How We Got Started
The Stefi Foundation was started in 2019 by Fusia’s son, Ed Burzminski. After Fusia passed away in 2018, Ed traveled to Poland to help Sharon Cameron with her research in writing the young-adult novel “The Light In Hidden Places”, a fictionalized story based on Fusia’s real-life experiences. Interviewing Helena in Poland and one of the few remaining of the rescued, visiting with the man who bought the house in Poland to convert it into a museum commemorating Fusia and Helena’s heroism and after walking the streets of what was the Jewish ghetto, walking the paths that Fusia and Helena walked so long ago, meeting with a local school teacher who teaches Fusia’s and Helena’s history at a local Primary School, Ed saw his mom from a completely different perspective.
Fusia’s story touches and inspires so many people in so many different ways… Ed felt this timeless story of compassion, tolerance and courage must be preserved and continue to inspire people throughout the world long into the future. Through a Foundation, equally passionate people can join to help guide, preserve, educate and promote Fusia’s story. The Stefi Foundation was born and ultimately renamed The Stefania Podgórska Foundation.
The son of Stefania Podgórska and the steward of her story. Through preserving and sharing Fusia’s story, Ed’s mission is to engage, inspire and empower people to believe that they do matter, that they CAN make a difference.
Gosia Szymanska Weiss
A not-for-profit consultant specializing in Polish-Jewish relations, Gosia worked for the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish community in Warsaw, Poland. She holds Masters’ degrees in Jewish Nonprofit Management and Public Administration.