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!
Three Authors Interviewed
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.
2023 March & April Book Talks
Below is our schedule for upcoming events. If you would like further information on how you may attend, please contact us and we can provide you with the information. Better yet, to stay up to date, follow us on Facebook.
Join us for Virtual Zoom Conversations
Register to listen to our authors talk with two spectacular hosts. On February 26, Julie Ellis, Joy Wolfe Ensor and Avishay Hayut will be interviewed by Chuck Newman. He has been conducting interviews on his radio program with a wide variety of experts on relevant political and social issues: https://jccannarbor.org/.../conversations-with-authors.../. On February 28, Rita Benn, Avishay Hayut and Ruth Wade will be interviewed by Dr. Irit Felsen, a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with Holocaust survivors and their offspring, This program is the second in a series of three events with invited authors who have published books, stories and plays that depict the impact of this trauma. Register at: https://mjhnyc.org/.../the-voices-of-the-second.../.
BOOK CLUBS and 2G GROUPS
Our authors find it very rewarding to present to all kinds of audiences whether in-person or through ZOOM. On January 22, Ruth Wade, Eszter Gombosi and Fran Berg began their ZOOM conversation with the Philadelphia 'Sons & Daughters of Holocaust Survivors' group by each sharing a major gift and challenge that related to their life experience as a second-generation. David Lee Preston, a 2G and retired journalist from the Philadelphia Enquirer, remarked that their 2G group, which was founded in 1979 in Philadelphia, felt re-energized by reading and discussing the powerful chapters by these authors. On January 23, Ava Adler and Joy Ensor shared their stories in-person to 14 people whom a neighbor had invited to her home for this purpose. And on January 24, over 25 2Gs from the UK, some of whom were contributing authors to their own second-generation book, zoomed in to listen to stories shared by Joy Wolfe Ensor, Ruth Taubman and Cilla Thomas. We are grateful to David Clarke of the UK 2G Network for facilitating this connection. Contact us to schedule a time for our authors to visit with you.
Our authors delighted in presenting our book to our neighbor city across the border. Each author on our panel felt a unique connection to Windsor. Rita Benn is a native born Canadian raised in Montreal; Ava Adler's survivor mother had emigrated first to Windsor before moving to Detroit; and Natalie Iglewicz grew up in a very Jewish suburb outside of Detroit, Oak Park. These authors were very impressed by the engagement of the audience, the depth of their questions and their particular interest regarding the impact of current issues on the Second Generation. "Given our parents' horrific history, what are we feeling about the rise of Anti-Semitism? Do we think that our children are impacted in the same way as we are? In what ways do we imagine our parents would react to some of the trends occurring amongst the Jewish population, such as the increased rate of intermarriage that seems to be more prevalent amongst children of holocaust survivors?" The authors were grateful to have the opportunity to reflect on these broader issues. The audience similarly expressed their appreciation in hearing our their stories and perspectives.