BREAKOUT SESSIONS
Programs listed on Eastern Time 

Tuesday, May 4th  -  3:00pm

He Wanted to Save Them All: Canadian Jewish Soldiers Who Liberated Europe

From Canada, there were over a million men in uniform, including 17,000 Jewish soldiers, who helped liberate the Jews of Europe, rescued the survivors of the camps and the ghettos and the hidden children, and also worked after the war to reunite many with their families around the world, including here in Canada. For the tiny wartime Jewish community of Canada, the Second World War was what the prime minister of the day, Mackenzie King, called a “Double Threat”: he said Hitler was not only dangerous to freedom and democracy, but was a threat to the very survival of the Jewish people as a race.  And for the 17,000 Canadian Jewish soldiers who went to help fight Hitler, the war posed a great personal danger, should the Nazis capture them.

Ellin Bessner is a journalist, a professor at Centennial College Journalism School in Toronto, and the author of “Double Threat: Canadian Jews, the Military, and World War II”.  Ellin has spent eight years researching and interviewing over 300 Jewish WWII veterans and their families, to tell the untold stories of how and why Canada’s Jewish community mobilized to defeat Hitler and rescue the survivors of the Holocaust. 

Bob Delson is the son of Canadian veteran and liberator of Bergen-Belsen, Bernard Delson. Bob possesses an extensive collection of his father's photographs from WWII, which have only now been revealed publicly. He also has a personally gifted, signed yellow Jewish Star from the striped uniform of one of the 60,000 prisoners that were liberated. The black and white photos from Bergen-Belsen show mass graves, bodies in shrouds before burial, and one shows a sign indicating the location of mass grave #7.

The Intergenerational Transmission of Resilience in Children & Grandchildren of Survivors

Generously sponsored by Anette & Larry Goldstein

 

This presentation centers on how survivors’ strengths and “resilient identities” can arise from trauma and be carried through the generations. She will discuss how her clinical work with Holocaust survivors and descendants, as well as her own family’s history, have informed and shaped her research and understanding of this “intergenerational transmission of resilience.” Research on vulnerabilities and strengths of 2Gs & 3Gs, including the concept of epi-genetics and “post-traumatic growth” will be discussed.  Dr. Hoffman’s interdisciplinary research with linguist Judith Kaplan-Weinger developed a paradigm of Individual, Relational and Collective facets of resilient identity evident in the narratives of survivors and descendants.  Excerpts will be shared which illustrate how these types of resilience are transmitted through shared stories and shared attributes. If time allows, there will be an interactive exercise to consider one’s own resilient identity, possible inter-generational origins, and how such strengths may be carried forward to future generations. 

 

Dr. Yonit Hoffman is the Director of Holocaust Community Services (HCS) at CJE SeniorLife in Chicago, IL. She oversees all program development and service provision for nearly 2,000 Holocaust survivors, supervises clinical, care management and administrative staff, and provides direct services and support groups for survivors and their families.  She has served as a key facilitator in establishing community partnerships to build resources and capacity to support survivors.  Dr. Hoffman has conducted numerous national and community education and trainings for professionals, lay leaders and caregivers on person-centered, trauma-informed care and the special needs of aging Holocaust survivors. Dr. Hoffman received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Case Western Reserve University, and her prior clinical work centered on trauma, loss and under-served populations in Ohio, New York, New Jersey and Illinois.  Her clinical research included studies on resilience and identity in Holocaust survivors and their descendants, which she has presented and published both nationally and internationally. Dr. Hoffman is a second and third generation descendant of Holocaust survivors and victims.

Trauma-Informed Practice with Aging Survivors

After the Holocaust, the majority of survivors rebuilt their lives and became productive members of the communities where they settled. Today, they face new challenges as members of an aging population. The majority are in their eighties and nineties and aging and its associated losses may remind them of their traumatic wartime experiences, triggering feelings of grief, vulnerability, fear, dependency, and helplessness. The goal of this workshop is to enhance attendees’ knowledge about Holocaust Survivors by: Creating awareness about the unique issues they face; Educating about the impact of aging on traumatic memory; Discussing the impact of caregiving responsibilities on 2nd generation descendants; Presenting situations or events that may trigger traumatic memories; Providing practical techniques that enhance survivors’ coping abilities.

Myra Giberovitch is a licensed social worker, educator, therapist, trauma specialist, speaker and author. She started the first community-based social service program for Holocaust Survivors in Canada and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in this area.  An inspirational speaker, TEDxMontreal alumna, and media commentator, Myra shares her expertise and experiences about her life’s work with Holocaust Survivors and the lessons they teach across diverse media. Most notably, she is the author of Recovering from Genocidal Trauma: An Information and Practice Guide for Working with Holocaust Survivors (University of Toronto Press, 2014). Myra is also an adjunct professor and guest lecturer at the McGill University School of Social Work, and a member of the Claims Conference & JFNA Webinar Series Committee. She is the daughter of Holocaust Survivors.

Solutions for Modern Manifestations of Antisemitism on Campuses
 

Presented by Hillel International, Hillel Ontario & Texas Hillel.

Hilly Adler is a Political Science student at York University and serves as Hillel York’s 2020-2021 President. During his activism combatting campus antisemitism, Hilly has been successful in finding shared values with student groups across religious, cultural, and national lines. In a joint Israeli-Palestinian initiative, Hilly helped establish Bridging the Gap, a student organization that facilitates healthy dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian students.

Matthew Berger is Hillel International's Vice President for Strategic Action Programs and Communications. He oversees programs addressing anti-Semitic incidents, anti-Israel activity and security concerns on college campuses around the world. Matthew works with teams focused on educating and engaging Jewish students and broader campus communities on Israel, anti-Semitism and responding to incidents targeting the Jewish and pro-Israel community. He also oversees all aspects of Hillel’s communications and media strategy, including media relations, and serves as Hillel’s chief spokesman.

Ruth Chitiz is Hillel Ontario's Advocacy Manager for the Toronto campuses. After receiving her Masters degree in Religious Studies at Queen's University, Ruth worked as an academic research assistant in the Queen's School of Religion with a specialization in Islamic Studies. Her work at Hillel Ontario centres on building meaningful and strategic relationships with departmental, faith-based and ethno-cultural communities on campus, as well as bringing thoughtfully curated Israel-focused learning fellowships and programming to both the Jewish and broader student population.

Maiya Edelson is Texas Hillel's Executive Director. As Executive Director, Maiya works closely with students, staff and the broader community to advance Hillel’s work on campus and to inspire every Jewish student to create an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel. Maiya spent five years with Maryland Hillel as Assistant Director and Director of Educational Engagement, and previously worked as Program Director at Hillel at Davis and Sacramento. In 2015, Hillel International named Maiya a Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence. Maiya holds a Master’s Degree in Experiential Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Columbia University.

 

Julia Jassey is the co-founder and CEO of Jewish on Campus and co-host of the podcast Jewish Identity Crisis. Julia draws from her distinct background as an American Jewish woman from Mizrahi, Sephardi, and Ashkenazi ancestry as an advocate and activist for the Jewish community. As a second-year student at the University of Chicago studying Political Science and English with a minor in Jewish Studies, Julia hopes to use her experiences to cultivate a specialization in international conflict resolution. 

Tuesday, May 4th  -  4:00pm

Speaking Across the Divide: Growing Up in the Shadow of the Holocaust

In this program, Dr Noemie Lopian, daughter of Holocaust survivors, and Derek Niemann, grandson of a Nazi SS war criminal, discuss their different experiences in the hope it will stem the tide of Holocaust denialism, educate about antisemitism, and provide relevant lessons for a post-memory generation. Noemie Lopian grew up hardly speaking about the Holocaust, even though both of her parents were Survivors. Derek grew up knowing nothing about his connection to the Holocaust until the age of 49, when he found out, to his shock, that his paternal grandfather Karl Niemann was a Nazi war criminal. Derek uncovered the true story of how his grandfather’s “business” used thousands of slave labourers from concentration camps including Auschwitz, Dachau, Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen. This program aims to provide an insight into the continuing impact and inherited legacies of the Holocaust across generations, exploring the experiences of both victim and perpetrator through memoir extracts, photographs and memories.

Dr. Noemie Lopian is the daughter of Holocaust survivors Dr Ernst Israel Bornstein and Renee Bornstein. Noemie lived in Germany until the age of 13 before moving to Manchester, England. She qualified as a GP and for the last few years has dedicated her time to educating and commemorating the Holocaust, continuing the legacy of her parents. She spent three years translating her father Ernst’s book from German ,Die Lange Nacht ,into English ,The Long Night (The Toby Press: 2016). ​The Long Night has been featured on BBC radio and television and ITV News, in addition to articles and reviews in The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Express, The Jewish News and The Jewish Chronicle.

Derek Niemann is a freelance writer and editor specialising in natural history and memoirs. In 2012, he interrupted a career writing about bees and butterflies to begin researching and writing a family history story that became A Nazi in the Family, based on the SS grandfather he never knew. Derek is a creative writing tutor at Cambridge University, a nature columnist for The Guardian, a regular magazine feature writer, and edits a magazine for small woodland owners. He considers his Holocaust mission to be among the most important work of his life.

How to Tell Your Parents' Stories

A panel on different approaches 2Gs use to effectively and accurately continue sharing the testimonies of their survivor parents.

 

Dori Ekstein graduated from York University from the Concurrent Education Program and received a Bachelor of Arts, Specialized Honours in Psychology. Dori has been a Museum Educator at the Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre since 2011, where she gives tours of the museum and teaches students about the Holocaust. She is also the past co-Chair of Neuberger’s Signature Holocaust Education Week 2014, 2015 & 2016, a founding member and co-Chair of their Survivor Connexion Committee, and a founding member of their Dialogue for Descendants Committee. In 2015, Dori won a United Jewish Appeal award as Volunteer of the Year for her commitment and dedication to Holocaust Education. In 2018, Dori created her own Holocaust Education Program that shares her father’s oral testimony, which she has presented in many Toronto schools.

Michelle Glied-Goldstein co-founded Carrying Holocaust Testimony from Generation to Generation in 2017, with her father, Holocaust Survivor Bill Glied z”l.  Michelle is Vice-President of the Toronto Chapter of Weizmann Canada, co-chair of the Speaker’s Idol committee at Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre (FSWC), member of the FSWC Senate, a past docent at the Neuberger Holocaust Centre and past Board member of Bialik Hebrew Day School. Michelle holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Toronto and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business.  

Esther Toporek Finder is founder and member of the Coordinating Council of Generations of the Shoah International (GSI), founder and President of Generations of the Shoah – Nevada, President of the Holocaust Survivors Group of Southern Nevada and former President of The Generation After in the Washington, DC area. For 27 years, Esther taught psychology at Montgomery College in Maryland where she served on their Speakers Bureau. She has run numerous speaker training workshops for descendants of Holocaust survivors. 

American Witnesses: Eyewitness Film Footage at Liberation

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's American Witnesses exhibition presents selections from private films taken by American soldiers who documented the effects of persecution and Nazi atrocities in liberated areas of Europe with their personal movie cameras.  A film archivist will discuss how such amateur films complicate, contradict, and add nuance to the official film canon, which has defined how the events of the Holocaust have been visualized in the postwar years.  

 

Lindsay Zarwell has worked as a film archivist at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum since 2000 where she acquires, conserves, and manages historic media. She is particularly focused on collecting and interpreting amateur film collections and preserving the Claude Lanzmann SHOAH archive. She also develops archival strategies and digital workflows for the recorded sound and music collections. Lindsay was instrumental in launching the first web-based catalog with streaming video for public access to Holocaust film footage and continues to advance digital access to historic time-based media collections. 

World Federation of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust & Descendants

Led by Child Survivor Speakers, Stefanie Seltzer (President) & Daisy Miller (Vice President); and Second Generation Speaker, Charles Silow. 

 

This program will review the development and the underlying reasons for the creation of the World Federation, why Child Survivors felt compelled to form an organization that would give them the freedom to speak about their experiences, to give themselves a voice.  Child Holocaust Survivors were not thought to have memories of the tragedies that they experienced in their young lives.  The World Federation helped create a community, a family, for Child Survivors to come together to express themselves and allow their voices to be heard.  

The tremendous impact of the Holocaust has continued to reverberate through the generations.  Over the years, the WFJCSHD has grown to accept and integrate Children of Survivors and later, the Third Generation into the organization.  The importance of coming together as a family at its’ annual gatherings, has enabled the survivor community to share and learn with one another, and to help enable healing and peace.

Wednesday, May 5th  - 11:00am

Writing Survival, Writing History: The Holocaust in Hungary

 

In a conversation moderated by the prize-winning journalist Nina Munk, survivor Max Eisen and professor Ferenc Laczó discuss the causes, unfolding, and consequences of the Holocaust in Hungary. Drawing on his acclaimed memoir, By Chance Alone, Mr. Eisen offers a firsthand account of a childhood upended and the resilience required to survive Auschwitz while Dr. Laczó, author of Hungarian Jews in the Age of Genocide, situates the so-called Last Chapter of the Holocaust amidst historiographic controversies. How do memoirist survivors of the Holocaust relate to interpretations by historians? How do memoirs by Holocaust survivors impact the way we write history?

Nina Munk is a journalist and author whose articles have appeared in The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, The New York Times Magazine, Fortune, and many other publications. She is the author or co-author of four books, most recently The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty. She is also the editor of How it Happened: Documenting the Tragedy of Hungarian Jewry. Currently, as the John and Constance Birkelund Fellow at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, Ms. Munk is working on work of narrative nonfiction about how her family survived the Holocaust in Hungary.

Ferenc Laczó is an assistant professor with tenure at the Department of History, Maastricht University. He is the author of several books and co-editor, most recently, of The Routledge History Handbook of Central and Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century. Volume 3: Intellectual Horizons (London: Routledge, 2020). His writings have appeared in twelve languages and been reviewed in over thirty publications.

Dr. Max Eisen was born on March 15, 1929 in Moldava nad Bodvou, Slovakia. He is an author, public speaker and Holocaust educator. He travels throughout Canada giving talks about his experiences as a concentration camp survivor, to students, teachers, universities, law enforcement personnel, and the community at large. He has worked with the March of the Living, the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, and the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI). Max has been an active participant on the March of the Living, where he has gone back to Auschwitz-Birkenau  with thousands of students, 18 times. In 2015-2016, Max testified in Germany at the trial of two former SS guards at Auschwitz: Reinhold Hanning and Oskar Gröning. Both were convicted at their trials.

Intergenerational Transmission of Resilience and Vulnerabilities:

The Reactions of Descendants of the Holocaust to the COVID-19 Pandemic

 

When I was originally invited to speak at this event, I planned to speak about resilience and vulnerabilities in Holocaust offspring.  The coronavirus pandemic prevented us from meeting as we had planned, and created unprecedented circumstances that tested us all over the past year.  My talk this time will focus on the reactions of children (and grandchildren) of Holocaust survivors to the events of the past year, demonstrating the ways in which our Holocaust background has influenced our experiences during this trying time, and how particular resilience and vulnerabilities associated with our unique legacy have been activated in response to the coalescing social, political and financial crises that took place alongside the global pandemic.  This talk will review the empirical findings from my research, conducted between July-October 2020, and also the observations from multiple interactive online webinars in which over 3000 children of survivors have participated since March 2020.

Dr. Irit Felsen  is a clinical psychologist specializing in trauma and traumatic loss with a focus on Holocaust survivors and their descendants. She is an adjunct professor at Columbia University and at Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University. In addition to her private practice, Dr. Felsen is the Chair of the American Psychological Association Interdivision COVID-19 Task Force, and the Co-Chair of the Trauma Working Group of the NGO Committee on Mental Health in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations. She is also a board member of the Holocaust Council of Metro West, a member of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, and a researcher with the Yale University Trauma Study Group, where she served as principal investigator in a study about trauma, PTSD, and psychosis in chronically hospitalized psychiatric patients who were Holocaust survivors. Her work on this study was published in a book Psychoanalysis and Holocaust Testimony: Memories of Unwanted Social Trauma, by Routledge's Relational Psychoanalysis series (2017). Her recent research on the reactions of offspring of survivors to the COVID-19 pandemic is being currently published by the Journal Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, Policy and the Journal of American Orthopsychiatry. Dr. Felsen published in the International Handbook of Multigenerational Legacies of Trauma, the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, the American Journal of Psychiatry, the International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology (now Journal of Psychoanalysis, Self and Context), Psychoanalytic Psychology, and others.

Holocaust Memory & the Future: How Can You Help?

The Holocaust happened more than 70 years ago. As the opportunity for survivors’ first-hand testimonies diminish, preserving the memory of the Holocaust is more critical than ever. Join us to learn about new and engaging ways to share the memory of the Holocaust and what you can do to contribute.

With Sharon Beunos, Global Director for Zikaron BaSalon. Zikaron BaSalon is a social initiative that takes place around the world on Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day). Literally meaning "remembrance in the living room" in Hebrew, the idea was born out of the understanding that modern society’s connection with the memory of the Holocaust has significantly deteriorated. Alongside formal events, Zikaron BaSalon offers a new, meaningful and intimate way to commemorate this day and address its implications through discussions at home among family, friends and guests. It is a unique and authentic tradition of people gathering together to open their hearts to the stories of the survivors, sing, think, read, talk, and most importantly—listen.

Wednesday, May 5th  -  3:00pm

Belonging Differently: Queer Identities Among the 2nd & 3rd Generations

 

Belonging Differently will explore how we, as LGBTQ descendants of survivors, narrate our parents' and grandparents’ stories, integrating our inheritance of their experiences as we fashion authentic identities of our own. We will share experiences of recognizing and nurturing queer identities mixed in with family life that was marked by the horrific imprint of the Shoah.  We will also look at the ways we navigate the joys and burdens of multiple identities that often set us apart in social, economic and religious contexts - personal sensibilities that can lead to a more inclusive understanding of the ‘other'.

Jacob Evoy (they/them/their) is a doctoral candidate at the University of Western Ontario completing a collaborative degree in Women's Studies and Feminist Research, and Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Reconstruction. Their doctoral research project is an oral history of LGBTQ+ children of Holocaust survivors entitled "Queering the Post-Holocaust Experience: An Oral History of LGBTQ+ Children of Holocaust Survivors." Their research interests include: Holocaust and genocide studies, memory and memorialization, LGBTQ+ history, and queer theory. They have recently published a short piece in the Association of Jewish Studies' magazine Perspectives entitled "LGBTQ Children of Holocaust Survivors" 

Interdisciplinary artist Wendy Oberlander’s work explores the hidden, working with materials and methods that stimulate both the sensory and the cultural imagination. Her work has been exhibited across North America and Europe in museums, galleries, public spaces, and cinemas. Award-winning films Nothing to be written here and Still (Stille) trace Oberlander’s inheritance of her parents’ war-time experiences. A long-time educator, Oberlander has curated numerous projects addressing identity, the archive, and memory. Past projects have been generously supported by the Canada Council, BC Arts Council, National Film Board and the Fulbright Scholars Program, among many others. 

Golan Moskowitz is Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and Catherine and Henry J. Gaisman Faculty Fellow at Tulane University, where he teaches courses on Jewish gender and sexuality, American pop culture, Holocaust studies, and comics and graphic novels. He is the author of Wild Visionary: Maurice Sendak in Queer Jewish Context (Stanford University Press, 2020) and of several publications on intergenerational memory in post-Holocaust family narratives. Golan's work has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, and the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry.

Madelaine Zadik is a daughter of two Holocaust survivors. She is part of a group of Jewish Lesbian Daughters of Holocaust Survivors that formed in the 1980s. She is currently at work on a memoir about her relationship with her Aunt Helga, whom she never knew except through letters Helga wrote from prison in Nazi Germany. Her essay “Helga is With Me in New Mexico” (an excerpt from her memoir) appeared in DoveTales: An International Journal of the Arts. Her essay “Triumph,” forthcoming in Being Home: An Essay Anthology, addresses issues of the “Holocaust as home.”

 Holocaust Refugee Voices Testimony Archive

 

Michael Newman is Chief Executive of the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR), which represents and supports Holocaust refugees and survivors in Great Britain. A previous Chair of the Communications Working Group, he is a member of the UK delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).As well as being an advisor on Holocaust-era restitution issues, guiding Holocaust survivors and refugees, and their families, with applications for compensation and the recovery of Holocaust era assets, he worked with the UK government to create the position of UK Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues and now advises incumbent Lord Eric Pickles. He also advises Lord Pickles on a number of Holocaust related issues.

Dr. Bea Lewkowicz is a social anthropologist and oral historian and is the director of the AJR Refugee Voices Testimony Archive. She is a member of the Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies, School of Advanced Study, University pf London. Her research interests include oral history; trauma and memory; diasporas and displacement; and nationalism and ethnicity. She has worked on many oral history projects and has directed and produced a wide range of testimony-based films. She has also curated several exhibitions, such as ‘Continental Britons’, ‘Double Exposure’, ‘Sephardi Voices’, and most recently ‘Still in Our Hands: Kinder Life Portraits’.

*Moved to 6:00pm Exhibits Preserving Holocaust History through Artifacts

 

How does the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum preserve the memory of the Holocaust in the decades to come?  To ensure the history is not forgotten, the USHMM actively acquires original artifacts, documents, correspondence, photographs and films.  Once the eyewitness generation has passed, the carefully preserved and cataloged artifacts will remain as incontrovertible evidence of the Nazi atrocities committed against the victims of the Holocaust. The USHMM is committed to making this evidence available for generations to come. 

 

Kassandra LaPrade Seuthe is an acquisitions curator within the National Institute for Holocaust Documentation at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Working alongside a team of dedicated colleagues, Kassandra identifies, researches, and acquires the object and documentary record of the Holocaust for the Museum’s permanent collection. Bringing German language expertise and a background in Holocaust and 20th century European history, Kassandra has contributed to prior Museum exhibitions including "Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration and Complicity and the Holocaust (2013–2017)." Kassandra is committed to collecting the irrefutable evidence of the Holocaust so that it may be preserved and made accessible for future generations.

Thursday, May 6th  -  10:00am

Meet the Kindertransport Association

In the months before World War II, nearly 10,000 children were sent, without their parents, from Nazi Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Danzig and Poland to safety in England. Unaccompanied children in much smaller numbers were sent to Sweden, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands and Belgium. The Kindertransport Association connects Kindertransport Survivors, their children and grandchildren, preserves and shares Kindertransport Survivor histories, and supports children in need and child refugees. Join us for a gathering hosted by Second Generation Kindertransport Survivors KTA President Melissa Hacker, Vice Presidents Anita Grosz and Shoshanah Wolfson, and Toronto based KTA members Margaret Kittel Canale, Susan Stayna and Carole Borgh. All are welcome, Kinder, the next generations and interested friends, longtime KTA members and folks meeting us for the first time!

 

Melissa Hacker is the first member of the Second Generation to serve as President of the Kindertransport Association, and is the daughter of a Kindertransport Survivor from Vienna. Melissa is a filmmaker who made her directing debut with the documentary My Knees Were Jumping; Remembering The Kindertransports, which was short-listed for Academy Award nomination, seen in film festivals, cinemas, museums, on television, community centers and universities worldwide. Melissa is also a wandering professor of documentary film most recently at Yangon Film School in Myanmar. Melissa consulted on the 2018 exhibit, Rescuing Children on the Brink of War at the Center for Jewish History in New York, and has written for the catalog and provided material for a Kindertransport exhibit opening in December 2021 at the Jewish Museum Vienna. Melissa serves on the Executive Committee and the Governing Board of the World Federation of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust and Descendants.

 

Anita Grosz and Shoshana Wolfson are the Vice Presidents of the Kindertransport Association. 

Carole Borgh's mother is Renate (Herzog) Cahn, who left Krefeld, Germany on a Kindertransport in 1939 (age 15). Carole's father is Guenther Cahn,  who left Düsseldorf, Germany on a Kindertransport in 1939 (age 14).

 

Margaret Kittel Canale's mother is Vera (Posener) Kittel, who left Germany on a Kindertransport on July 25, 1939.

Susan Stayna's father is Karl Stayna, who left Vienna on a Kindertransport (the first out of Austria) on December 10, 1938 (age 12).

After the Last Survivor: Yiddishkayt Initiative Holocaust Programs and the Czestochowa Legacy

Czestochowa, Poland is considered one of the most important European centers of Jewish faith and culture in the long history of the Jewish people. From the early 19th century, Jews played an important role in the development of industry and commerce in Czestochowa, and a number of Jewish social, educational and charitable institutions were established. Lea Sigiel-Wolinetz is the Executive Director of the World Society of Czestochowa Jews and their Descendants. Over the years, Lea has been asked, repeatedly, why she has given so much of herself to the city of Czestochowa, Poland. Her mother Pola Horowicz Sigel left Czestochowa so many years ago, with such terrible memories, but there were good memories, as well, and stories that had to be told about Jewish life in the city that was the home to . Her task is to recount the stories of her forefathers, as a bequest, for the sake of Jewish children and grandchildren. As the world loses more Holocaust survivors, it becomes the next generation’s mission to pass this legacy on and to celebrate the rich and deep history of the Jewish people.

Avi Hoffman is the CEO and founder of the Yiddishkayt Initiative and actor specializing in Jewish culture and Yiddish theater. His long-running “Too Jewish” trilogy has been seen by millions on PBS and in venues around the world. He has produced and presented shows throughout North America, Europe and Israel. International Festivals include Romania, Poland, New York, Toronto, Montreal, Tel-Aviv and other European cities and countries. His connections in the theater, entertainment and film communities are extensive. He has received a Congressional Award and was named a “Sage” by The New York Times. Both he and his mother were recently inducted into the Bronx Hall of Fame.

Lea Wolinetz was born to Holocaust Survivors from Poland. She started her professional career as a Public School teacher and administrator in the New York City Public School system. Coming from her education background, she’d go on to help create Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation. To honor the millions of children lost during World War 2, in 1994 she created The Golden Bridge of Friendship. The non-profit was designed to match orphans from Eastern Europe with adoptive parents. The model she developed is now used across the globe. Mrs. Wolinetz has served as Coordinator for the Jews of Czestochowa Exhibit and Outreach Manager for the Polin Museum in Warsaw. She currently acts as the Executive Director of the Worldwide Czestochowa Jews and their Descendants, and the Secretary of Czenstochowa Relief Society.

Spiritual Resistance: Searching for Humanity in an Inhumane World

The creation of schools, keeping diaries, and maintaining religious customs, are just some of the many ways that Jewish people "fought" against their oppressors during the Holocaust. In this session we will journey into Yad Vashem's Holocaust History Museum and explore how Jews engaged in acts of spiritual resistance as a part of their struggle to maintain their dignity and humanity in a world of chaos and dehumanization.

 

This program will tour the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center. Established in 1953 by an act of the Knesset (Israeli Parliament), Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, is entrusted with the task of commemorating, documenting, researching and educating about the Holocaust: remembering the six million Jews murdered by the German Nazis and their collaborators, the destroyed Jewish communities, and the ghetto and resistance fighters; and honoring the Righteous Among the Nations who risked their lives to rescue Jews during the Holocaust. Yad Vashem encompasses 45 acres on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem and is comprised of various museums, research and education centers, monuments and memorials. Among these are the Museum Complex, the Hall of Remembrance, the Valley of the Communities and the Children’s Memorial. Each year, approximately one million people visit Yad Vashem, and millions more visit its website, which is now available in eight languages.

Lori Gerson is an educational coordinator for Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center. After graduating from Barnard College in New York, Lori worked for many years in the field of education in the United States.  In 2005, Lori made aliyah with her family and then joined the Yad Vashem team as a guide for educational groups. Since 2016, Lori has taken on the role of Educational Coordinator in Yad Vashem’s International Training and Education Department where she lectures, coordinates seminars, develops curriculum and guides educators in best practices. 

Thursday, May 6th  -  11:00am

 

Women in the Holocaust: Why Their Stories Matter Today

What we can learn from the lives and actions of women of the Holocaust to address the issues of today with the kind of courage that they displayed? This is especially relevant in a time when antisemitism is rising all over the world. A dynamic conversation between Dr. Racelle Weiman - Holocaust Educator, scholar and film maker,  and Dr. Renate Krakauer - Survivor, Author and Educator, will be moderated by Dr. Karen Mock -  Human Rights Consultant and President of JSpaceCanada. This session will highlight the unique and crucial roles played by women in the Holocaust – survivors, partisans, resisters, righteous rescuers, friends, sisters, wives, mothers – role models all.  So many acts of survival were, and still are, dependent on women. We can learn from the courageous actions of women in the Holocaust that can enhance our lives and our struggles today.

 

Dr. Renate Krakauer, BScPhm, MES, DHSt(Hon), EdD is a child Holocaust survivor, who was incarcerated with her parents in the Stanislawow Ghetto in Poland until her mother smuggled her out. After a brief career in pharmacy, Dr. Krakauer became the Director of the Centre for Women at Humber College and taught Women’s Studies at York University. Her next career was as Director of Human Resources, first in the City of York, then in the Ministry of Health, where she continued to be a change agent. Her last position was as President and CEO of The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences. Her self-assessment tool for learning-centred education, “Criteria for A Learning College”, was widely disseminated in Canada and the USA.  Upon retirement, Dr. Krakauer wrote short stories and personal essays for journals and anthologies. “But I Had a Happy Childhood” was a companion piece to her father’s Holocaust memoir. Her novel, “Only by Blood” was published in 2015. She has one unpublished novel and is currently working on a collection of survivor stories. Dr. Krakauer has spoken to groups of students of all ages about her and her family’s Holocaust experience, as well as given talks about her novel to women’s groups, libraries, and at a Jewish Literary Festival.  
Dr. Racelle Weiman is an international scholar in the field of Interreligious Dialogue, Post Holocaust Theology, Genocide Prevention and Minority Studies, and is a world -renowned lecturer and film producer. She has served as a lecturer and scholar-in-residence in over 35 countries, specialized in teacher training and professional development projects worldwide, appearing on radio, TV and in print. Currently, in addition to writing and producing films and heading special humanitarian initiatives, she leads educator seminars and global leadership training worldwide.  Founding Director of the Dialogue Institute, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, Dr. Weiman developed a global professional and academic training centre in interreligious and intercultural dialogue, interfacing with the U.S. State Department on issues of religious freedom. She assumed this position after her award-winning work as the founding Director of the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati Ohio.  In Israel, she served on the faculty of University of Haifa, Israel and on staff of The Ghetto Fighters’ Museum on Holocaust and Resistance (Beit Lohamei HaGhetaot) as well worked on projects for the Ministry of Education and the Foreign Ministry of Israel.   Dr. Weiman was awarded the highest civilian Medal of Honor from the Philippines Government, Order of Lakandula, in recognition of  her Holocaust refugee rescue research and advocacy. She served as a Fulbright Fellow in several countries, and has been honored by political, civic, social and academic bodies in the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Latvia, Indonesia, Jordan, Israel and Germany.

Dr. Karen Mock is a human rights consultant, psychologist and teacher educator. She taught for many years at the university level, is a former Executive Director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, and of the League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada, where she coordinated and lead the Holocaust and Hope Educators Study Tour to Germany, Poland and Israel for 12 years. Karen is currently the President of JSpaceCanada, raising the progressive and pro-peace Jewish voice, and is an active founding member of the Antiracist Multicultural Education Network, the Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims, the Canadian Arab Jewish Leadership Dialogue, and the Enhancing Social Justice Education Group. Well known as a dynamic speaker and workshop coordinator,  Dr. Mock is qualified by the Canadian courts and Human Rights tribunals as an expert on antisemitism, racism, discrimination, hatred and hate group activity. She has received many awards and honours for her work including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, “for service to her community, peers and country,” and was inducted into to the Order of Canada in 2018.

Holocaust Reparations and Restitution, 1945-2020: Behind the Legal Battles

 

William R. Marks, Esq., is a nationally-recognized expert in the field of German reparations and restitution, who began specializing in Holocaust-related compensation claims over two decades ago, after his historic success in the matter of American Holocaust survivor Hugo Princz. Since 1996, Mr. Marks’ firm, in cooperation with attorneys in Munich and Berlin, has led the legal and political battles to expand survivor eligibility for various compensation programs, particularly for German Social Security / Ghetto, Wiedergutmachung (health) and “Article 2” pensions. To date, they have represented over 40,000 Survivors (or heirs) worldwide and collected millions of dollars in client recoveries. Mr. Marks also participated in the landmark Nazi-era litigation against Swiss and Austrian banks, as well as German companies that used slave labor. Mr. Marks has been featured in national, legal and / or Jewish publications for his work on behalf of Survivors, including in The New York Times, Washington Post, New York Post and in the book Soldiers and Slaves by New York Times columnist Roger Cohen, who cited Marks for his efforts on behalf of military internees of WWII concentration camps with wartime claims to U.S. citizenship (like Hugo Princz). Join us as Marks discusses case studies and reflects upon the profound impact of his career-long pursuit of justice in service of those who endured the greatest trauma of our time.

 

William Marks, a native New Yorker, is a cum laude graduate of Harvard College and the Georgetown University Law Center and a member of the New York, New Jersey and District of Columbia Bars. Prior to opening The Marks Law Firm in 1996, he worked at AIPAC, served as Legislative Director for Foreign Policy to former Congressman Mel Levine (D-CA) and was in private law practice.

Liberated & Rescued/СПАСЕННЫЕ И ОСВОБОЖДЕННЫЕ     

Jewish "Children of War" from USSR & Descendants

PROGRAM OFFERED IN RUSSIAN & ENGLISH

 

Not only adults, but the Children of War were direct or indirect victims of the wartime. WWII was a devastating experience for many Jews in the Concentration camps due to the Holocost, and for those displaced families, who were forced to abandon their homes and escape to safety mostly to Central Asia's region, where around 1.5 million civilians have been saved altogether. These heart-breaking stories of survival are reminders of everyday miracles in a peaceful life, which post-war generations are lucky to enjoy. In this program, Zelina and Alex Iskanderov, the former citizens of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, along with other participants and their descendants, recall the experience of growing up during and immediately after WWII. Both Alex's parents served in the Red Army, liberating the country and the world from Nazis, and Zelina's relatives were evacuated to Uzbekistan from Moscow (Russia) and Odessa (Ukraine). Their stories are remarkable historical accounts from the children's perspective - just like adults, they had to suffer and survive. Such tales of survival inspired Uzbek filmmakers from "Favvora films" for an outstanding documentary film "Big Heart of Tashkent" about the important role of Uzbekistan and its capital Tashkent in providing a safe place to evacuated children, women and elderly population, with almost 250,000 Jews being among them. This will be remembered forever!                            

 

Вторая мировая война была страшным испытанием и для сражавшихся на фронтах, и для мирных жителей, женщин, стариков и детей. особенно еврейских,  которым грозила неминуемая гибель в аду Холокоста. Многие из них были спасены в эвакуации, в основном в Средней Азии, в Узбекистане, где всего было спасено более 1.5 миллионов человек.  Алех Искандеров, инженер-физик, один и Детей войны, чьи родители более двух лет воевали с нацистами на фронте, освобождая (liberating) свою страну и весь мир от фашизма, и Зелина Искандерова, ученый-исследователь, чьи родные попали в эвакуацию в Узбекистан из Москвы (Россия) и Одессы (Украина), вместе с другими участниками программы, вспоминают в присутствии своих потомков жизнь ребёнка во время и сразу после окончания Второй мировой войны. Именно такие многочисленные истории вдохновили узбекских кинематографистов Студии "Favvora Films" на создание замечательного документального фильма "Большое сердце Ташкента" о исторически важной роли Узбекистана. и его столицы - Ташкента - в спасении эвакуированных детей, женщин и стариков. В Ташкенте оказалось более 250000 еврейских семей, спасшихся от нацистской расправы, смерти от голода или от военных действий.  Именно эта опалённая войной и спасённая часть еврейского народа породила поколение свободных людей, изменивших мир и сделавших его лучше для всех народов, а главное - для своих детей, внуков и правнуков.

Dr. Zelina Iskanderova is a physicist and researcher in the field of interaction of atomic particles. Zelina is an Associate Professor of the Institute of Aerospace Studies, University of Toronto, and Head of the Department of Space Materials Integrity Testing Laboratory She is involved with the Jewish Russian Community Centre of Ontario, leads the program "Evening of Jewish Culture", dedicated to the outstanding talents of the Russian and Soviet Jews and their global impact. Zelina cooperates g with well-known Jewish scholars, artists, journalists and writers around the world, including the Yiddish writer Boris Sandler (former editor for many years of Yiddish “Vorwärts" publication in New York), Alexander Gorodnitsky (whose film "In Search of Yiddish," Zelina represented to the Toronto Jewish Film Festival), and well-known journalist Leonid Makhlis.

Lana Barkan is a communications and marketing specialist, TV host and producer, journalist, and promotional writer. Lana is passionate about Russian community initiatives, and collaborates with the Toronto Russian Film Festival, Russian Musical Drama Theatre, and similar educational centres. Lana also provides training in speech writing and public speaking.

Unveiling Holocaust Secrets to Prevent Future Genocides

Father Patrick Desbois is the founder and president of Yahad - In Unum (“Together In One”), a non-profit organization dedicated to discovering genocidal practices around the world, providing documented proof of crimes against humanity, and a leading voice of protest on behalf of all past and present victims of mass murder. While documenting the evidence of the Holocaust in Eastern Europe, known as the “Holocaust by Bullets,” Father Desbois and Yahad - In Unum have uncovered the location of more than 3,000 killing sites and documented more than 7,250 witness testimonies to the war crimes of the Einsatzgruppen (Nazi Death Squads). Father Desbois documented this research in two books: “Holocaust by Bullets: A Priest’s Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews,” published in 2009, and “In Broad Daylight: The Secret Procedures Behind the Holocaust by Bullets”, released in early 2018. Since 2015, Father Desbois and his team have expanded their scope of anti-genocide vigilance by investigating the Yazidi massacres in Northern Iraq at the hands of ISIS and by helping survivors' transition back into society. In January of 2016, Father Desbois and Yahad - In Unum founded the first and only museum of the Holocaust in Central America. The Museum, located in Guatemala City, educates wide audiences on all matters pertaining to the Holocaust, genocide and anti-Semitism… not just in Guatemala but throughout Central America. In 2013, Father Desbois began teaching at the Program for Jewish Civilization in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University as an adjunct professor. In 2015, he became Professor of the Practice of the Forensic Study of the Holocaust at the Center for Jewish Civilization of the same university. Father Desbois has received numerous honors for his groundbreaking work, including the Humanitarian Award from the US Holocaust Museum and the 2017 Lantos Human Rights Prize.

Thursday, May 6th  -  3:00pm

 

Trauma and Triumph in Survivor Families

The traumas visited upon Europe’s Jews during the Nazi occupation were unparalleled in scope and ferocity. All Jew were targeted: men, women, children, the aged and sick or disabled, the poor and the wealthy. The final act of murder was invariably preceded by humiliation and torture. In the case of children, only 7% living under Nazi domination, survived: 1.5 million were murdered. All survivors, adults and children, endured deprivation and loss along with unspeakable experiences, frequently for years on end. My relatively benign existence in hiding for 3 years as a child, has profoundly affected and influenced me and how I live and view the world. Wherein lies the triumph for those who have toiled in the shadow of the Shoah? I will discuss some aspects of resilience in the lives of well known and not so well known individuals who have succeeded beyond all expectations and predictions. In the process of confronting and valuing memory, survivors have had an extraordinary educational impact and created a legacy of meaningful contributions for succeeding generations.

Dr. Robert Krell was born in Holland and survived the Holocaust in hiding. The Krell family moved to Vancouver, Canada where he obtained an MD from the University of British Columbia and eventually became professor of psychiatry. Dr. Krell was Director of Child Psychiatry and also treated Holocaust survivors and their families as well as Dutch survivors of Japanese concentration camps. He established a Holocaust education program for high school students in 1976, an audio-visual documentation program recording survivor testimony in 1978 and assisted with the formation of child survivor groups starting in 1982. Dr. Krell served on the International Advisory Council of the Hidden Child Gathering in New York in 1991. He founded the Vancouver Holocaust Education Center which opened in 1994 and which teaches 20,000 students annually. He has received the State of Israel Bonds Elie Wiesel Remembrance Award, the Boston University Hillel Lifetime Achievement Award, the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award as well as special recognition from the World Federation of Jewish Child Holocaust Survivors and Descendants. In 2020, he was awarded the Order of Canada. He has authored and co-edited ten books, twenty book chapters and over fifty journal articles. 

How to Speak to Your Children (and Grandchildren) About the Holocaust

During this session, presenters will share methods of assessing when a child is prepared to discuss the Holocaust (and its related themes of discrimination, hate, racism, and genocide. Understanding how and when to address sensitive issues with your child can be a challenge. This session will provide an opportunity to hear from experts in Holocaust education about age-appropriate ways to talk with young people about the Holocaust. Leora will share methods of assessing when a child is prepared to discuss the Holocaust (and its related themes of discrimination, hate, racism, and genocide), and provide frameworks for inspiring young people to stand up to hatred and bigotry. This program will also provide recommendations for books to support conversations about the Holocaust with children.

Leora Schaefer is the Executive Director of Facing History and Ourselves, Canada. Facing History is an educational not-for-profit organization that engages students of diverse backgrounds in examinations of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism. Leora works with public and Catholic school boards across Ontario, and Jewish day schools in the Greater Toronto Area. Leora also oversees and facilitates professional development for Canadian educators on best practices and pedagogy. ​

Dr. Amy Platt is the Principal of the Paul Penna Downtown Jewish Day School in Toronto, Canada. Amy works with the Board, faculty, families and community to ensure the school lives its’ mission and vision. Prior, Amy served as the Director of General Studies at Bialik Hebrew Day School, where she was committed to teachers' growth and implementation of the K-8 curriculum. Amy has a PhD from the University of Toronto, where she also taught pre-service educators.

Carrie Swartz is the Director of Congregational Learning at Temple Sinai Congregation of Toronto where she oversees both the community preschool and supplementary learning programs for children from18 months old to 16 years old. Previously, Carrie was a museum educator in Washington DC at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and in Toronto at the Art Gallery of Ontario. She started out her career in education as a high school teacher in public school. Carrie has a Master's degree in Museum Education from the George Washington University and Bachelor degrees in both Education and History/Drama from Queen's University in Ontario. Carrie loves collecting objects that tell stories about the past and when it is safe to do so, travelling again with her husband and two kids.

Eradicating Survivor Poverty: Providing for Holocaust Survivors Around the World

This program is sponsored by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) of Canada.

 

Seventy-five years ago, one of the greatest atrocities in history came to an end. And 75 years later, countless survivors of the Holocaust still live in obscurity, poverty, and isolation. Join us as Yael Eckstein and Rabbi Eli Rubenstein explore the work that still needs to be done to address the tremendous damage that Nazi brutality inflicted on these survivors. This session will explore how the mission of building bridges between the Christian and Jewish communities has created a ground-breaking alliance raising thousands of Holocaust survivors out of poverty today. It is only through creating bonds of understanding that people of every background and faith can assure that “never again” remains a clear and pressing priority.

Yael Eckstein serves as the President and CEO of the U.S. and Israel organizations. She has also served on the Board of Directors for IFCJ Canada since 2015. In June 2019, following the unexpected death of her father, Rabbi Eckstein, she succeeded him in his role and became President of IFCJ Canada. Yael oversees all programs for The Fellowship while serving as the international spokesperson for the organization. A tireless advocate for the Jewish people, she has been a frequent and influential voice combatting anti-Semitism. Yael is a hands-on executive, often found greeting olim (immigrants) upon their arrival to Israel, sitting with elderly Holocaust survivors in their homes, or distributing food to those in need.  Yael has been featured in The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, The Times of Israel, Fox News, the Religion News Service, and the Christian Broadcasting Network. In 2019, The Algemeiner named Yael to the Jewish 100, citing the positive influence she has made to Jewish life, and referring to her as “the world’s leading Jewish interfaith activist.” She was also named to The Jerusalem Post's "50 Most Influential Jews of 2020".

Eli Rubenstein is the National Director of The March of the Living Canada, an educational program that gathers thousands of Jewish youth from around the world in Poland and Israel to mark two of the most significant dates in the modern Jewish calendar. Eli is also the founder of the March of Remembrance and Hope, an educational initiative for college and university students of diverse faiths and ethnic backgrounds designed to teach about the grave consequences of hatred and prejudice through the study of the Holocaust in Poland & Germany. He is also religious leader at a Toronto synagogue founded by Holocaust survivors which sponsors Passover seders for the homeless and Holocaust education programs. In addition to his work with Holocaust education, Eli is a celebrated Jewish storyteller and President of the Israel Guide Dog Centre for the Blind. He has contributed his assistance to Veahavta, the Canadian Jewish Humanitarian Relief Organization, helping them organize their annual Passover Seder for the Homeless, and traveling on their behalf to Guyana and Zimbabwe to assist in their humanitarian work in these countries.

Sunday May 9th  -  11:00am

Covid-19, Antisemitism and Holocaust Memory in Israel

 

The COVID-19 pandemic began in 2019, spread to the rest of the world in 2020 and still holds nations in its grip in 2021. How did it affect Antisemitism and Holocaust memory? The first part of the talk will discuss the way the pandemic intensified Antisemitic representations in 2020 which were intertwined with anti-Zionist and anti-Israeli notions. The second part of the talk will discuss the ways the Holocaust has become a frame of reference in Israel for the interpretation of the COVID-19 pandemic and will center on the evolution of these references in the media, digital media and social media.

Dr. Liat Steir-Livny  is an Assistant Professor (Senior Lecturer) in the Department of Cultural Studies, Creation and Production at Sapir College, and a tutor and course coordinator for the Cultural Studies MA program and the Department of Literature, Language, and the Arts at the Open University of Israel. Her research focuses on the changing commemoration of the Holocaust in Israel from the 1940s until the present. She has authored numerous articles and five books: Two Faces in the Mirror (Eshkolot-Magness, 2009, Hebrew), Let the Memorial Hill Remember (Resling, 2014, Hebrew), Is it O.K to Laugh about it? (Vallentine Mitchell, 2017), Three Years, Two Perspectives, One Trauma (The Herzl Institute for the Study of Zionism, University of Haifa, 2019, Hebrew) and Remaking Holocaust Memory (Syracuse University press, 2019). In 2019 she won The Young Scholar Award given jointly by the Association for Israel Studies (AIS) and the Israel Institute.

Holocaust Memory and Education in Poland: Current Initiatives in Polish/Jewish Relations

Learn about the local activities undertaken in former shtetls in Poland in the realm of education and remembrance. Olga Kaczmarek, General Director for Forum for Dialogue, will present the local activities undertaken in former shtetls in Poland in the realm of education and remembrance with a focus on participants of the Leaders of Dialogue network. Forum for Dialogue is dedicated to inspiring new connections between contemporary Poland and the Jewish people. The organization's work in Poland focuses on raising awareness of the histories of Jews in Poland, including the way these histories were conveyed to descendants of Polish Jews, and illustrating varied perspectives on shared historical events. Internationally, Forum for Dialogue works with thought leaders, activists, teachers and students, and facilitates the formation of bonds between Jews and the countries of their ancestors. Forum for Dialogue aims to write a new chapter in Polish/Jewish history.

 

Olga Kaczmarek is a Polish anthropologist and Holocaust educator. She works in the Institute of Polish Culture at the University of Warsaw and in the third sector. Her primary focus of academic interest is the philosophical system of Emmanuel Levinas, its impact on the philosophy of language, and its interrelationship with anthropology. She is the author of Inaczej niż pisać: Lévinas i antropologia postmodernistyczna (WUW-Communicare, 2016). She is based in the greater Warsaw area, Poland.

The Holocaust in the Fiction and Memoirs of Chava Rosenfarb

Chava Rosenfarb was one of the great chroniclers of the Holocaust in Poland, who is little known outside Yiddish-language circles because she wrote primarily in Yiddish. While some of her novels and stories have been translated into English, such as the epic three-volume The Tree of Life: A Trilogy of Life in the Lodz Ghetto, not all of her works have been translated. This presentation by her daughter and translator will offer an overview of Rosenfarb's life and work by way of introducing this important Canadian-Jewish writer to an audience that may be unfamiliar with her work. The talk will provide an overview of the novelist's life and her experiences during the Holocaust before discussing her fiction, including the trilogy, The Tree of Life, and the Bergen-Belsen diary that she wrote and published after her liberation from that camp. 

Professor Goldie Morgentaler is Professor of English at the University of Lethbridge. She is the translator from Yiddish to English of Chava Rosenfarb's work including Rosenfarb’s seminal Holocaust novel, The Tree of Life: A Trilogy of Life in the Lodz Ghetto. Her translation of Rosenfarb’s book of short stories, Survivors: Seven Short Stories won a Canadian Jewish Book Award as well as the Modern Language Association’s Memorial Prize in Yiddish Studies. She is also the editor and translator of Rosenfarb's book of essays called Confessions of a Yiddish Writer and Other Essays, published by McGill-Queens University Press in 2019. This collection won a 2019 Canadian Jewish Literary Award. Both of her parents were Holocaust survivors.

Holocaust Memory in the Era of Social Media

What should we know about the growing presence of the Holocaust and related imagery on the social media platform? How can the digital world be used safely and effectively when introducing the new generation to the Holocaust? In this breakout session we will discuss recent social media offerings on this subject and present some Yad Vashem digital tools that have been created recently.

Yoni Berrous was born in France and moved to Israel in 1992. He has an MA in International Relations from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 2007, Yoni Berrous began working as a guide for students and Israeli security personnel at Yad Vashem. He has also worked as the Head of the European Jewish Programming in the International School for Holocaust Studies, providing educational training for formal and informal educators from Jewish communities in Europe. He is currently responsible at Yad Vashem for developing Holocaust training for educators from Canada.

Jane Jacobs-Kimmelman is the Head of the International Relations Section at Yad Vashem's International School for Holocaust Studies, and an expert on the evolution of the Social Media in the domain of Holocaust Education.