LIfe in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project

About the Book

LIFE IN A JAR: THE IRENA SENDLER PROJECT (Long Trail Press, 2011) is the non-fiction account of how Irena Sendler rescued 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto. After the war her story remained unknown. Sixty years later, three Kansas teens find a reference to her heroism, which becomes a play they call Life in a Jar. Their play elevates Irena Sendler to hero and helps crack open Polish dialogue about the Holocaust. The “girls from Kansas” are living examples of the power of one person to change the world and models for young people everywhere. They continue to champion Irena Sendler’s legacy – courage, tolerance, respect for all.


Life in a Jar - SMSuggested Audience: Adult and Young Adult, Holocaust educators and museums, Social Workers, Teachers.

There are many important educational dimensions to Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project. As a non-fiction eBook it should be widely available for school use in appropriate curricula having to do with world history in general and the Holocaust in particular. This book is a unique contribution to Holocaust literature because it is both a contemporary as well as an historical work.

This book was a challenge to produce as an eBook. The format needed to incorporate many different styles to convey text, passages of script or decrees embedded in the book. Additionally, the eBook includes maps and many archival photographs of the Warsaw ghetto to compliment the text.

About the Author

JackMayerSmJack Mayer is a pediatrician and a writer. He began practicing pediatrics in 1976 in Enosburg Falls, Vermont, a small town in eastern Franklin County on the Canadian border. His was the first pediatric practice in that half of the county. He was a country doctor there for ten years, often bartering medical care for eggs, firewood, and knitted afghans. From 1987 – 1991 Dr. Mayer was a National Cancer Institute Fellow at Columbia University School of Public Health in New York City, researching the molecular biology of childhood cancer. Most of his scientific writing was done during those four years. He was also an academic pediatrician at Columbia University’s Presbyterian Medical Center.

Dr. Mayer returned to Vermont in 1991 and established Rainbow Pediatrics in Middlebury, Vermont where he continues to practice primary care pediatrics. He is an Instructor in Pediatrics at the University of Vermont School of Medicine and an advisor for pre-medical students at Middlebury College. Throughout his career, Dr. Mayer has written short stories, poems, and essays about his years in pediatric practice and hiking The Long Trail in Vermont. He was a participant at Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in 2003 and 2005 for fiction, and in 2008 for poetry. Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project is his first non-fiction book.

He lives in Middlebury with his wife, Chip. They have a grown son, Alex.