- JFCS in the News
By Karen Galatz
The generation of Holocaust survivors may be passing, but thanks to a just-launched initiative in San Francisco, their testimonies will live on through their children and grandchildren.
Called the Next Generation Speakers Bureau, the initiative is the brainchild of Morgan Blum Schneider, director of Jewish Family and Children Services’ Holocaust Center. The bureau is designed to address the challenge of Holocaust education when the last of the survivors are gone.
“We want to ensure that the Holocaust remains a story of faces, not just a history of numbers,” said Alexis Herr, the Holocaust Center’s new associate director, who was hired with the specific task of leading the NGSB effort.
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- 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.