Our Mission & Philanthropy
The Bernard & Sandra Otterman Foundation is building a brighter future through education and collaboration. We are not currently accepting unsolicited proposals for new funding. Instead, we work behind-the-scenes to find and support NGOs and charities that fit our vision for a more peaceful and prosperous world.
Bernard Otterman - Co-Founder
Bernard Otterman, PhD (1937 - 2017), was born in Lodz, Poland. At the age of three, he and his parents escaped Lodz and fled to Warsaw by moving from ghetto to ghetto, only to be interned in several labor camps. Separated from his father, Otterman and his mother escaped the train line headed for Auschwitz, fled and hid for six months as fugitives in the Polish countryside until Russian troops liberated Poland. His father was first sent by train to Auschwitz, then immediately moved to a work camp in Germany. He also survived, and the family was reunited in Lodz in September 1945 through displaced persons listings posted by the Red Cross. They lived in Germany until coming to the United States in 1951. Bernard earned a PhD in natural sciences and served on the engineering faculties at Northeastern and Hofstra Universities. For more than thirty years, Bernard served as President of Norcor Management, a real estate firm specializing in Condominium and Cooperative housing in New York City. He was also an award-winning author and poet. His collection of Holocaust-inspired short fiction, Inmate 1818 and Other Stories, and the novel, Self-Deliverance: The Death and Life of Arthur Koestler, were published in 2015. For more information about his life and legacy, visit www.bernardotterman.com.
Sandra Otterman - Co-Founder
Sandra Otterman was born in Brooklyn, New York, and has taught primary education in public schools in Massachusetts and Long Island. A lifelong educator, and mother of three, Sandra also has volunteered for a number of nonprofit and parent-teacher organizations, including New York's Head Start Program.
Michael Otterman - Program Coordinator
Michael Otterman is an author and communications specialist based in NYC. He has worked for an array of nonprofit organizations, including the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation and Catalyst. He’s the author of two books — American Torture: From the Cold War to Abu Ghraib and Beyond (2007) and Erasing Iraq: The Human Costs of Carnage (2010). Most recently, he contributed a chapter to The Trump Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Living Through What You Hoped Would Never Happen (2017). In addition to administering the foundation with Sandra and his siblings, Michelle and Sharon, Michael works at Norcor Management in Jackson Heights, New York. He can be reached here.