Survivors

3GNY Intergenerational Brunch

3GNY Intergenerational BrunchSunday, April 29, 2012 12 - 3 pm Congregation Chasam Sopher 10 Clinton St., Lower East Side, New York City

Price: $36 per person

Purchase tickets HERE

3GNY invites you, your parents, grandparents, siblings and friends to our fifth annual Intergenerational Brunch. We are honored to have special guest speaker Anna Pasternak, who will share her story of survival and perseverance. Enjoy a delicious catered brunch as well as a tour of the 150 year old synagogue Chasam Sopher.

Kosher Dietary Laws Observed

About Anna Pasternak:

Anna Pasternak was born in Zbydniow, a village in Southern Poland. In early October 1939, the Germans invaded, occupied the area, and a few days later Anna, her parents and two younger brothers were expelled from their home and ordered to go East. For eight months they lived in Janow, a small town near Lemberg (currently Lvov, Ukraine). In July 1940, Soviet soldiers came at night, loaded them into cattle cars and sent them to labor camps in Siberia together with thousands of others. After Siberia and some wanderings the family lived in Kazakhstan for four years. In 1946 they returned to Poland to discover the horrors of the Holocaust, yet the family never returned to their ancestral hometown. Anna came to the U.S. in 1955, where she became an active member of several Jewish organizations. She speaks several languages, has taught nursery school and for the past 30 years has been actively involved in the real estate business.

Food for Thought: Recipes Remembered Book Talk and Cooking Demonstration

Featuring June Hersh, author of Recipes Remembered, A Celebration of Survival Thursday, March 29, 2012, 6:30 p.m.

The Jewish Museum Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street New York City

Thank you for joining us for this wonderful evening!

The books purchased in advance will be available for pickup at the event, and books will also be on sale at the event. June will be autographing the books that evening. Proceeds from book sales benefit the Museum of Jewish Heritage and 3GNY.

Thank you for joining us for this delicious and lively evening focused on food and storytelling with June Hersh, author of Recipes Remembered, A Celebration of Survival. June discussed her book, including some of the stories, and there was Q&A following. Her presentation is tailored specifically for the 3G audience, so this is a special opportunity exclusively for our group.

After we heard from June, Executive Chef David Teyf of LOX at the Jewish Museum showed us how to prepare some recipes from and inspired by June's book.

Recipes Remembered is a cookbook and collection of stories wrapped into one. To create it, June personally interviewed over 80 Holocaust survivors and their families. Along the way, she discovered remarkable and uplifting stories of strength and resilience. The recipes in the book are authentic and include culinary creations from all around the world. To learn more about June and her book, visit JuneHersh.com, or view a great Fox News interview from December 2011.

For more information, please e-mail info@3gnewyork.org or visit www.3gnewyork.org.

Dietary laws observed

3GNY Spring Shabbat Dinner

Friday, April 30, 201092YTribeca

MashaLeon

Thanks to all who joined us for Shabbat as we welcomed guest speaker Masha Leon - a Holocaust survivor and columnist for The Forward.

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Masha Leon was born in Warsaw, Poland, where she survived the bombing of the city, hunger and disease. She fled Warsaw with her mother and they survived a Nazi firing squad and being shot at by the Russians on the way to Soviet-occupied Poland.

Her father was a journalist and political activist in pre-war Poland and was arrested in 1940 by the NKVD in Vilna (where he shared a prison cell with Menachem Begin). Ms. Leon describes her survival as a series of "miracles," culminating in a visa issued by Japanese consul Chiune Sugihara, whose 2,139 Visas saved 6,000 Jews.

She is a graduate of CUNY(City College-Hunter-Queens College) with a degree in Yiddish Studies, majors in English and French, and has been honored by Workmen's Circle, Hadassah and the Israel Cancer Research Fund for her media accomplishments. Her articles have appeared in magazines such as Working Woman, Guideposts, and Ladies Home Journal.

Masha writes a weekly column for The Forward, called "On-The-Go," which appears in both the paper and the online version. The column covers New York's and America's Jewish communities' social, political and organizational events as well as New York's benefit arenas including theatre, dance, film, music, etc.

Masha and her husband Joseph (who died in August 2008 after a long illness) have three daughters and five grandchildren.

The Annual Gathering of Remembrance

AGR 2010 Sunday, April 11, 2010 Temple Emanu-El

Thanks to all who attending the Gathering.

The Annual Gathering of Remembrance, organized by the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, is New York's oldest and largest Holocaust commemoration ceremony.

This event brought together political leaders, survivors, and members of the Jewish community with Holocaust survivors and their families to fulfill the sacred obligation of remembrance.

3GNY Winter Shabbat Dinner

GotfrydDecember 4, 2009 92YTribeca

Thanks to all members and supporters of 3GNY for joining us at what was a moving Shabbat dinner. Guest speaker and Holocaust survivor Bernard Gotfryd shared his story.

Mr. Gotfryd was born in Radom, Poland, and became interested in photography at an early age. When World War II broke out and schools were closed to Jewish students, Gotfryd found work as an apprentice in a photography studio. While working in the studio, he began aiding the Polish underground by passing on photographs taken by Nazi officers of war atrocities. After an unsuccessful escape attempt in October 1943, Gotfryd was apprehended and shipped to Maidanek. By the war’s end, Gotfryd had survived six concentration camps.

In 1947, Mr. Gotfryd emigrated to the United States, where he worked as a photographer and studied photojournalism. After being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1949 and going through basic training, Mr. Gotfryd was assigned to the Signal Corps as a combat photographer. In 1952, he married his wife, Gina. They settled in Forest Hills, Queens, where they raised two children, Howard and Eva.

Mr. Gotfryd joined the staff of Newsweek in 1957, where he worked for more than thirty years, photographing some of the most influential figures of the 20th century. It was while working for Newsweek, covering the Holocaust Survivors Gathering in Washington, D.C., in April 1983, that Mr. Gotfryd was moved to write about his own experiences. First published in Newsweek, his stories were eventually published as a collection, titled Anton the Dove Fancier and Other Tales of the Holocaust.

Copies of Anton the Dove Fancier are available by calling 1-800-537-5487 or visiting this website.

Intergen Brunch

  October 25, 2009 JCC in Manhattan

We were happy to see everyone at our Third Annual Intergenerational Brunch. It was a beautiful day, with so many of all generations meeting, connecting and commemorating their family history. 

The event featured a presentation by 3GNY’s leadership, and guest speaker Amira Kohn-Trattner, C.S.W Amira is an Israeli-born psychotherapist/psychoanalyst in private practice in New York. Amira works with individuals and couples and has extensive experience with survivors, 2nd and 3rd generation.

She has been a consultant to the German government in restitution cases as an advocate to survivors and volunteered at international conferences for the US Holocaust Museum and the Shoah Foundation.

Amira presented an excerpt from her forthcoming documentary film about an unusual small group of Holocaust survivors from Czechoslovakia, who emigrated to South America after the war. The film explores the lives of these close, life-long friends and the new threat they face.

Coffee House for Survivors

June 14, 2009 Thanks to all the volunteers who came to the Coffee House in Washington Heights.  It was a successful program.  We were pleased with the turnout and with the noticeably positive effect we had on those with whom we spent time.

This Coffee House is a program of Selfhelp (http://www.selfhelp.net/index.shtm), which is the oldest and largest provider of Nazi victim services in North America.  Selfhelp wanted to convey their gratitude for our presence and our efforts.

Shabbat Dinner

April 24, 2009  untitled11We thank Mrs. Claire Boren for being our guest, and telling us her story.   Claire Boren was born in a small Polish town that is now part of Ukraine. She was only five years of age when the Germans came and forced Jewish families into a ghetto. News of the Nazis' liquidation of the Jews quickly spread and Boren's father arranged for his wife and daughter to hide with a Christian family nearby. When the family they were staying with began fearing for their own lives, Boren and her mother retreated into the forest with several other Jews.   From there, they found a farm family that was willing to hide them in a hole they had dug beneath the ground. Boren describes this time as a living in a grave and it was there that she retreated into a silent fantasy world. Eventually they relocated once again in to the attic of another home until they were finally liberated by the Russian Army in 1944.   Boren was just a child when the Holocaust began and had repressed most of her memories of the war. It wasn't until well into her adult life that memories began emerging. They were channeled through her art. Boren today is an accomplished artist, with some of her works' themes evoking images and memories from the war.

David Gewirtzman and Jacqueline Murekatete

March 18, 2009

untitled2David Gewirtzman was born in Losice, a small town in Poland in 1928. He was one of 16 out of 8,000 Jews to survive the Holocaust from this shtetl. 50 members of his extended family were murdered in Treblinka. Jacqueline Murekatete was born in a small village in southern Rwanda in 1984. She was not yet ten when her immediate family was murdered, as well as most of her extended family, in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Jacqueline was granted political asylum in the U.S. in 1995, placed in public school and quickly learned English. One day David came to her school to speak. Listening to him, she was one of many kids who ended up weeping as he described his experiences. But she also saw a connection. She sent David a letter, which read in part: "At one time I, too, like you, had a feeling of guilt for being alive. 'Why was I left?' I asked myself. I never really got an answer to that, but now I'm thankful that I was left because maybe I can make a difference in this world if I try, and maybe I can do my part in making sure that no other human being goes through the same experience as I did." David and Jacqueline have since teamed up to speak about their experiences, with the hope of preventing such acts from happening again.

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We thank Mr. Gewirtzman and Ms. Murekatete for telling us their stories. We also thank the Center for Jewish History for hosting us.

Shabbat Dinner

January 23, 2009

untitled3We listened to Rosa Sirota, a Holocaust survivor, and an aunt of one of our steering committee members.   Mrs. Sirota was born in Lvov, Poland. She escaped from the Lvov Ghetto with her mother, and they went into hiding under assumed names with Christian Ukrainian peasants, who did not know that they were Jewish. Rosa and her mother were the only survivors, as her father and the rest of her family were killed by the Nazis.   After being liberated by the Russians, they moved back to Poland, where her mother remarried and had another child. The family then moved to Hungary, Czechoslovakia, France, and Venezuela, and eventually settled in the United States. After receiving her Masters degree, Rosa taught Spanish at Farleigh Dickenson University and then in Ridgewood High School in Ridgewood, NJ. After retiring, she became an accomplished sculptor, and she recently won first prize at a juried art show.   Some of Rosa's Holocaust experiences are summarized in Jane Marks' book: "The Hidden Children - Secret Survivors of the Holocaust".

****************** We thank Mrs. Sirota for being our guest and sharing her story with us.

Happy Hour to Benefit The Blue Card

July 30, 2008

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All proceeds went to benefitThe Blue Card, which provides financial assistance and day-to-day services to local Holocaust survivors in need.

We are proud to report that we raised $400 in this effort!

This money will finance Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERSYS) for 16 survivors for the month of August.

Some Background, from the Blue Card:

The Blue Card provides the system to Holocaust survivors in need, but who do not have the financial resources to pay for installation, service, and maintenance.

Many survivors live alone and have no one who can come to their rescue in an emergency. It is the highest level of tzedakah to help people to help themselves.

An alert button is worn around the wrist or around the neck. In an emergency, the client presses the button, activating a speakerphone. One of the key elements of the program is that the in-take operator speaks the native language of the survivor. This is crucial because it allows the client to communicate any instructions or answer questions that are essential to obtaining a quick response.

Another feature of the program is the installation of a safe lock box outside the client's apartment. This becomes crucial when an ambulance comes and the survivor cannot get to the door. EMT has the code to the safe lock box which contains a set of keys, enabling the paramedics to enter without breaking down the door. If the survivor is taken to a hospital, the apartment is secure. The survivor is not faced with the added stress and cost of replacing the door upon return from the hospital.

A success story of one of our Holocaust survivors and how the system helped save her life:

Mrs. T was in a Romanian ghetto until the age of sixteen, after which she was deported to Auschwitz then Birkenau. As a Nazi slave laborer, she was forced to work in a munitions factory under hazardous conditions. After liberation, she had to march for two weeks, suffering from starvation and fainting, due to weakness. Now Mrs. T, a widow, lives in New York. She suffers from a heart condition, diabetes, colitis as well as poor dental health due to malnutrition in her early years.

Last month, when Mrs. T fell and broke her hip, she used our personal emergency response system to call for help. Within 15 minutes help was at her door, and she was taken to the hospital where she received immediate attention. Since Mrs. T's English is limited, she was very grateful to have someone speak to her Romanian. Mrs. T is so happy with the system and attributes her survival to The Blue Card's SOS program.

She says that she had suffered greatly during the Holocaust and knowing that she has this emergency response system helps her cope better with everyday stress and feel safer.

*** The system costs $25 per month. The contribution of $400 will help pay for 16 survivors for the month of August. ***

Shabbat Dinner

May 9, 2008We heard from Martin Greenfield, a survivor of Auschwitz and a noted clothier. Since the war, Mr. Greenfield has made a name for himself as a noted clothier – manufacturing special-label suits for Brooks Brothers, Neiman Marcus and individual customers, such as Paul Newman and President Bill Clinton. Mr. Greenfield learned to sew while ironing shirts and placing buttons for the Gestapo as a teenager in Auschwitz.

For 60 years, since he came to New York as a teenager, Mr. Greenfield has been working as a tailor in a factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. This is the factory Mr. Greenfield went to work in 1947 as a war refugee, and has since bought.

We thank Mr. Greenfield for sharing his story with us, as well as Manhattan Jewish Experience for hosting us and co-sponsoring the dinner.

A piece on Mr. Greenfield in the New York Times:

Public Lives: Helping Presidents and Others Look Their Best

Hearing From Mrs. Gene Meisner, Survivor

January 27, 2008

We thank Mrs. Gene Meisner, grandmother of 3GNY member Justin Waiser, for sharing with us her inspiring and courageous story of survival.

Gene Meisner is an 87 year old Holocaust survivor born in Kalish, Poland. She is a survivor of the Lodz Ghetto, as well as several different work camps, including the notorious women's concentration camp Ravensbruck. During the war, she was separated from her husband Sam Meisner and miraculously found him afterwards.

Mr. and Mrs. Meisner immigrated to the United States shortly after the war. They are the parents of a son and daughter: Michael Meisner, the first child born to Holocaust survivors in the United States, and Paulette Waiser. Gene Meisner is currently a Vice President of Investments at Smith Barney.

Thanks to the JCC for hosting us.

Intergen Brunch

May 20, 2007 This was our first event to include three generations: Holocaust survivors, their children and grandchildren. The JCC’s Beit Midrash was filled to capacity as 3GNY’s Daniel Brooks and Leora Klein spoke to the gathering about the group’s beginnings, its mission, accomplishments and future. A PowerPoint presentation helped provide a vivid picture of our community’s first two years.

Following the presentation, a Q&A led to the emotional testaments of several Holocaust survivors expressing their gratitude and pride in the activism of this generation. Their sentiments were returned by the grandchildren, who expressed appreciation at having been inspired by their grandparents’ stories of courage and hope.

Speaking with Survivors

April 26, 2006 3GNY's discussion, "Defining the Legacy," followed Makor's "Asking the Survivors" program. Makor's program was a panel discussion led by two journalists (Liel Liebowitz with the Jewish Week and Gabrielle Birkner with the New York Sun) who interviewed two survivors who have recently written their memoirs: Aharon Golub, author of the memoir "Kaddishel: A Life Reborn"; Fanya Gottesfeld Heller, author of "Love in a World of Sorrow: A Teenage Girl's Holocaust Memoirs."

After the program ended, we moved to Makor's reading room to discuss the program we had just seen, as well as a range of other issues dealing with the legacy.