It has been a few days since I returned from NYC and the Echoes/Reflections seminar. Firstly, I apologize for typos ans much of the blogging is done late at night, after long days of intense learning. But the gist of my postings are easy to perceive.
The group attended a reception at the Jewish Heritage Museum, where we met the benefactors, Jacques and Charlotte Wolf, along with their family. They were warm, charming people who were so humble in thanking US for the work we do! They are survivors who have dedicated their lives and monetary funds in keeping this conference alive for the last six years.
I was also able to take a walk with two participants, Juan and Mario along with my friend Mitch to the 911 Memorial. I had never been there and it was very emotional standing at the site where I once took the subway when I worked downtown.
There were moments of levity and fun as I helped the inexperienced participants to navigate the subway, and to walk them through Mid town Manhattan.
We heard from Dr. Myrna Goldenberg who lectured on the role of women , specifically in the camps. A subject that is not often broached about rape was also a topic she discussed. She is the author of Different Horrors- Same Hell:Gender and the Holocaust.
The final day of the conference focused on Hidden Children and those who helped. We heard from the Executive Director of the ADL, Abe Foxman, who was himself a hidden child. A planned lunch with survivors included a wonderful surprise as two of the survivors wee people I have had a long relationship with through Metro West Holocaust Council: Ed Bindel, ( who was saved by his Christian nanny) and Gina Lanceter who was thrown off a moving transport train, by her parents, at the age of 14. I have known both these wonderful people for several years, and am proud to call them my friends. If anyone is interested in their individual stories they can google the names.
The conference ended with a sharing with the group of resources, other programs, and our gratitude to the ADL and the Echoes and Reflections staff and presenters.
Heading home was easy for me on NJ Transit but on a hot rainy day, carrying more home than I began with I had to ( a long with two others) walk to Penn station since no cab would stop! Thank goodness for the gym.
I am now preparing for my trip July 23rd. I hope you will continue to follow me and comment once in awhile.
Shalom for now....