It is wonderful to see a review of our book published by Readers' Favorite. This stellar independent review adds to the many five-star rating reviews that have been posted by readers on Amazon, the testimonials of advance praise and comments we have received from participants who've read our book, and recognition offered to us as finalists and winners of various book awards.
After World War II, there were no “how-to” books about how to tell children about the Holocaust. Survivors did the best they could. In contrast to many of the experiences of our authors in our book, the parents of authors Natalie Iglewicz and Joy Wolfe Ensor shared many stories about their Holocaust from the time they were very young. Their Survivor parents painted a picture that vividly brought to life descriptions of their extended families that were murdered as well as the loss and suffering they themselves endured. In the May 9th episode of 'Conversations' sponsored by the Museum of Jewish Heritage, interviewer Ellen Bachner Greenberg, who is also a 2G, discussed this impact. How deeply could second-generation descendants enter their parents’ pain without being overwhelmed? What were some of the artifacts that the survivors managed to carry with them throughout the war, and what do they mean now to their offspring?
The authors conclude describing the benefits they gained from the writing process: the shifting in their understanding of their own childhoods, their parents’ lives and their own perspectives as adults, and now, giving book talks that allow for making valuable connections with diverse audiences across the country. You can enjoy listening to a replay of the webinar available on the Museum website.
We are thrilled to learn that our book has been awarded a Silver Medal by Nautilus Book Awards among the genre of books describing 'Heroic Journeys'. The Nautilus Awards "celebrate and honor books that support conscious living, green values, wellness, social change and social justice, and spiritual growth." Over the past 23 years, winning authors have included Neil deGrasse Tyson, Temple Grandin, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Matthew Fox, Eckhart Tolle, Joan Borysenko, and His Holiness, The Dalai Lama, to name a few. We are honored to be considered part of this prestigious list.
Co-editors and authors Rita Benn and Ruth Wade facilitated a writing workshop through ZOOM for adult children of Holocaust survivors in the Chicago area on April 19. Yonit Hoffman who is the Senior Director of Holocaust Community Services and Doris Lazarus, an educator and coordinator of a 2G group affiliated with the Illinois Holocaust Museum, had participated in Rita and Ruth's memoir writing workshop at the 2022 World Federation of Child Survivors of the Holocaust and their Descendants (WFCSH&D) last November. They valued their experience so greatly that they wanted to offer this same opportunity locally to the second generation community groups that were part of their networks.
The 2G persons who participated in Chicago offered a variety of reasons for their attendance. Some wanted inspiration to better organize the memoirs they had already started writing about their parents, some wished to deepen their understanding of their childhood experience through writing and still some attended the workshop because they were just curious. After offering writing process and feedback guidelines, we provided short structured writing times with prompts, and partner breakouts where participants shared their writing. We were gratified to see the new insights gained by this 2-hour session. As one participant reflected, "Listening and writing were both interesting because you could see the connections and where it goes — different directions, and a spider web of connections." And another, "Normally I write factually and I let that go. Results were more powerful." In a follow-up email to the organizers, she further wrote, "This definitely was a one of a kind experience. I think all of us really delved into it and got a lot out of it, each in their own way. I already ordered Rita and Ruth's book. They make a great team."
Rita and Ruth thoroughly enjoyed working with this group and hope to continue offering this workshop to others. Contact them if you are interested to have them lead a workshop for your community!