Dr. Anita Friedman Reclaims History in Father’s Shtetl
  • Education
  • Holocaust
  • JFCS in the News
  • Youth

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.

Anita addressing youths

JFCS Executive Director, Dr. Anita Friedman, teaching teens from JFCS’ summer internship program about her family’s lost homeland in Poland.

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.

Read the full J Weekly story about Dr. Friedman reclaiming her history in Poland >

Anita Friedman with youth

Friedman answering students’ questions about her return to her family’s village in Poland after the Holocaust.

 


Posted by Admin on August 9, 2017
JFCS Holocaust Center Now Offers 55,000 Video Testimonies
  • Holocaust
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Enormous Visual History Archive Now Available in San Francisco JFCS Holocaust Center, in partnership with the USC Shoah Foundation founded by Steven Spielberg, now gives people full access to view thousands of video testimonies, and is one of just two sites in Northern California to do so along with Stanford University. The Visual History Archive (VHA) is USC Shoah Foundation’s online portal which allows people to search and view testimonies of survivors and witnesses of genocide. Located in San Francisco, the Holocaust Center joins the ranks of a select group of 85 sites across the globe. When Leon Tsai talks… Read More

Posted by Admin on August 3, 2017
‘This was your town’—JFCS leader reclaims history in father’s Polish shtetl
  • Holocaust
  • JFCS in the News

J Weekly

By Sue Barnett

Gniewoszow, PolandTwelve years ago, brought her family from San Francisco to Poland to visit the ancestral village of her father. It would be her first time in Gniewoszow, one of the many towns dotting the Polish countryside where Jews made up a majority of the population before the war—and none after.

Anita Friedman in Poland

More than 200 of her relatives had lived here. All were killed in the Holocaust in death camps like Treblinka and Auschwitz. Only her father made it out alive.

Friedman, executive director of S.F.-based Jewish Family and Children’s Services, wanted to share the stories her father had told her about this place—a place where several generations of the family had lived, loved and flourished. Though she knew that signs of Jewish life had disappeared, she planned to show her husband and three sons where the synagogue had stood and where her father spent summer days with his friends along the Vistula River eating cheese and fresh pears.

Friedman anticipated the 2005 trip would be a nostalgic, bittersweet journey to honor her father’s memory. What she didn’t expect was to be chased out of town.

Read the full story here >

 


Posted by Admin on July 27, 2017
JFCS Partners with the Galicia Jewish Museum in Krakow on a New Exhibit Featuring Rywka’s Diary
  • Holocaust
  • JFCS News
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When the JFCS Holocaust Center first received an old and tattered school notebook written in Polish and pulled from the ashes of Auschwitz, JFCS Executive Director Dr. Anita Friedman suspected the power the mysterious volume contained as she turned each carefully penned page. Since the manuscript’s publication in 2014 Rywka’s Diary: The Writings of a Jewish Girl from the Lodz Ghetto has been an international sensation, sold alongside The Diary of Anne Frank and, at last count, translated into 15 languages worldwide. Dr. Anita Friedman worked with the Galicia Jewish Museum to create the exhibit based on JFCS’ book, Rywka’s… Read More

Posted by Admin on July 6, 2017
South Bay Woman with a Museum and a Mission: To Teach the Holocaust
  • Education
  • Holocaust
  • JFCS in the News

J Weekly

By Rob Gloster

As a child, Iris Bendahan was confused when her grandmother would speak of relatives who were “not here because of Hitler.” It wasn’t until her sixth-grade class in Israel saw an exhibition on the Holocaust that she finally understood.

As an adult, the former religious school principal at Congregation Beth David in Saratoga has made it her mission to ensure Bay Area kids have no such confusion.

Bendahan, 57, personally created a Holocaust museum that has been on display each spring at Beth David since 2009. This year, it will be available for viewing until May 3. The museum is open during synagogue hours and there’s no admission charge.

The museum project helped make Bendahan one of the three winners this year of the Morris Weiss Award for Outstanding Holocaust Education, presented by the Holocaust Center at Jewish Family and Children’s Services. The award was established by the family of the late Morris Weiss, a survivor and the founder of the JFCS Holocaust Center.

Read the full story here >

 


Posted by Admin on April 25, 2017
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