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Visas for Life — The Sousa Mendes Story

June 11 - July 2

| free but registration required
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The Sousa Mendes Foundation presents a five-part film series created in partnership with Portuguese television.  The series, called Visas for Life, traces the stories of numerous families saved by the Portuguese Consul General in Bordeaux, France, Aristides de Sousa Mendes.  Join us each week for a new episode.





⇒ Each week, from June 11 to July 2, watch a new half-hour episode of the film series Visas for Life on your home device. A link will be provided to all who register. New episodes will drop on Sundays at 9 AM ET.

⇒ Sunday, June 18, 2 PM ET, tune into PROGRAM 1 with our first panel of guests.  A link will be provided to all who register.

⇒ Sunday, July 2, 2 PM ET, tune into PROGRAM 2 with a different panel.  A link will be provided to all who register.




APS_2719 2Lúcia Gonçalves is a Portuguese journalist and documentary filmmaker with SIC news network, and the creator of the film series, Visas for Life. She is mostly known for her exploration of social and health subjects. She produced and anchored the show Beating Cancer, for which she won an award and released a book in 2010. She later released a second book, Survivors, written as a part of a documentary series. She has hosted debates and conducted interviews, and for 15 years was SIC Porto’s News Editor. Among the various awards she has received, most notable are two prizes she won during the pandemic, awarded to two documentary films: Critical State and Game of Illusions.

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Michael Spett is featured in the film series, Visas for Life. He is a retired New York City printer-publisher now residing in Florida. Born in Brussels, Belgium, he escaped with his family via France and Portugal. In 1986 the family’s Portuguese visa, signed by Aristides de Sousa Mendes in Bordeaux, was reproduced in The Courage to Care, a book about the Righteous Gentiles that was designed and printed by his firm. This led to his participation in the Portuguese documentary film Le Consul proscrit and subsequently to the production of another Holocaust related book, The Yellow Star. He is a member of the Advisory Council of the Sousa Mendes Foundation.

Head Shot RB 2Ron Brunell is a managing principal at The Signature B&B Companies and the son of Sousa Mendes visa recipient Jerry Brunell. Ron is featured in the film series Visas for Life. He serves on the Board of Directors of The Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County and is a member of its Executive Committee. He is the immediate past chair of the Applied Client Network, a national agency automation users group. Recently he also served on The Plattsburgh College Foundation board of directors. He also serves on various insurance company agency councils. As an Acrisure agency partner, he is on several agency task forces. He resides in Woodmere with his wife, Deborah, and they have two children and one grandchild.

better screen grab iva wummerIva Wummer is a Sousa Mendes visa recipient whose story is told in the film series Visas for Life. Born in Prague to a Jewish father and a Catholic mother, she escaped Nazi-occupied Europe and arrived in Brazil, where she grew up. Stricken with polio as a child, Iva was carried as a five-year-old by her father during their exodus in 1940.  Her father became a prominent citizen in Rio de Janeiro, and was awarded the keys to the city. For the past 38 years she has lived in Florida, where she started a successful security business that she still runs. She is the author of a memoir titled Miracles: The Story of Iva Polak Wummer.

Avi Losice 4Avi Losice is the Israeli representative of the Sousa Mendes Foundation.  He is a descendant of three generations who received June 1940 visas from Aristides de Sousa Mendes.  He was born and raised in Albany, NY.  Avi was educated at City University of New York and New York University in addition to Yeshiva Torah Vodaath. He was an analyst and a manager at Standard & Poor’s and an Assistant Director at the US Securities and Exchange Commission.  Avi and his family have made Aliyah and reside in Jerusalem.  He was one of the key organizers of the Sousa Mendes events in Jerusalem organized by the Sousa Mendes Foundation together with Yad Vashem and the City of Jerusalem.


Tickets are free, but registration is required.  This film series is brought to you through the generous support of Iva Wummer, who is featured in Visas for Life.




June 11
July 2
free but registration required
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