Alison Kilbourn is the Manager of Client Services (Special Populations) at Circle of Care, and feels privileged to support the Holocaust Survivor Services Program, which serves over 1650 survivors living in the Greater Toronto Area. She is an active participant in numerous community partnerships working towards achieving positive health outcomes for seniors and vulnerable people living in the community. Alison graduated from the University of Toronto with her Masters in Social Work, and has a passion for geriatrics, social justice and health equity.
This program will discuss how the history, trauma and experience of survivors have an impact on their current needs and drive for independence, as well as their changing needs as they age in the community. Alison will provide a perspective on the day to day reality of survivors, some of whom are living in poverty and/or isolation, as well as struggling with chronic disease or mental health challenges. This presentation will offer an example of how new generations can pay tribute to the remembrance of the Holocaust by supporting survivors in their lives today. The session will conclude with real life examples that illustrate the resilience and tenacity of these survivors, and how we can support them.
WHY REMEMBRANCE IS NOT ENOUGH
Yael Eckstein is the President of The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, and previously served as Global Executive Vice President, Senior Vice President, and Director of Program Development and Ministry Outreach. Based in Jerusalem with her husband and their four children, Yael is a published writer and a respected social services professional. She is the author of two books, has contributed to The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel, and other publications, and was a Hebrew and Jewish Studies teacher in the U.S. Yael has partnered with other global organizations, appeared on national television, and visited with U.S. and world leaders on issues of shared concern. Her influence as one of the young leaders in Israel was featured as the cover story of Nashim [Women] magazine in May 2015.
Remembrance has been at the heart of the Jewish people’s observance of this terrible chapter in history. While it is still essential, today, remembrance is not enough. Far too many survivors in need, both in Israel and in the poor and strife-torn regions of the former Soviet Union, are struggling to live out their lives with a measure of comfort and dignity. In this program, Yael will emphasize the urgency to locate and reach out to the remaining Holocaust survivors who are in need today, and the obligation (of Jews and non-Jews) to preserve Survivors' voices as they increasingly become unable to tell their own stories.
HOLOCAUST REPARATIONS AND RESITITUTION
Behind the Legal Battles
William R. Marks, Esq., a Holocaust reparations expert, is the founder and principal of The Marks Law Firm, P.C., established in 1996 after his historic success in the case of American Holocaust Survivor Hugo Princz. Since then, Marks and his partners in Munich and Berlin have fought to expand Survivor eligibility for various compensation / pension programs, including for German Social Security / Ghetto, Wiedergutmachung (health) and "Article 2". They have represented over 30,000 individuals (or heirs) to date worldwide and collected millions of dollars in client recoveries. Marks 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.
In this presentation, William R. Marks will discuss case studies, and reflect upon the profound impact of his career-long pursuit of justice in service of those who endured the greatest trauma of our time.
TRAUMA-INFORMED PRACTICE WITH AGING SURVIVORS
Myra Giberovitch, MSW, RSW is a genocidal trauma specialist, educator, speaker, TED talk alumnus, author, and Adjunct Professor in gerontology at the McGill School of Social Work. Myra created the first community-based social service program for Holocaust survivors in Canada, and founded and managed Services for Holocaust Survivors at the Cummings Centre in Montreal. Myra is the daughter of Holocaust survivors, and proud mother and grandmother of three children and six grandchildren. She conducts training workshops for healthcare and social service providers and offers clinical consultation and supervision.
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. This interactive workshop is designed for social service/healthcare professionals, management/admin staff in organizations, 2Gs, and spouses/friends of survivors. The goal of this workshop is to enhance attendees’ knowledge on the unique issues survivors currently face; educating about the impact of aging on traumatic memory; discussing the impact of care-giving responsibilities on 2nd generation descendants; presenting situations or events that may trigger traumatic memories; and providing practical techniques that enhance survivors’ coping abilities.