May 11, 2011

A Visit from author Chris Nicola

Last week, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas hosted author Chris Nicola at their annual Yom HaShoah program. Chris is the author of Kar-Ben's award-winning book The Secret of Priest's Grotto. The Kar-Ben/Lerner offices are Minneapolis and we were lucky to have him stop by and visit before the event. (L to R: Publisher Joni Sussman, Lerner Founder Harry Lerner, Chris Nicola, and me. Photo by Todd Strand.)

Over 750 people came to the event to hear Chris speak about how the Stermer family lived for over 300 days in a series of caves in the Ukraine, without the modern equipment and knowledge required for cave exploration.

I have been working with Chris for four years yet was never able to meet him in person. It was a thrill to meet Chris and see his program, a very personal and moving account of how he connected with the survivors and their families and combined his love of caving and relationship with this family into a lifelong mission to preserve their story.

To invite Chris to your school or community, please email

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