Karmela Waldman is an eighty-something psychotherapist and Holocaust survivor. Her son, Joel Waldman, is a successful broadcast journalist. After a discontented Joel chooses to leave his network news job, he gets a crazy idea for the next step in his career: what if he and his elderly mother did a podcast together? Things get off to a bumpy start as the mother-son duo struggle to figure out the art of podcasting, but they master the format and watch as the show becomes a wildly popular true-crime hit.

Along the way, the two discover things about each other they never knew. Joel is stunned to learn that Karmela survived World War II by hiding in a boys’ Catholic school. Karmela also sheds light on the emotional struggles she endured when Joel’s older brother died and how she’s struggling with the loss of her husband. Mother and son engage frankly and movingly with each other for the first time as adults, discussing child-rearing, aging, illness, death, and the secrets to enjoying life no matter how complicated it gets.

Joel and Karmela will be in conversation about Joel’s book Surviving the Survivor: A Brutally Honest Conversation about Life (& Death) with My Mom: A Holocaust Survivor, Therapist & My Podcast Co-Host. Moderated by Jim Axelrod, CBS News Senior Correspondent.

You can buy Surviving the Survivor here. Shipping and pick-up options available.

Joel Waldman is the co-host of the hit true-crime podcast Surviving the Survivor and an Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist who worked most recently as a Washington-based correspondent for Fox News, covering national politics from Capitol Hill. He has also worked as an investigative reporter for Fox 5 in New York City and for TV-news programs in West Palm Beach, Miami, and Tucson. Earlier in his career he also covered the NYSE for First Business, a nationally syndicated program. Joel began his career as one of the first producers hired by MSNBC. Joel made his foray into stand-up comedy, the only logical transition from news, in 2020 at the world-famous Hollywood Improve. He lives in Miami Beach with his wife, Ileana, and his three children, Vida, Zizi, and Judah.

Karmela Waldman is best known as Joel’s mom (Joel wrote this). But, she’s so much more! A graduate of the University of Geneva, Karmela went on to get her masters in Social Work at Rutgers University. She’s both a licensed marriage therapist and Holocaust survivor. Hence, the podcast’s name, Surviving the Survivor. As a 4.5-year-old girl growing up on the border of Yugoslavia and Hungary, she was separated from her parents as the Nazis invaded Europe. As there was an ominous knock on her front door, she ran on foot from her house and was hidden by a nun in an all-boys Catholic school until it was safe to re-emerge more than 8 months later. Karmela was reunited with her mother Vera, however, her father Latci wasn’t so lucky as he was led to the Auschwitz gas chamber. Karmela dedicated her life to raising her two children, Arden and Joel. And, she’s now reaped the rewards basking in the glory of her 8 grandchildren (9 if you include Joel’s dog). Her only grandson came courtesy of her Joel back in 2019. Karmela was married to her true love’s kiss, Roy, for more than 60 years. She screamed at him at least one time a day for those 6 decades.

Jim Axelrod is the chief correspondent and executive editor for CBS News’ “Eye on America” franchise, part of the “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell.” He also reports for “CBS Mornings,” “CBS News Sunday Morning,” and the CBS News Streaming Network. Previously, Axelrod was chief investigative and senior national correspondent for CBS News. His investigative journalism has been honored with a Peabody Award, a George Polk Award, and an Edward R. Murrow award. He was also part of the CBS News team honored with a 2010 duPont-Columbia Silver Baton for “CBS Reports: Children of the Recession.” Axelrod has also won five Emmy awards. He is the author of In the Long Run: A Father, A Son, and Unintentional Lessons in Happiness. He and his wife, Christina, have three children and live in Montclair, New Jersey.