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At the time of the Nazi invasion of Poland, Mala Litwin was nine years old. Her life as the beloved daughter of devoted and loving parents would be forever altered. The young girl who dreamed of becoming the next Madame Curie would have to wait many years before any sort of normalcy would return to her life.
Mala, her parents and sister were all taken to the Lodz ghetto in early 1943, where they were quickly separated. Mala's father, a trained electrician, worked the ghetto's lighting system for a time. When it was discovered that only carpenters would be saved during the liquidation of the camp, Mala's father, a scrupulous man, refused to lie and say he was a carpenter. The consequence was death and there was no time lost in getting rid of those not deemed necessary. Left utterly bereft of all family, Mala was sent to the death camp of Mauthausen-Gusan in Austria. When the prisoners were finally liberated by the Allies, Mala had no living relatives. She was adopted by the Valenskys, a Rabbinic family in Manchester, England. It was while living with the Valenskys that Mala was able to continue her abruptly curtailed education. It became quickly apparent to all those around her that Mala was a bright young woman, full of curiosity and enthusiasm; a natural and gifted student.
Despite her horrific experience as a child of war, Mala is a survivor. She remains eternally optimistic and has devoted her boundless energy to the well being of others. To honour the memory of her parents and to help children whose dreams may never be reached because of financial restraints, Mala established the Ari & Pearl Litwin Foundation. The foundation's mission is to enrich the lives of "gifted" children whose families are unable to monetarily support their dreams. A gifted student herself, Mala believes that money is not to just serve one's own purpose in life, rather enrich the lives of others. It is Mala's intention that the Ari & Pearl Litwin Foundation will serve the needs of the community in the GTA by identifying and supporting several gifted children per year as they embark upon perfecting their craft, be it in the arts, athletics, or sciences.