board of Trustees
Mark Schonwetter feels blessed to have a life. As a young Jewish boy in Poland during World War II, he spent three years hiding with his mother and sister in the homes of kind Polish people during the winters and in the forest during the warm weather months. After the war, Mark, along with his mother and sister, stayed in Poland and lived under the Communist Regime until 1957 at which time they had an opportunity to leave and emigrate to Israel.
Making a living in Israel was difficult, so after 4 years Mark reached out to his family in America and was sponsored to come to the United States. Not knowing a word of English and having only $5.00 in his pocket he boarded a ship and made his way across the ocean to start a new life for himself. With the help of family he obtained work at a jewelry factory sweeping floors. Working hard he went to school to learn English and started to learn the trade of the company. Within 5 years he rose to become the factory manager and in 1971, Mark had the opportunity to purchase a wedding ring manufacturing company of his own.
Over the next 40 years Mark grew Lieberfarb, Inc. into a successful nationally branded wedding ring and bridal brand. Married to his beautiful wife, Luba and having 2 daughters, Ann and Isabella, he now can say he has lived the American Dream.
Ann S. Arnold
Ann S. Arnold is a career driven mother of two young women who has lived in Bergen County, NJ for over 22 years.
From growing up in the jewelry business, to launching and leading a series of successful companies, Ann decided to follow her secret passion and desire, and write her first novel in 2016. In Together: A Journey for Survival, she shares her family’s journey through Poland’s countryside as a war of nations thunders around them. The story displays the magnificent strength of a mother’s love and the incredible courage of good people during the worst of times.
During the year’s following the release of the novel, and subsequent use of it and the accompanying lesson plan, Ann, her father Mark and sister Isabella have spoken to students as young as 5th grade and up through college age. During this time they recognized the need for Holocaust education funding which led them to create the foundation.
Isabella S. Fiske
Isabella Fiske is a woman that wears many different hats depending on the time of day. A mother of two teenage boys, Isabella finds a balance between her family, career and volunteer work.
Raised in the jewelry industry, Isabella Fiske’s family owned and operated Lieberfarb, Inc., a wedding and engagement ring manufacturer. After graduating college Isabella joined the business in the mid 1990’s, as Vice President of Marketing and Design. With Isabella’s assistance Lieberfarb was transformed from a simple wedding ring company into a nationally branded, full service bridal company. In 2002, she along with her sister, were honored with the Women’s Jewelry Association “Manufacturer of the Year” Award.
In 2016, Isabella started her own business, ISF Jewels. Leaving the manufacturing side of the industry she joined the retail sector by becoming a personal jeweler.
Most recently, in August of 2019, Isabella & Ann started the foundation in honor of their father, Mark Schonwetter. Being the daughters of a Holocaust survivor, they have made it their mission to promote awareness, kindness and respect through Holocaust education. Since 2015 she has been traveling to schools to speak with students about her father’s survival.
In addition, Isabella is an Officer of her Synagogue as well as being the Co-chair of the Jewish Federation-Holocaust Council of Greater MetroWest of NJ.
Holly S. Ash is a commercial credit underwriting manager currently working at People’s United Bank in the Long Island Business Banking Group. She began her career at First Fidelity Bank in Newark, NJ and subsequently worked at Credit Lyonnais in the Financial Institutions department.
Holly then left the workforce to raise her two sons while completing her Master’s Degree in Economics at NYU, serving as President at three PTA units in the Plainview-Old Bethpage school district, and working part time in jewelry sales. In 2014, she returned to the workforce at Suffolk County National Bank which was subsequently merged with People’s United Bank. Holly has also served as an Executive Board member and Treasurer of her synagogue, Midway Jewish Center, in Syosset, NY.
She is thrilled to have an opportunity to promote Holocaust education and awareness through this wonderful foundation.