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Helen and Sol Krawitz Holocaust Memorial Education Center

Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center

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Descendant Profile








  • DESCENDANT BIOGRAPHY BY ANN S. ARNOLD, author of together: a Journey for survival

     Ann, along with her sister Isabella Fiske, created the foundation in honor of their father. She is also the CFO of H. Arnold Wood Turning, Inc. a premier supplier of wood products and the Chief Strategy Officer of BIG (Buyers Intelligence Group), which provides comprehensive, scalable, industry solutions that deliver dramatically improved performance to jewelry retailers and manufacturers. ​ After graduating from Lehigh and earning her CPA working at Deloitte, she ran Lieberfarb, a leading U.S. based designer and manufacturer of bridal jewelry, for over 20 years, where most recently served as CEO. As a 27 year industry veteran Ann then founded the Arnold Advisory Group.  ​ She is proud of her accomplishments in and service to the jewelry industry. Some of these include: Past Chair of the Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT), Board Member and past Treasurer of the 24 Karat Club of New York, Former president of the National Board of Directors of the Women’s Jewelry Association and the WJA Foundation, Past Chair of the Manufacturers Jewelers and Suppliers of America (MJSA), Recipient of the distinguished WJA Award for Excellence in Manufacturing, and along with her father, Mark Schonwetter, she has won two Platinum Innovation Awards for Design. Her board works continues outside the jewelry industry as well. She is the current Treasurer of the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation as well as a board member of Mr. T’s Carting, a family owned and operated private waste management company and Day’s Jewelers, a leading jewelry retailers in Maine and New Hampshire. ​ One of her greatest accomplishments has been publishing, Together-A Journey for Survival. In September of 2016, she was awarded with the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Heroes for Tolerance Award. She speaks to people of all ages all over the country and has written a lesson plan to accompany the book which is now being used in many schools.

    Refer to Ann Arnold Interview (below) in Descendant Submission.



    Editor's Note:

    "Epilogue" Excerpted from Together: a Journey for Survival by Ann Arnold


    Q: What in the life of you, the author, enabled you to understand much of your grandmother’s, father’s, and aunt’s story?

    A: Having children of my own.


    Q: When did Mark return to Poland with his wife and two daughters?

    A: First we went as a family in 1993. But then we went again  2009.  The 2009 trip was "life-changing."


    Q: What did Jonathan Weber, a religious studies professor from England, petition Poland and the Rabbinical College of Rabbis to do?A: He wanted them to reinstate the Jewish cemetery in Brzostek. 


    Q: Did the citizens of Brzostek support this undertaking?

    A: Yes. The entire community did.


    Q: How many original headstones from the Jewish cemetery did the people of Brzostek locate?

    A: They located over 30 headstones.


    Q: Were any headstones from the Schonwetter family found?

    A: Yes, they found my great-grandfather, Fischel Schonwetter's headstone. 


    Q: What shocked you and your family about the turnout of people at the ceremony commemorating the reopening of the Jewish cemetery?

    A: Hundreds of townspeople had shown up for the event.


    Q: How did the mayor of Brzostek react when you thanked him for providing a final resting place for your grandfather, Israel Schonwetter?

    A: The mayor told me, “You don’t need to thank me. It was the right thing to do, it was the only thing to do”.


          Q: What activities did the local high school organize for that evening?

           A: They prepared a buffet of authentic Polish and Jewish food. They also prepared kosher meals. They learned and sang Hebrew Jewish songs. And the school also incorporated a Jewish studies program in their curriculum.


    Q: What has helped restore your faith in humankind?

    A: The knowledge that others appreciate how important and fragile the Jewish heritage is and how it must be preserved.


    Editor’s Note:

    Together: A Journey for Survival  ends with a poem Ann wrote when she was a teenager. 

     The poem ends with what warning for “those of you who think it never happened”?

    “They will live through it again”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

  • Sources and Credits:


     Together: A Journey of Survival , Available on Amazon. 

    The SSBJCC Holocaust Memorial and Education Center gratefully acknowledges the donation of Together: A Journey of Survival by Ann S. Arnold, daughter of Mark Schonwetter, as well as digital historic and family photographs therein.