Sunday, December 15, 2019

Marty Brounstein Interview

Marty Brounstein is the author of "Two Among the Righteous Few," a story of courage and miraculous provision during the Holocaust.

He is the humble messenger for a Righteous Christian couple from the Netherlands named Frans and Mien Wijnakker, whose heroic rescue efforts saved the lives of over two dozen Jews. Their courage and compassion provide a positive and moving story amidst the horrific tragedy known as the Holocaust, with lessons for our lives today.

Marty also has a meaningful personal connection to this story, which he reveals in the interview.

Here is a bit more about him:

With the high amount of political discord and the growing acts of hate and violence in our country today, messages that reinforce such positive values as care, respect, and unity resonate strongly with people. These are messages that provide hope rather than despair, so relevant for today. They are what storyteller Marty Brounstein has been delivering with his book, Two Among the Righteous Few: A Story of Courage in the Holocaust, and his speaking tour with it now into its 9th year with over 720 events so far.

This book has not always been Marty's main work. For 25 years, he led the consulting firm The Practical Solutions Group, serving a wide variety of clients on issues of leadership and organizational effectiveness. Through this work, he wrote eight books related to business management, from contributing author to sole author, including Communicating Effectively For Dummies, Coaching and Mentoring For Dummies and Managing Teams for Dummies.

But his 9th book is quite different and special. It has put Marty in the interfaith business, as he has a story of a Christian couple, Frans and Mien Wijnakker, who saved the lives of at least two dozen Jews during World War II and the Holocaust. This book takes Marty back to his early career as an educator, when he was teaching history including the Holocaust. This true and remarkable story has a meaningful personal connection as well, which Marty reveals in his engaging storytelling presentations.

Marty has been on quite an unexpected journey of delivering storytelling presentations to a wide variety of audiences and facilitating book discussions in school classrooms.  He has started his 9th year of this journey, 710 events with more coming.  The events have occurred throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, his home base, and 15 other cities, with New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Seattle, and Boston among them.  The engagements have been in such places as religious institutions, service organizations, personal homes, bookstores, many schools, universities, libraries, and history and Holocaust museums. Furthermore, on this journey Marty continues to study and tell stories about others in the Holocaust involved in resistance and rescue, Jewish and non-Jewish alike. He does so in presentations titled Heroes of the Holocaust.

Marty's keynote presentation and workshop titled The Courage and Compassion to Do the Right Thing: A Lesson in Making a Positive Difference continues to grow and has been well-received at professional conferences and workplaces.

One highlight of the journey was presenting at the invitation of the Dutch Consulate General of San Francisco in March 2014.  He has also been a keynote speaker for Holocaust Remembrance Day events in Chicago, Phoenix, Seattle, and New York and coming up in Reno, NV in April 2020.

Marty was recently recognized with The Jefferson Award presented by the organization Multiplying Good. They recognize individuals who perform acts of public service and good for America. This honor came about through the nomination by a great supporter of Marty on his journey, Jodie Russi.  Jodie was the first teacher to bring Marty into a classroom for a book discussion with her students on this special story.

In baseball lingo, Marty is batting .1000 in terms of positive responses audiences have shown; many admiringly commenting it would make a great feature film!  So the journey to share this special story continues.

Great music too.   Enjoy!   And never forget!

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