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
JFCS YouthFirst: How to Become a Successful Adult
  • Education
  • Jewish Learning
  • Youth
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Nearly 100 Bay Area high school students got their first immersion into the world of work this summer through JFCS’ YouthFirst Summer Internship Program. The opportunity to participate in 20 hours of work per week, plus professional and personal development workshops, gave teens the confidence to begin to tackle bigger more complex life questions such as who am I? What are my values? And, how will I contribute in the world? Career Exploration and Skills Development As teens faced one of the toughest summer job markets on record, those accepted into YouthFirst’s competitive internship program came from 44 high… Read More

Posted by Admin on August 3, 2017
Bay Area Jewish leaders condemn adoption inequality for same-sex Israeli couples
  • Adoption
  • JFCS in the News

J Weekly

By Rob Gloster

Bay Area rabbis, political and community leaders are among 200 Jewish individuals and organizations across North America condemning the Israeli government’s “callousness and ignorance” in making it harder for same-sex couples to adopt children.

Demonstration

The public letter released on July 25 was organized by A Wider Bridge, the San Francisco-based organization that supports the LGBT community in Israel. Signatories included Hillel International, leaders of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Union of Reform Judaism, prominent Jewish LGBT leaders and over 60 U.S. rabbis.

Fifty-four local Jewish leaders signed the letter, including state Sen. Scott Wiener, former state Sen. Mark Leno, the CEOs of the San Francisco-based and East Bay Jewish Federations, URJ chair Daryl Messinger, Jewish Family and Children’s Services executive director Anita Friedman, and a number of Bay Area rabbis, including Rabbi Mychal Friedman of Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, San Francisco’s historically LGBT congregation.

Read the full story here >


Posted by Admin on July 27, 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