Lea Sigiel Wolinetz, Founder The Golden Bridge of Friendship, now known as Kidsave; Educator, Board of Education, New York, NY: The “Connector’s Connector,” Lea is the essential nucleus for connecting to anyone to anyone — from Harlem to Hollywood – within two-degrees of separation. In 1990, Lea joined Steven Spielberg and his select team to interview Holocaust survivors for the USC Shoah Foundation. Born to Holocaust survivors, Lea has identified and interviewed at least 50 survivors to preserve their testimonies in perpetuity. Lea’s interviews have been featured in Spielberg’s Academy Award winning film, Schindler’s List and in the Visual History Archive of the Foundation.
In 1996, to honor the children lost during World War II, Lea founded The Golden Bridge of Friendship, a non-profit organization created to match orphans from Eastern Europe with adoptive parents. The model she developed is now known as Kidsave, a global organization with a mission to unite older orphans with adoptive families of their own.
Lea began her professional career as an elementary school teacher and administrator in the New York City Public Schools. For 27 years, she taught grades K through 6 in Harlem, engaging and inspiring the most challenging students in a school populated by residents of low-income housing projects. Working with the Superintendent of Schools and District 5 in Harlem, Lea was a leader in a new federally-funded program, Project Giant Step – a program expanding upon Head Start, to bring early learning to 3-year-olds. Lea was tasked to develop a curriculum and train teachers in early childhood learning and reading.
A multi-level thinker and force-of-nature, Lea jumped in with creative alacrity to work with Susan Michelson in sales and marketing for her first start-up venture, Future Primitive Designs. Lea attended Vassar College, earned her BA at City College of New York (CCNY) and her Masters at Hunter College, City University of New York.