Share Your Story
If you are a Holocaust survivor and would like to share your story as part of the Speakers Bureau, please contact Morgan Blum at 415-449-1289 or MorganB@jfcs.org.
Members of the William J. Lowenberg Speakers Bureau teach students and adults about the Holocaust through eyewitness testimony. Survivors, liberators, and rescuers speak in classrooms, religious institutions, community venues, and at JFCS. Through firsthand accounts of the horrors of the Holocaust, thousands of students and Bay Area residents learn about the importance of tolerance, embracing diversity, and combating hatred.
How do I arrange for a Holocaust survivor to speak at my school or institution?
To request a speaker for your school or institution, please complete a Speakers Bureau Request Form and email it to HCSpeakersBureau@jfcs.org. Please note: You must open this form with Acrobat Reader 8 or later in order to use the fillable function. Please save this form to your desktop, and open it with Adobe Reader 8 or later. Once you have filled out the form: please save, confirm that the information you have entered is saved, and send to the email address above as an attachment.
How much advance notice must I give to schedule a speaking date?
You must send an email request, as indicated above, at least four weeks before the speaking date you request.
What is the appropriate age or grade to hear a Holocaust survivor speak?
Grades 8 – 12, college students, and adults.
What preparation must my students have prior to hearing a survivor speaker?
Hearing a survivor speak is a supplement to your Holocaust curriculum and is not intended as a replacement for formal Holocaust study. Prior to inviting a speaker to address your class, please be sure to prepare your students with a unit about the Holocaust. For advice about materials and curricula you may wish to introduce to your students, you can schedule a consultation with Morgan Blum, Director of Education, at MorganB@jfcs.org or 415-449-1289.
What happens after I send my email request for a speaker?
You will receive confirmation of your request and will be contacted to determine the best speaker for your group.
Will I need to provide transportation to my school?
Yes, it is very likely that the survivor will need to be provided with transportation to and from your location.
When are the survivors available to speak?
Survivors are available to speak during the week, between the hours of 9:30 am and 4:00 pm, depending on their schedules. Survivors are not available in the early morning hours, in the evening, or on the weekends.
What kind of experiences will the speakers talk about?
The survivors who speak will have a variety of Holocaust experiences that they will share. They are not historians; rather they are living witnesses who will testify regarding their individual experience. Some are concentration camp survivors; some were hidden children or on the Kindertransport; some were refugees, liberators, or witnesses. Each has an important story to tell, and we request that you be sensitive to and appreciative of each of their special experiences.
How long should I expect the survivor to speak?
Please plan for at least an hour for the speaker. Remember that the speakers are describing complex and traumatic events, and should not be expected to abbreviate their stories. If there is not an hour available, please be respectful and discuss this with our staff before requesting a speaker for your school.