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- JFCS in the News
The Press Democrat
By Meg McConahey
FAUX FLAMES MAY BE A GOOD IDEA FOR THE FIRE-TRAUMATIZED THIS YEAR
It’s the season of soft light, when candles are flickering and hearth fires roaring. But in the aftermath of October’s firestorms, which destroyed thousands of homes in Sonoma County and shrouded the air with heavy smoke for days, many people may find themselves looking warily at those flames that used to symbolize cozy comfort and peace.
“Fire has been one of those things that keeps us warm and has always had positive memories,” said Diana Klein, director of the Sonoma County Regional service for Jewish Family Childrens Services. “But as the holiday season of fire-lit nights at home swings into high gear, people may have a new relationship around fire.”
- JFCS in the News
Twelve years ago, JFCS Executive Director, Dr. Anita Friedman, visited her father’s ancestral village in the Polish countryside. Since then she has returned to Gniewoszow multiple times and joins thousands of Jews who have traveled to Poland since the fall of communism. Friedman has built relationships with the local community and helped rededicate its Jewish cemetery as she grapples with her family’s lost homeland. She is also teaching teens in the Bay Area about this important history.
JFCS is the leader in Holocaust education in Northern California, and thousands of students each year learn about the Holocaust and other genocides through the JFCS Holocaust Center.
Additionally, teens who participate in JFCS’ YouthFirst program also receive Holocaust education. Friedman recently taught teens participating in the YouthFirst summer internships about her family’s history in Gniewoszow, Poland.
The summer interns first had the chance to think about how their families’ traditions have shaped who they are as people, and then Friedman shared her family’s experiences during the Holocaust and her powerful story about returning to Gniewoszow. The students were able to see very clearly that her family history has directly informed her core values.
- Jewish Learning