Posts Tagged ‘Zygi Wilf’


Holocaust survivor photo exhibit to be part of Super Bowl week

Posted on: January 28th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

While there are no Jewish players in this year’s Super Bowl, that doesn’t mean there is no Jewish content. The game will be held at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, home of the Minnesota Vikings, which are owned by The Wilf family. I did a piece on Zygi Wilf shortly after he acquired the team in 2005.

Now, with the help of the Minnesota Vikings, Wilf Family Foundations, and Delta Airlines, the MSP International Airport will be the site of a photo exhibition of local Holocaust survivors living. “Transfer of Memory” is a joint venture of The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) and the Airport Foundation MSP and the Metropolitan Airports Commission.

The exhibition is on display at both Terminals 1 and 2 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, located near gate C18 in the film screening room (“See 18”) at Terminal 1, and at the Arts@MSP Gallery, across from gate H3 at Terminal 2. Since exhibits at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 are located post-security, those planning to see the exhibits will need a boarding pass to get through security.

From the press release:

“The Wilf family is proud to help support the Transfer of Memory exhibit at MSP Airport. We hope that travelers visiting Minnesota for the upcoming Super Bowl will pause for a few moments to learn and reflect on this time in history that is deeply ingrained in the life of our family and world history,” said Mark Wilf, Owner and President of the Minnesota Vikings and Co-Chair of the Jewish Federations of North America’s National Holocaust Survivors Initiative.

Each Holocaust survivor in Transfer of Memory shares a story of survival during exceedingly difficult circumstances, yet as a collection, these images focus on life and hope. From Europe to Minnesota, it was here they fashioned their dreams, their futures, and their families – their lives are a constant reminder of the value of freedom and the enduring human spirit. Photographer David Sherman and writer Lili Chester, in partnership with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, created this photography exhibition.

“This exhibition has enabled the JCRC’s Holocaust education program to bring lessons of the Shoah (Holocaust) to communities in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota who otherwise might not receive firsthand accounts from Holocaust survivors. We thank everyone at the MAC and the Airport Foundation MSP for their leadership and tireless work to bring Transfer of Memory to MSP,” said Steve Hunegs, JCRC executive director.

Exhibition photographer David Sherman added, “The urgency for this project is so clear. Our survivor community is aged and aging. The number of living Holocaust survivors is becoming fewer and fewer. It is important for me to ensure that survivors are remembered in a respectful and beautiful way – by face, by name, and by story. Today we stand at a critical time in regard to the Holocaust. After 70 years since the end of the war, we are in the midst of a ‘transfer of memory.’ The witness to the horrors, hardships, and brutalities of the Holocaust is shifting from those who saw and survived, to a retelling of their testimony. We are shifting our focus from the power and reliability of sight and personal experience to the trustworthiness and importance of hearing.”

“This is a deeply moving and powerful exhibit that links Minnesota to an important chapter in world history,” said Robyne Robinson, Arts@MSP Director for Airport Foundation MSP. “We’ve been working for some time to bring the exhibit to MSP Airport and we’re pleased to have the opportunity to host it for the traveling public.”

The exhibition features 44 portraits of survivors living – or who lived – in Minnesota. The color images depict the survivors as living full and fulfilled lives – full of life and vitality – not defined by victimhood. Each survivor was photographed in their home and everyone was interviewed and videotaped prior to making their portrait. Lili Chester’s text, distilled from the survivor interviews, accompanies each portrait and provides background and a short history in the survivors’ own words. “It is my hope and prayer that these images add an important visual proof to accompany the oral testimony,” added Sherman.

This exhibition is curated by JCRC staff members, Laura Zelle and Susie Greenberg, and is a collaboration between David Sherman, Lili Chester, and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas. The exhibit will be on display at MSP Airport through February 5, 2018. For more information about the exhibition, please visit http://transferofmemory.org. Follow @TransferMemory on Twitter, @TransferofMemory on Instagram, and @TransferofMemory on Facebook.

Here’s some additional coverage from KARE 11 (NBC affiliate) and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Paging Dr. Wilf

Posted on: June 2nd, 2010 by Ron Kaplan

Minnesota Vikings owner Zygmunt “Zygi” Wilf was presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Yeshiva University.  YU President Richard M. Joel bestowed the honor at YU’s 79th Commencement ceremony on May 26, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Wilf, a New Jersey resident, serves on the Yeshiva University Board of Trustees and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine Board of Overseers.

In conferring the degree, President Richard M. Joel said, “You exemplify a tradition that makes you respectful of yesterday while investing in today and anticipating tomorrow. Your vision pours the foundation of Yeshiva University as the garden home of the Jewish future, cementing your commitment to our sacred story.”

Wilf is also a philanthropist, attorney, and real estate magnate. A trustee of several family foundations, Wilf’s philanthropy includes supporting major Jewish educational, religious, and healthcare concerns.

Wilf was born in Germany. His parents, Joseph and Elizabeth, survived the Holocaust in Poland and immigrated to the United States in the early 1950s.

But is it good for the Jew?

Posted on: August 18th, 2009 by Ron Kaplan

The Minnesota Vikings — owned by Jewish businessman Zygi Wilf — lured future Hall of Fame QB Brett Favre out of retirement — again.

Favre, who spent most of his career at the helm of the Green Bay Packers before retiring momentarily and signing with the Jets, will receive an estimated $10 million to $12 million, according to ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen.

(Even Favre’s own website hasn’t caught up with  the news.)

This is all well and good, but what Jewish football fans want to know is how all this will shake out with regard to Sage Rosenfels, whom the Vikings acquired for the 2009-10 season earlier this year.

Before Favre inked the deal, Tarvaris Jackson, who had been Rosenfels’ main competition for the starting job, told reporters he had no opinion about his team’s courtship of the veteran signal-caller.

“I pretty much have said [Favre] probably will follow me even when I retire. I’ll probably have to hear about it. I’m just trying to take care of my business, and I can’t worry about that stuff,” Jackson said, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “If I let that stuff get to me, ain’t no telling where I’d be right now. I just let it roll off my shoulder and just keep going. Just keep trying to get better.”

So far, no word from Rosenfels.


Sage advice

Posted on: March 2nd, 2009 by Ron Kaplan

Quarterback Sage Rosenfels, who filled in so admirably for an injured Matt Schaub on the Houston Texans, has been traded to the Minnesota Vikings. He is expected to compete for the starting job with Tavaris Jackson.

No word yet on whether Vikes’ owner Zygi Wilf will give him time off for the Jewish holidays.

Word of advise, Sage: Don’t do this anymore.

Why people hate the media

Posted on: December 8th, 2008 by Ron Kaplan

I may be biting the hand that feeds me, but I’m getting so sick and tired of that segment of the media that loves nothing more than to take an otherwise sweet moment and twist it into something more appropriate for chortling middle-school adolescents.

Immediately following the broadcast of yesterday’s Giants-Eagles game, the network switched to a locker room scene where Zygi Wilf, owner and chair of the Minnesota Vikings, was presenting the game ball from the team’s 20-16 victory of the Detroit Lions to head coach Brad Childress, whose son was joining the miltary service that day. It was a nice gesture and a reminder that there are things that are actually more important than sports.

But since this took place in a locker room, with athletes in various states of undress, it was almost inevitable that some camera capture a scene that let’s just say was not suitable for general audiences. I did not see the “overexposure” that has so many reporters and bloggers so atwitter.  I’m sure if you want to, you can find a picture or video online somewhere.

But wouldn’t you think that both the players and broadcasters would be just a little more careful? Too bad such a hamishe expression was ruined.


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