Dr. Elsie Fetterman receives 2020 Jean Haggerty Award

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Amherst Media will present the Jean Haggerty Award for community service at their 45th Annual Meeting held remotely Wednesday, October 28th, at 7:00 pm to Dr. Elsie Fetterman.
 
As a founding board member of Temple Beth Israel Preservation Society (TBIPS), of Danielson, CT, and a former employee of UMASS, Fetterman has worked tirelessly to uplift and educate others.
 
At 93 years old, her service demonstrates that no matter how young or old, that we must all do our part to make the world a better place. In her role as the Administrator with the Cooperative Extension Program at UMass, Elsie partnered with the Mass Transitional Office to provide education and training to mothers in need of government subsidies enabling them to become licensed family daycare providers.
 
In her retirement, Elsie brought renewed attention to TBIPS which is on two historic registries. Through her work with the Preservation Society, Fetterman wrote two grants to the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR); one to help restore the Temple in Danielson, and the other to fund a documentary. The second grant provided seed money for a video project produced by Amherst Media documenting the surviving members of the Danielson Temple.
 
"A House Built by Hope: A Story of Compassion, Resilience, and Religious Freedom," tells the story of Jewish-Christian solidarity in post-WWII. Built in the 1950s by the relocated Holocaust survivors and their families, with the support of residents in Danielson, the story of the Temple is a “message of hope and resilience during one of the world’s darkest moments,” says Elsie’s son, Dr.  David Fetterman, and co-author of the DAR grant. “2020 is one of the world’s darkest moments” and “we are in need of the documentary and the hopeful lessons from the past more than ever,” adds Elsie.
 
Since 2014, when the first grant was written jumpstarting the project, Fetterman’s momentum and her vision has grown. This year, the Mass Humanities awarded Amherst Media and Elsie a $11,250 grant to continue building a curriculum guide developed by Simon Leutz, who heads the Social Studies Department at Amherst Pelham Regional High School and teaches a special Holocaust elective unit for seniors. The curriculum will include interviews from TBIPS families whose ancestors were occupation-resistance fighters during WWII illuminating a unique part of American and Jewish history. 
 
The Amherst Media Annual Award was created in 2009 in tribute to the late Jean Haggerty who was a beloved producer and board member dedicated to the betterment of the community and advocacy for those without a voice.  Each year, the Board of Directors recognizes an individual or organization that believes in and demonstrates the importance of community engagement to obtain social change.
 
“I have always felt that if I saw a job that needed to be done, I would just try to tackle that job,” says Fetterman and the Board of Directors at Amherst Media are grateful to Elsie’s commitment to work worth doing. We welcome the community in joining us on October 28th, to celebrate Dr. Elsie Fetterman at our Annual Meeting as we highlight her decades-long service to our community.
 
The Annual Meeting can be viewed Wednesday, Oct. 28th at 7 pm on Channel 12, YouTube for Amherst Media, and at Facebook.com/Amherst Media.