.

Daniela Sterjova

Centropa Coordinator for Macedonia

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

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

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

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.

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

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


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.

Ewa Arendarczyk

Centropa Coordinator for Poland

Ewa Arendarczyk works as an Education Assistant at the Galicia Jewish Museum and she tries to bring closer the issues about the extermination of the Roma community before and during the Second World War and the delicate matter of memory after the Holocaust. She started working in Centropa’s team in January 2020. If you want to learn more about seminars, traveling exhibitions or educational material provided by Centropa in Poland, or if you want to join the Centropa teacher network, please contact Ewa.

Tomislav Šimić

Centropa Coordinator for Croatia

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. 

Marcell Kenesei

Marcell Kenesei

Member of the Board

Marcell Kenesei graduated as a political scientist at the ELTE University Faculty of Law, and later was a fellow at the Paideia Institute in Sweden. He took part in the establishment of the Israeli Cultural Institute in Budapest, and takes 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. Between 2011-2019, Marcell has been the deputy director of Centropa, responsible for our programs in Hungary, Israel, and our European Jewish School Network. In 2020, Marcell joined the JCC Budapest-Bálint ház, and works for Centropa as the member of our Hungarian and international board.

Sándor Erzsébet

Café Centropa Budapest Coordinator

Erzsi Sandor started working as a journalist in 1994 and her first article was about the MNG-Holocaust exhibition. She worked 20 years at the Hungarian Radio (Magyar Rádió) where she produced many shows about Jewish topics, including Centropa stories. In 2013 she got fired even though she thought she will retire from this position, but it was not so. Afterwards Erzsi started working in PR whilst she also wrote books, one of her books from this time is „Anyavalya”. This story is about how her mom, aunt and herself tried to survive after the war. 1,5 years ago Erzsi joined the Partnership 2gether organization where she volunteers to run events for her peers who are second generation Holocaust survivors. At Centropa she will be coordinating the Café Centropa Budapest programs and plans program for our interviewees.


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

Centropa Germany
Centropa c/o wework
Axel Springer Platz 3
20355 Hamburg
Tel. +49 176 457 51975
Amtsgericht Hamburg, VR 23236

Centropa Hungary
Rumbach S. utca 11-13.
1075 Budapest
Tel: +36305938484

Centropa USA
Tel: (301)787-0052
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