By Ari Goldstein, Senior Public Programs Producer
Holocaust survivors and their testimonies have provided the foundation for our work at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust ever since we were founded. George Klein, Museum Vice Chairman and Co-Founder, captured the essential role of the survivor community when he wrote the following in the Report of the Mayor’s Task Force on the Holocaust in 1982:
It is essential that an inspirational and meaningful Holocaust memorial be created in New York City now, while the survivors who live here and are still alive can give firsthand testimony that must be passed down to future generations… We are the keepers of a special legacy that must be handed down intact.”
In 2020, almost forty years after these fateful words were written, the Museum is continuing its commitment to Holocaust education and remembrance with the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of survivors as active participants. As part of our plan for the future, the Museum has established a programming partnership with Descendants of Holocaust Survivors, a vibrant association of children of survivors (2Gs) formerly known as 2G Greater New York. Presenting programs together each year, the Museum and Descendants of Holocaust Survivors are helping to preserve and hand down the special legacy that is an integral part of both of our work.
Descendants of Holocaust Survivors was co-founded by Ellen Bachner Greenberg, a leader in the 2G community, and Dr. Eva Fogelman, a psychologist, author, and expert on multi-generational transmission of trauma. In addition to its website, the group runs an active Facebook group.
The first program presented as part of this new partnership was “Transforming Moments” with Elisha Wiesel, former Goldman Sachs CIO and son of the late Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel and Marion Wiesel. Elisha spoke about being raised by one of the most important voices of Holocaust memory and the messages his father imparted to him. Watch the program, held on September 22, 2020, below.
Join us for the next program in this series on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 7 PM ET: “Transforming Moments” with Dr. Fogelman and Zalmen Mlotek, Artistic Director of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF), son of survivors, and scion of a family that has led the preservation of Yiddish culture in the 21st century. Click here to register.