What Do You Now Know About Yourselves & Each Other That You Didn’t Know Before You Took On This Book Project?
The question above was only one of many standout questions asked to our 2G authors during their invited presentations at the California congregations of Temple Sinai in Oakland and Peninsula Temple Sholom in nearby Burlingame. Joy Wolfe Ensor and Eszter Gombosi traveled from Michigan to join their fellow author Ruth Taubman who was living in northern California over the winter months for these book talks on March 11 and March 12, 2023. The authors were not surprised by the depth of the questions and discussions when they saw so many heads nodding in recognition of their descriptions growing up in the shadow of the Shoah. The California audiences included several second-generation and descendent of Holocausts groups who were active in these and nearby congregations, and to our authors' delight, Magda Silberman, a 94-year-old Survivor cousin of Ruth Taubman and many extended family members of both Ruth and Eszter also attended.
Upon registration for the Eric Hoffer book awards, books are automatically submitted to separate panels that evaluate their intrinsic value for the most thought-provoking book( the Montaigne Medal) and for their superior cover artwork (The Da Vinci Eye). We are very proud that we were nominated as a finalist by both these panels. The Eric Hoffer Book Award honors the memory of the great American philosopher Eric Hoffer and has become one of the largest international book awards for small, academic, and independent presses. The Eric Hoffer Book Award honors includes a grand prize and various prizes within eighteen all-inclusive categories, separate press distinctions, the Montaigne Medal, the da Vinci Eye, First Horizon Award, and the Medal Provocateur.
The Women in Reform Judaism's (WRJ) Heartland Convention invited our authors to present a breakout session during the first morning of their conference. On March 10 Nancy Szabo and Ava Adler, our two presenting authors, shared their family histories and book excerpts to a capacity-filled room of close to 50 participants. Their session had the largest crowd over any other breakout session offered during the entire conference. Interest in discussing and sharing the experiences of the Second Generation continued past the session time frame - well into the line-up for their book purchase and signing, and during the lunch and evening table discussions. We are grateful to Trina Fuller of the program leadership committee for inviting our presence and supporting our work.
On March 7 two of our book authors, Avishay Hayut and Phil Barr, shared their experience growing up in the shadow of the Holocaust with students and faculty at Indiana University. They participated as part of a panel to enrich the program of scheduled performances of the Anne Frank Opera by the Jacob School of Music. The panel presentation also featured Yoav Hayut, a third generation descendent of the Holocaust and University music student. Yoav hoped that the intergenerational impact of the Holocaust that he, his father and our other contributing book author shared through their lived experiences would help audiences bridge the past history with the present day impact of the Holocaust. You can read more about their presentation in the Indiana Daily Student Newspaper.
On February 28, we were honored to be invited by Irit Felsen to serve on a panel via Zoom at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York with Michal Govrin, an incredibly talented Israeli novelist, poet and theater director. Authors Rita Benn, Avishay Hayut and Ruth Finkel Wade met Irit at the World Federation of Holocaust Survivors and Descendants in November when she attended a workshop they presented. Irit Felsen herself is a 2G and gifted clinical psychologist in private practice who specializes in treating and researching the issues presented by Holocaust survivors and their descendants. She facilitated a fascinating discussion with these authors and Michal on learning about the history of their parent's experience and process of writing of their experiences. Do not hesitate to listen to this recording available at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Michal's story is amazing!
On February 26, 2023 three of our authors, Julie Goldstein Ellis, Joy Wolfe Ensor and Avishay Hayut were interviewed on Zoom by Chuck Newman for his Conversations! Show under the auspices of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Ann Arbor. Chuck was a master at asking engaging, in-depth questions and probed the heart of each author’s chapter and their very personal family stories. We were delighted that more than 200 people registered and 100 clicked in to join this very special conversation. You can watch this fascinating conversation here.