Three of our co-editors and authors, Rita Benn, Joy Wolfe Ensor and Ruth Wade, were delighted to give a Zoom book presentation on October 4 at the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center (HHREC) in Westchester County, NY. For Joy it was a homecoming of sorts, because her late father, Leon Wolfe, was a founding board member of the organization (then known as the Westchester Holocaust Commission), and her late stepmother, the artist Rita Rapaport, sculpted the Gates of Remembrance (a replica is shown in this photo with Joy's father's prisoner number inscribed) that are a centerpiece of the organization’s Garden of Remembrance in White Plains, NY.
The attendees on ZOOM were engaged and receptive, and asked many questions about our origin story, the writing process, and how to engage in exploring our Holocaust legacy when there is still so much information left to learn. Two participants asked for further contact with Ruth because their parents came from Piotrków Trybulanski in Poland, the same hometown as her father. Another remarked that Rita’s chapter, “Shades of Chanel No. 5,” evoked a flood of memories about her own mother, who favored that scent. The authors feel that the associations and connections that emerge as a result of sharing our stories are a gift that keeps on giving both to the authors and the attendees alike.
On Sunday, October 1, 2023 Ruth Finkel Wade had the honor of speaking to the adult Sunday School class at Anona Methodist Church in Largo, Florida. Members of the class had already done their homework, calling up a video interview of Ruth’s father Sidney Finkel, before she presented. The audience of fifty listened attentively as Ruth read excerpts from our book and engaged the audience in a conversation about learning to heal from the trauma she experienced growing up.
The University of Illinois Alumni Magazine published in their News & Noteworthy: Ruth (Finkel) Wade, ’82 MEDIA, edited and contributed to The Ones Who Remember: Second-Generation Voices of the Holocaust (City Point Press, 2022), an anthology written by 16 children of Holocaust survivors. Wade and her fellow contributors began compiling their parents’ stories and decided to include their own related personal experiences. The book has received a 2022
Foreward Indies Gold Award and a 2023 Silver Award for Heroic Journeys from Nautilus Books.
The Jewish Press of Tampa Bay published an article about our book on September 12. It features an interview with Ruth Finkel Wade about her experience coming to terms with her relationship with father and new found understanding of the impact that the holocaust had on him and herself. The article also shares examples of several other of our 2G authors' reflections: Julie Goldstein Ellis, Nancy Szabo, Fran Lewy Berg and Ruth Taubman. You can read the article here.
We felt privileged to be part of the 34th conference of the World Federation of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants (WFJHS&D) in Washington DC. Over the 3-day weekend, we listened to stories of survivors, shared our own experiences as 2Gs, re-connected with friends from other states that we met in last year's conference in St. Louis and made new connections not only with 2Gs, but 3Gs and 4Gs. It was such as delight to see and talk with the future generation of young people motivated to carry the message of their ancestry forward - to never again be a bystander, and to combat social injustice.
Over 300 persons attended this event, with a large representation from Michigan. In addition to our three authors, Rita Benn, Eszter Gombosi and Ruth Wade, were 16 individuals that belonged to the Detroit CHAIM chapter, and many others with a Michigan connection, either as alumni or whose children attended University of Michigan. Rita and Ruth had been invited to facilitate a writing memoir workshop at this conference. There was so much interest in their session, that they had to turn away over 10 to 15 people due to space constraints. During the workshop, participants were very engaged, eagerly responding to the writing prompts that were offered, and in sharing their short narratives with one another. Many remarked that this was the best break-out session of the conference. Rita and Ruth plan to offer this workshop again next year when the conference will be held in Toronto. Contact us if you would like them to offer a writing memoir session to a 2G or 3G group from your organization.
Esther Allweiss Ingber wrote a wonderful article about our book in the Detroit Jewish News, after interviewing two of our editors, reading our stories and attending one of our panel presentations. You can read it about it here.
This June has been a wonderful month where we explored insights from our book with audiences on both sides of the coast. On June 9, authors Eszter Gombosi and Rita Benn presented at the Peninsula Jewish Community Center in Foster City, California, and on June 28th, another author panel, Ava Adler, Rita Benn and Ruth Wade, zoomed with a second-generation support group from Teaneck, New Jersey. Participants at both venues were very engaged with our stories, asking question after question. In California, one individual was so moved that she wanted to buy a book for herself and one to donate to the local Jewish high school in town. In New Jersey, many in the group shared how how much they resonated with aspects contained in all our stories. One person, in particular, exclaimed that our book transformed her life. She felt she was able to see her parents' pain differently and felt validated that she was not alone in what she experienced in her own family. We are enormously grateful that sharing our lived experience is proving to be so valuable to our readers.
When we decided to take a deep dive into our memories of growing up as children with Holocaust parents, and write our stories, we knew we had a powerful book and message to share with others. We never imagined though that so many in the book industry world would also appreciate our work. In the mail today, we received a program catalog of winners and finalists from the 2023 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the largest International awards program for indie authors and independent publishers which was established by the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group in cooperation with Marilyn Allen of Allen Literary Agency (formerly the Allen O'Shea Literary Agency).They recognized our book as a Finalist for memoirs in the category dealing with overcoming adversity/tragedy and sent us a medal, certificate and gold stickers. This is our sixth award conferred to us by a reputable association from the publishing and literary arenas. We are beyond thrilled!
We feel so honored to once more receive more accolades. The Ones Who Remember: Second-Generation Voices of the Holocaust was recognized on June 15th as a Finalist in the 17th Annual National Indie Excellence® Awards judged in the category of anthology. The lists of winners and finalists are showcased at www.indieexcellence.com.
We are delighted to learn that we were selected as the gold winner for the 2022 best anthology by the 25th annual Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards .This award competition recognizes the best books published in 2022 from small, independent, and university presses. Over 2,600 entries were submitted in 55 categories with Foreword’s editors choosing approximately 10 finalists per genre. Those finalist choices were subsequently sent to individual librarians and booksellers who made the final decisions. We feel very honored to be cast among this prestigious group of winning authors.