Joan Halperin, daughter and granddaughter of Sousa Mendes visa recipients, is a retired teacher in the New York City public schools, where she also worked as a teacher trainer and wrote grants for her district. She also taught English for several years in Israel. In 1997, she facilitated the successful recuperation of her family's real estate holdings in Lodz, Poland that had been appropriated by the Communist regime. Later, she restored a former twelfth-century convent in Umbria, Italy, where she hosted many groups; these included Israeli soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, in collaboration with the Herzog Hospital of Jerusalem's PTSD unit. She participated in the Sousa Mendes Foundation's 2013 "Journey on the Road to Freedom" and gave testimony in the documentary film, With God Against Man. Joan is conversant in Polish, Hebrew, Italian and French and holds a Master's degree in TESOL from Adelphi University. She is the author of a forthcoming family memoir on how her family evaded the Nazi dragnet thanks to Aristides de Sousa Mendes.