Jerusalem Working Group
for Recognition of Major Jewish Rescuers during the Shoah
POB 23718 Jerusalem 91236

International Rescuer Day 2005 Preliminary Press Release
M. C. Luckman

PRESS CONTACT: Michael C. Luckman
MCL Communications
(212) 995-0384


The haunting "Wallenberg" theme song composed by Henry and Bobbie Shaffner of Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania will be the kickoff event at an emotionally charged salute to World War 2 Holocaust Hero Raoul Wallenberg on January 17 at the Merkaz Hatarbuyot (Cultural Center) in Jerusalem. Similiar tributes are scheduled in other world capitols.

Larry Pfeffer, chairman of the "International Rescuer Day 2005" sponsored by the Jerusalem Working Group for Recognition of Major Jewish Rescuers during the Shoah, announced that the Shaffners' song with lyrics by Lillian Lewis of New York City, will one of the highlights of a multi-media tribute to Wallenberg, who is credited by historians with saving the lives of some 100,000 Jews in Budapest during the Nazi Holocaust. Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat, disappeared in the Soviet Union 60 years ago, never to be heard from again. It is presumed that he perished in prison.

The Shaffners' musical tribute to Wallenberg has been in the forefront of official Wallenberg observances in New York and in Washington, D.C. The United States Army Band performed the Shaffners' "Wallenberg" theme song in the Capitol Rotunda during the dedication of the Raoul Wallenberg bust. The song was also played at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington on the occasion of the official dedication of the Raoul Wallenberg commemorative stamp by the United States Post Office.

The same "Wallenberg" tune by the veteran ASCAP husband and wife songwriting team is currently part of the official Heroes Curriculum of the Raoul Wallenberg Committee of the United States based in New York City. The Heroes Curriculum is in use in hundreds of schools throughout the nation.

The upcoming program in Jerusalem will include storytelling, poetry, commentary and music, including an opera titled, "Raoul," by Gershon Kingsley; a ballad by Sandy Cash called "Giorgio Perlasca;" and poetry about "Beacons in the Dark" by Rina Levinson. Special greetings will be delivered live from Israel, Paris, New York, Switzerland, El Salvador and other countries.

Radio stations in Israel, the United States, Sweden and Hungary are expected to broadcast the Shaffners' song, "Wallenberg," to an international audience comprised of millions of listeners. A CD containing the song will also be released in conjunction with the Wallenberg event in Jerusalem.

January 28, 2005