books
The Story of the MS St. Louis
The Story of the MS St. Louis

This project was a team effort consisting of 15 individuals and groups. David Berman and I worked directly with the project manager, Erica Phillips-Posner, the illustrator, Nicholas Jackson, the author, Sara Loewenthal, and Devora Caytak, a co-director of the Jewish Youth Library. Without Devora, this project would never have happened. She¬†applied and received major funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, who had funds available to non-profit organizations to commemorate the tragic events surrounding the MS St. Louis. The event… in May of 1939, just over 900 Jewish passengers were refused entrance into Canada and were forced to return to Europe, where it is estimated only 278 passengers survived extermination during the Second World War.

David and I were involved with designing and producing a book for children chronicling the voyage of the MS St. Louis as it might have been seen through the eyes of a child and the accompanying educational booklet for teachers and parents, presenting historical context. For me, the most profound aspect of the project occurred as I was researching a typeface for the storybook and came across one simply called Elizabeth. It was designed by Elizabeth Friedlander, a Jewish typographer living in Berlin. In 1933 she was asked to design a typeface for Bauersche Giesserei but was unable to name it Friedlander, as she wished, because it was a recognizable Jewish name. Her typeface was finally cut in 1939, but she never saw it as she had already fled Germany. It was the perfect choice for this book as well as a way to honour Elizabeth.