Recaps and Story Archives


Recap March 23 Next Gen Get-together 
A big thank you to Ira Erbs for his presentation about tracing and piecing together his family’s story. As a youngster Ira strived to understand his family’s story which eventually sent him on a personal journey of discovery. Through travel, talking to relatives, and delving into a rich amount of internet resources, Ira shared his adventure with our group.
He is an excellent speaker and everyone benefited from how he went about collecting information, and was enthralled by surprise discoveries and how it all pieced together. You can view his presentation at, Here is the link to his PowerPoint
Here are Ira’s resources.

List of Concentration camps

US Holocaust Memorial Museum Search Resources

International Tracing Service

Ellis Island Records search

Some of these are specific to Landsberg/Kaufering

DP Camp Info

Holocaust encyclopedia

Thank you again Ira. You are an inspiration and model of what descendants can do to not only keep stories alive and relevant, but how to go about building them.

Finally, for our March 23 recap, one of our members recently passed away.

Next Gen member Barbara Donner passed away at the end of 2018. Her daughter, Diana Donner Zapata, asked me to share this with the group:

Barbara so appreciated your group, the members welcoming ways, and the intellectual and deep content that were evident in all your presentations. Please share with the other members that my mother was deeply grateful and loved being a part of this when she was up for it. Too bad she didn’t know about it when she was “younger”.

Next Generations Group sends heartfelt condolences to Barbara’s family, and we thank her daughter for sharing the kind and inspiring words.


RECAP Next Gen Get-together, Feb. 23, discussion with Richard Lazere – Sharing the lessons of the Holocaust.

Thank you Richard Lazere for leading the discussion at the Feb. Next Gen get-togther. The group discussed a timeline of Nazi persecution after Hitler came to power, watched the movie short on the German-American Bund rally in Madison Square Garden in 1939 called A Night at the Garden. We discussed the Lukov March which took place in Sofia, Bulgaria, and erosion of First Amendment issues providing freedom of religious practice.

There was a lively discussion about what we can do/should do in the face of rising antisemitism all over the world.

Here is info about the film A Night at the Garden:

In 1939, 20,000 Americans rallied in New York’s Madison Square Garden to celebrate the rise of Nazism – an event largely forgotten from American history. A NIGHT AT THE GARDEN, made entirely from archival footage filmed that night, transports audiences to this chilling gathering and shines a light on the power of demagoguery and anti-Semitism in the United States.
A Night at the Garden was directed and edited by Marshall Curry and was supported and released by Field of Vision. The film was nominated for a 2019 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short; it was also an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival and was part of a special screening and panel discussion at the New York Film Festival. It was released on 22 Alamo Theater screens across the country and at The IFC Center in NYC.
One of the key reasons we meet monthly as a group is to help keep the lessons of the Holocaust alive and relevant. In today’s world this as important as ever. So, as survivors, descendants, and supporters, how can we best turn Holocaust memories into action agendas? Many of us currently share the lessons of the Shoah as educators, OJMCHE speakers, authors, artists, Memorial docents, local community leaders and educational and social justice organizations, and more. What are your thoughts and ideas about taking action to ensure this history is not forgotten? What else can we be doing, should we be doing?


Richard states, “Last month we commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jan. 27). At our next get-together on Feb. 23 we will discuss the need to take responsibility for sharing the lessons of the Holocaust and how to take action to ensure ‘Never Again’.” Richard adds, “Thoughts and prayers are not enough: let’s practice IAP (Inspiration, Aspiration & Perspiration) in connection with social justice action agendas. Participants will have the opportunity to talk to these issues during our lively discussion at the February meeting.”

About Richard: Richard Lazere is a long-time and active member of the Next Generations Group, serves as our social action liaison, and is a member of Kol Shalom. Richard was born in the Bronx and grew up in Queens and then Long Island, New York in which social justice was preached and practiced. He graduated from the University of Iowa, earned an M.A. from Long Island University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo in Canada—all in psychology.
Professionally, Richard’s career as a psychologist has included positions at OHSU, the Morrison Center, as a private practitioner, and as a psychology instructor at Portland State University and the University of Portland. Since 2001 he taught Psychology at PCC, and has just recently retired.


Recap Stories follow after this table.

Date 2018 Event Coord. Contact
Sat. Jan. 27

1 to 3 pm, CBI

Film & Discussion “La Vie En Rose” Biopic of the iconic French singer Édith Piaf. Raised by her grandmother in a brothel, she was discovered while singing on a street corner at the age of 19. Despite her success, Piaf’s life was filled with tragedy.


Sat. Feb.  24

1 to 3 pm, CBI


Panel Discussion:

Encountering anti-Semitism, coping with bias, prejudice & discrimination


Sat. Mar 24

1 to 3 pm, CBI


Barbara Hershey, Oregon Jewish Genealogical Society


Diana, Sue
April Attend OMNCHE Yom HaShoah events


Sat. May 25

1 to 3 pm, CBI

Speaker: Richard Lazere & Rabbi Russel McAlmond: anti-semitism Sue
Sat. June 6, 17

1 to 3 pm, CBI

Marta talk 6/8 and Ruth Lindemann talk 6/17 Diana/Sue
Sun. July 29

1 to 3 pm, CBI

 Speaker: 3G Eve Levy – trip to Poland  Sue
Sun. Aug. 26 Attend annual Holocaust Memorial picnic, Washington Park


Sat. Sept. 22

1 to 3 pm, CBI

Speaker: Child survivor and author Ruth Lindemann   Diana
sat Oct. 27 Panel Discussion: Exploring different ways of celebrating and living our Judaism.  What does it mean to be Jewish in today’s world? Richard, Rosalyn, Sue
Sat. Nov. 17

1 to 3 pm, CBI

Speaker: Ukrainian, Dachau child survivor Lydia Drake Diana, Sue
Sat. Dec. 8 End of year party Diana
RECAP Dec. 8, 2018 – The Next Gen Hanukkah Get-together at Diana’s was a delicious success. So many good friends and good food. Thank you Diana for hosting the party, Lynne for the song sheets, Tamara for all her help setting up, and to everyone who brought food and friendship. 2018 was a year packed with speakers, discussions, films, and volunteering.
2019 will be another amazing year of keeping the stories and lessons of the Holocaust alive and relevant. Please see our Facebook page Next Generations Group for fun photos.
IMG_20181208_133443979Hanukkah invite 2018


Recap 11/17/18 :At our Next Generations Group Get-together on Sat. Nov. 17, Lidia Drake shared her childhood and family experiences as a persecuted Ukrainian family, surviving WWII atrocities, Dachau concentration camp, and of the hardships of regaining their lives to finally land in the US. Lidia is a charming and poised speaker as she shared her both painful and uplifting memories, and philosophy of living a loving life. She was introduced by her daughter, Elizabeth Jakovenko who provided the contextual historical background.
We can’t thank them enough for their generosity of time to share their story and of being part of our mission to learn, connect, and keep stories alive and relevant. And we wish Lidia and her family all the best going forward. Thank you so very much. And thank you Susie and Dallas at Congregation Beth Israel for their continued facility and tech support!
Lydia Drake and Debbi Montrose. Lydia and daughter (center) Elizabeth Jakovenko.
Lidia and family, Khanzhonovka, Ukraine 1943.jpg
Parents Dmytro and Maria, Lidia and sister Rayisa during WWII 
in Khanzhonovka, Ukraine, 1943. Lidia is the little one in the darker colored dress.



RECAP: Sat. Oct. 27th Next Gen Get-together panel discussion

Thank you Richard, Tamara, and Rosalyn for sharing their stories as part of a panel discussion (of which I also participated) about what it means to be Jewish, how we live our Jewish lives. But what was planned as responding to those questions, became a time to begin to process the horrible tragedy that took place in Pittsburgh that morning. Our group discussion covered many aspects of what it is to be Jewish, but a common thread throughout the discussion was in times like this, connection is so important.

As Richard, our facilitator, said about the get-together:” We had a lively discussion around the table until cleanup at 3:40P. A good time was had by all. People like/need to tell their stories!!”

And Tamara asked me to share this action she took: I made donation to HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) as a protest against hate and gun violence.
Please consider joining me with a contribution to HIAS.
I hope our contributions will be counted and overwhelm all the tendencies toward hate in our country and in our world.

Panel members on Oct. 27:

Richard Lazere (supporter and facilitator), Rosalyn Kliot (child survivor), Tamara Lindemann (daughter of a child survivor/2g), and Sue Wendel (2g).

Rosalyn Kliot, a Next Generations Group member and a long-time member of the OJMCHE Speakers Bureau, is a child survivor born, in Lodz, Poland, just prior to the end of WWII. She emigrated to America with her family in 1947. She is an award winning and published artist and also a published writer; her writing reflects the stories she grew up with including her family’s persecution, life in the ghetto, resistance, deportation, concentration camps, a daring escape, her birth in Lodz, Poland, life in Germany, and eventual emigration  to America in 1947. Her art reflects her joy at being alive, which she considers a miracle.  Rosalyn is a retired vocational rehabilitation counselor and vocational forensic expert witness at Federal hearings, west coast and Chicago.  She has been a guest lecturer on Vocational Forensics at PSU graduate school of Counseling Education.  She continues to exhibit her art locally and nationally, and is active in her community in both the arts and social services.
Next Generations Group member Tamara Lindemann was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. Her family attended Congregation Neveh Shalom. She is the daughter of two child Holocaust survivors, Fred and author and speaker Ruth Lindemann. She is an elementary teacher in Portland, and a member of Congregation Pnai Or of Portland. She also has a 9 year old daughter who keeps her very active.
Co-coordinator of the Next Generations Group Sue Wendel is one of four daughters of Hugo and Alice Kern, survivors of Dachau and Auschwitz/Bergen Belsen. She grew up in a loving household in Portland, where her father said very little about his experience, while her mother became a speaker, and published a memoir and video of her life story. All her sisters are involved in honoring the legacy of their parents, through a variety of ways. Sue earned an M.S. in Communication from Portland State University, currently teaches public speaking at PCC, and leads an Israeli folk dance session.

Richard Lazere is a long-time and active member of the Next Generations Group and a member of Kol Shalom. Richard was born in the Bronx and grew up in Queens and then Long Island, New York. He grew up in a home in which social justice was preached and practiced. He graduated from the University of Iowa, earned an M.A. from Long Island University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo in Canada—all in psychology. Professionally, Richard’s career as a psychologist has included positions at OHSU, the Morrison Center, as a private practitioner, and as a psychology instructor at Portland State University and the University of Portland. In 2001 he began teaching Psychology at PCC, and has just recently retired.  


Recap: Sept. 22, 2018 Amy Shapiro songs and Ruth Lindemann book talk

A big thank you to Ruth Lindemann and Amy Shapiro for sharing their passion and talents at our get-together on Sat. Sept. 22 at Congregation Beth Israel. And thank you to Susie at CBI for help with room arrangements. The boardroom was packed as we were entertained by – and joined in –  to Amy’s songs in Yiddish and English. She is always a delight to hear! And to Ruth’s amazing life story through her books.
Ruth talked about her two fictional books and how their stories are woven with history, her personal history as a child survivor in Vienna, and stories from people she knows and knew through the Holocaust. Please for details of her books. Ruth also announced that 100% of the proceeds of book sales that day would be donated to the Next Generations Group. Thank you to those who bought a book and to James Spivak who bought a case-worth. We are so grateful for her generosity and support for our group. Thank you again to Amy and Ruth. Your involvement with Next Gen and our mission are deeply appreciated. 


Recap Aug: 14th Anniversary Memorial Picnic

2018 Oregon Holocaust Memorial Picnic
Sunday, August 26, 11:00am-2:00pm

Here are photos of the 14th Anniv. picnic on Aug. 26 at the Memorial PICNIC
Each year we gather to celebrate the Memorial. The group includes survivors, descendants, Memorial coalition members, OJMCHE staff and friends.



Recap Aug: Interviews with Memorial stakeholders film, partially featured at A Triumph of Life exhibit in 2014.
Thursday, August 23, 5:00-7:00pm

Here are photos from the Aug. 23rd screening of the film of interviews. Individuals involved were interviewed by Debbi Montrose and filmed by Robert Lindemann.  LINK

This video features interviews with 17 individuals, including members of the Oregon Holocaust Memorial Coalition, who were involved with the planning, and building of the Memorial in Washington Park between 1994 and 2004. These designers, project managers, consultants, attorneys, survivors, descendants, and community members share their memories and pivotal moments of the project. Altogether, the interviews weave a story of inspiration, coordination, and overcoming of obstacles that began in the early 1990s and culminated in the dedication of the Memorial in 2004.



Recap July: Eve Levy speaks at our July Get-together


Eve Levy 2018
About Eve Levy: Eve is a granddaughter of four Holocaust survivors, who have shaped so much of the direction that she has taken in her life. Through her research she is beginning to speak about her grandparents and the impact they had on her life. She just returned from leading her second trip to Poland for a group of local women. Eve is the director for Women’s Programming at Portland Kollel.
RECAP: Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Next Generations Group, Portland Hadassah, and the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education hosted Holocaust child survivor and author

Ruth Lindemann as she shared her life story
and talked about her book To Survive is Not Enough.

ruth head shot 2            9780990582755_cov.indd

Ruth shared her life story as a Jewish child in Austria before and during WWII. She discussed and answered questions about her life and her book, which is based on the many stories she has heard from Holocaust survivors over the years. The fear of being separated from her parents, Ruth said, in the late 1930s is a chilling reminder of what is going on now.

About: Ruth Lindemann lived in Portland for many years and was active in the Jewish community. She is a past member and chapter president of Hadassah, and a current member of the OJMCHE Speakers Bureau. Ruth lives in California and speaks to students and groups in the Palm Springs area for the Tolerance Education Center located in Rancho Mirage.

Learn more at these websites:

Ruth Lindemann

To Survive Is Not Enough (Book)


Recap: Next Gen Get-together May 26, 2018.  A big thank you to Next Gen member Richard and special guest Rabbi Russel who a lively discussion: Encountering antisemitism, coping with bias, prejudice, and discrimination.
Rabbi McAlmond and Dr. Lazere began with some remarks about historical roots and current expressions of antisemitism in today’s challenging world social climate. Then they opened he floor for our questions and discussion about this difficult and important topic. We shared our own thoughts and experiences with different types of antisemitism, and although we did come at it from a variety of perspectives our discussion remained respectful and insightful.

About Richard Lazere, Ph.D.:
Richard Lazere is a long-time and active member of the Next Generations Group. He graduated from the University of Iowa, earned an M.A. from Long Island University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo in Canada—all in psychology. Richard was born in the Bronx and grew up in Queens and then Long Island, New York. He grew up in a home in which social justice was preached and practiced. Professionally, Richard’s career as a psychologist has included positions at OHSU, the Morrison Center, as a private practitioner, and as a psychology instructor at Portland State University and the University of Portland. Upon “retirement,” in 2001 he began teaching Psychology at PCC, which he continues to do presently.

About Rabbi Russel McAlmond:
Rabbi Russell McAlmond is Portland’s newest rabbi. He recently received his rabbinical training and ordination from the Jewish Spiritual Leaders Institute of New York in January 2017. “Becoming a rabbi was a later in life decision,” says Rabbi McAlmond, a long-term resident of Portland. He is a former business owner, U.S. Marine, and has an MBA and MSFS along with two bachelor degrees in business and organizational leadership. Rabbi McAlmond is a former member of Congregation Neveh Shalom and now a member of Kol Shalom.

Again, we thank all who attended this important discussion. There is certainly work to do and each of us plays a role in breaking stereotypical thinking and bias, and finding common ground that builds healthy and rewarding relationships.


RECAP: Friday, June 8th Talk – Marta head shotMarta Eichelberger-Jankowska, OJMCHE Educator shared her story of growing up in Poland and discovering her Jewish roots when she was 8-years-old. It was an exceptionally unique tale of discovery and inspiration that resulted in her dedication to living a Jewish life and working in Jewish education. This was a special event for Next Generations Group members, arranged by member Lynne Chassin after she met Marta a couple of months ago, and felt that this inspiring story needs to be shared.

About Marta: Marta joined OJMCHE in October 2017 as an Educator after moving to Portland with her husband and son. The family moved here from Washington, D.C., where Marta had finished her M.A. in experiential education and Jewish cultural arts at George Washington University. While in D.C., she was an intern at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Marta was born and raised in Warsaw, Poland. In Warsaw, she worked for many educational institutions dedicated to the transmission of the Polish Jewish heritage. These included the Taube Center for the Renewal of Jewish Life in Poland and the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.


Recap: Next Generations Group Get-together Sat., March 24, 2018

A big thank you to Barbara Hershey and Debbie Korman from the Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon for sharing valuable information about how to do genealogy research at our Next Gen Group get-together on March 24. I want to share that I am getting very positive feedback from participants. In fact a couple of you made discoveries that very hour when we had time to do our own search. One person told me that she discovered the fate of a family member that her family had been searching for for years. It gave me a “heart-felt chill” to hear this.

Barbara mentioned that the Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon is always looking for folks to help process data, help with their website, and invite you to one of their monthly meetings. The next one is April 15. They will talk about JewishGen website searching. Please contact Barbara for details

About the speakers:

Debbie Korman has been researching her families since 1988. Her research focuses on Poland and the territories of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and has included extensive research using Shoah records. She has been a volunteer contributor to numerous databases, has given many presentations on genealogy research, and has been active in Jewish Genealogy societies in Los Angeles and Portland. Her research has resulted in the discovering (and meeting) cousins all across Eastern Europe. One of her most satisfying accomplishments has been the reuniting of a family whose siblings were separated during the Shoah – one family now in Sweden and the other in Israel.

Barbara Hershey is the President and Program Chair of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon. She also serves on several committees of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies and for for which she enjoys Skype meetings early in the morning or late at night with people from Israel, Europe, Canada, Australia and across the US. Professionally, Barbara was an early worker against domestic violence. She founded and was the Executive Director of a shelter in New Mexico. She worked as a program developer for Multnomah County specializing in anti-poverty and homeless families system development. She has a had a life-long interest in immigration history and people’s personal stories. Barbara enjoyed a fabulous ancestral trip to Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine, Poland, and Iasi, Romania where her grandfather was born

RECAP: Out first Next Gen Group get-together of the year was a film & discussion on Sat. Jan 27, 2018: 

What: The biopic film of Edith Piaf “La Vie En Rose” (Life Through Rose Colored Glasses)

About the film: It details the difficult and tragic life of extraordinary French chanteuse, Edith Piaf. She was abandoned by her mother, raised by her grandmother in a brothel, and was discovered singing on a street corner in Paris — ultimately becoming an international sensation. Edith was nicknamed “The Little Sparrow” because of her diminutive stature. She was accused of collaborating with the Nazis during WWII but was eventually exonerated. Her legacy lives on through her passionate singing and this movie. She endured — like many Holocaust survivors — and told her story through her songs of triumph and overcoming adversity.

PG-13 | |


Recap: Around-the-World Potluck!! Sat. Dec. 16, 2017
At Sue and Peter Wendel’s house. A great gathering where folks brought a favorite dish from their travels, a menorah — hanukiah to be precise — to light for Chanukah, record albums to play on Sue’s old fashioned record player, pictures of memories of travel to talk about; and a fun white elephant gift exchange. It was a fun time to be together in a relaxing setting, schmooze, celebrate, and enjoy favorite foods from around the world.

Recap: On Saturday, Nov. 18, we saw the inspiring film:
 The Children of Chabannes

About:  (93 min.)From 1939 to 1942, in the village of Chabannes in central France, more than 400 Jewish children were hidden, schooled, and ultimately saved through the heroic efforts of the school’s director and teachers and of Jewish rescue organizations that first got the children there, and then, as war closed around them, got all but a handful out safely. In 1996, two aged teachers and the children and their families reunite. Lisa Gossels, whose father and uncle were among the children, records it. Survivors’ comments, photos and drawings from the war, footage of the school and town, and a celebration of the heroism and leadership of the school’s director, Felix Chevrier, comprise the film. (From IMDb)


Recap – Oct. 22, 2017 Next Gen Get-together – with Dawn Robbins. Thank you to story writing catalyst Dawn Robbins for taking us on a writing journey at our Oct. 22nd Get-together. The writing prompts and directions gave us an opportunity to express ourselves in ways we don’t usually do. Dawn created a welcoming and trusting atmosphere, which is so necessary for us to open up and share our deepest thoughts.
And on Nov. 5, 12, & 19 Dawn will present a 3-part story-building workshop. Story-building in the Shadows of the Holocaust, a three-session hands-on workshop for Holocaust survivors, their descendants and friends to find and build a story for the first time, in a new time, or in a new way. There are a few spots still open. Contact Dawn for details at


Recap – Sept. 24, 2017 with Emily Wanderer Cohen. On behalf of all who attended the Sept. 24th Next Gen Get-together we extend our appreciation and a thank you to Emily Wanderer Cohen for her inspiring and informative talk about her life as the daughter of Holocaust survivors and healing through writing. She explained in detail, using personal history, how she came to write From Generation to Generation: Healing Intergenerational Trauma Through Storytelling. She also facilitated a meaningful discussion afterward. Here are some links from Emily and attendees based on her presentation and discussion;

Here is a review of Elizabeth Rosner’s new book, Survivor Café that Emily mentioned in her talk:

Here is Emily’s slide with the 5 steps that we had asked her to send us, and that she uses to help her clients heal through writing.


Here are books that Nurit mentioned about the body memory connection:

The other book was:

Regarding the discussion point brought up about the internalized critical parent needing to be replaced by an internalized nurturing parent, Richard says that he was drawing on the book “I’m OK, You’re OK” by Thomas Anthony Harris.

People asked for the spelling of: Phosphatidylserine

Emily’s contact info:

Emily Wanderer Cohen
Author, From Generation to Generation: Healing Intergenerational Trauma Through Storytelling

510-207-8080 | |

Emily CohenAbout Emily: Ever since the day she came home from religious school asking her mother about the Holocaust, Emily heard her mother’s stories of incarceration in and escape from concentration camp as well as eventual immigration to the United States. Emily now speaks to Jewish and other organizations about her mother’s history and how her mother’s trauma affected her as a second-generation (2G) Holocaust survivor, so that society can understand how trauma is transmitted from generation to generation.

“Through writing, I connected the dots between her Holocaust experience, her treatment of me, and my resulting behaviors and decisions. Writing about and releasing the trauma, I feel happier and more excited about the future than ever before.”

Here is a link to her recently published memoir, From Generation to Generation: Healing Intergenerational Trauma Through Storytelling


Recap: Saturday, August 26 – Next Gen Get-together Panel Discussion. Due to the success of our May Next Gen Get-together panel discussion with mental health professionals Dr. Richard Lazere and Dr. Aart Lovenstein, Next Gen members have requested to do these on a regular basis every three months. On Saturday, Aug. 26 we talked about resilience in these trying times.

Thank you Aart and Richard for the timely discussion about resilience and coping in these interesting times at our Aug. 26th monthly get-together. I think everyone in attendance left with a sense of inspiration, hope, a few new mental tools to put to use. This was our 2nd themed get-together about coping in these interesting times, and in 2018 the plan is to have four of these types of get-togethers spread out throughout the year.
Included in the re-cap email were key points of Dr. Lovenstein’s presentation. If you would like a copy please email Sue at
Finally, during his presentation, Richard read from a statement by Paul Golin which is a powerful response to a recent hate phrase “Jews will not replace us.”

Tamara, who was in attendance, sent two links included here. One is a YouTube video of Viktor Frankl (of which we discussed at the get-together, and the other link is an interview with Elie Wiesel. Thank you Tamara for sending these.

Finding meaning in difficult times Interview with Dr. Viktor Frankl, published in 2011.)

An interview with Elie Wiesel – from Tamara

Thank you again to Richard and Aart for you wisdom and guidance. And thank you to folks who showed up on a beautiful sunny day to engage in this important discussion.

Recap – Sun., July 23 Next Gen Get-together: On Sun. July 23 we saw the film The Flat –

As Armon Goldfinger, a film-maker and documentarian cleans out the flat that belonged to his grandparents – both immigrants from Nazi Germany – he uncovers clues pointing to a complicated and shocking story.Director: Arnon Goldfinger, 1 hr. 37 min. 2011. We enjoyed watching it together and had a nice discussion afterward.
Recap: June Next Generations Group Get-together

Sunday, June 25th with Rosalyn Kliot

Rosalyn Kliot
THANK YOU Rosalyn, who is many things: a child survivor, a daughter of survivors, an OJMCHE Speaker’s Bureau and Next Gen member, an author, and an artist.

Rosalyn shared her family’s background beginning in Poland/Lithuania as a tapestry of a vibrant life pre-war, life in the ghetto, resistance, deportation, concentration camps, a daring escape, her birth in Lodz, Poland, life in Germany, and eventual emigration  to America in 1947.

Five Fish - R. KliotMy Father's Book by Rosalyn Kliot

Rosalyn augmented her story with her own artwork and writings. Rosalyn states, “My art, on the surface, is antithesis to my family history….. it looks very joyful  and colorful…….. yet certain pieces are directly related to stories I grew up with. This piece (above)  is a commentary about five Jewish resistors who were captured and hung up on hooks….I could not  get my mind around that, but also could not get that image out of my mind….I had to express it in my own way… metaphorically.” She will also share passages from her memoir to her father “My Father’s Book” as well as passages from her dad’s memoir.

Thank you Rosalyn for sharing your family story   You walked us through history as you told it.  It was easy to visualize your descriptions of moving into the ghetto, escaping to the countryside and hiding from Nazis.
The return to the city and finding someone in your home was moving and disturbing.  So many families experienced similar situations. Your artwork, readings by Martin Gilbert and Victor Frankel were inspiring.
You mentioned you learned from your parents to never give up, believe you can do anything, be determined, among many other positive sayings.  Thank you again for sharing.

Recap: May 21, 2017 – Next Generations Group Get-together: 

Panel discussion with Dr. Lazere and Dr. Lovenstein helps to resolve our concerns, invigorate energy to take action.

Thank you Richard Lazere and Aart Lovenstein for presenting your professional perspectives and leading a very constructive discussion about “living in these interesting times.”

Your insights about coping with anxiety, and suggestions on finding productive ways to deal with them were empowering and inspiring. As a group, we seemed to share similar concerns, offering advice as well; and we learned from each other that we are very active doing things to improve our communities.

We were also happy to have new faces from Hadassah, Never Again Coalition, Kol Shalom and others join us. We hope to continue this dialogue at a future Get-together. Stay tuned.

Please see our FB page “Next Generations Group” for much more info.

With warmest appreciation to Richard and Aart, and all who participated in the panel discussion. And thank you to OJMCHE for their support, and Temple Beth Israel for providing the meeting space.

About the panel discussion: We live in uncertain times . . . political forces in government have emboldened far right movements, raising the specter of Nativism and Anti-Semitism, among others. Jewish cemeteries have been vandalized, swastika graffiti has become widespread along with threat-filled communication to Jewish persons and institutions. Also rising for many of us are levels of concern and anxiety.

The current political scene can be rather unsettling, even frightening at times. How do we as survivors, descendants, and supporters of “never again”, make sense of our emotions, build resilience, and find ways to have a positive impact on ourselves and our social environment during these stressful times?

Recap: On May 21st, 2017 the Next Generations Group Get-together held a panel discussion format to address our concerns and how we might respond to best effect. The two panelists will start off talking about some of their observations of concerns of the day, and then open the floor up for a group discussion.
About the panelists:

Richard Lazere, Ph.D graduated from the University of Iowa, earned an M.A. from Long Island University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo in Canada—all in psychology. Richard was born in the Bronx and grew up in Queens and then Long Island, New York. He grew up in a home in which social justice was preached and practiced. Professionally, Richard’s career as a psychologist has included positions at OHSU, the Morrison Center, as a private practitioner, and as a psychology instructor at Portland State University and the University of Portland. Upon “retirement,” in 2001 he began teaching Psychology at PCC, which he continues to do presently.

Aart Lovenstein, PsyD, LPC received his master’s degree in psychology from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and his doctorate in clinical psychology (Psy.D) from the University of Denver in 1989. Aart was born to Dutch Holocaust survivors, grew up in Holland and immigrated to Israel as a teenager. He served as a psychologist in the Israeli Army treating combat and stress reactions in soldiers, most notably in the Lebanon War. Upon receiving his doctorate he treated first and second-generation Holocaust survivors in Israel, and victims of terror and abuse. Upon his return to the USA in 1994 he has worked at Washington County Community Corrections and Western Psychological and Counseling Services, as well as in private practice. He also taught a long-running course: Psychology of Trauma at Portland State University. Aart is on extended medical leave of absence and hopes to return to his practice in the future.

Recap March 26th, 2017 – Next Gen Get-together

Thank you Jeffry Gottfried for sharing stories of your family and their courageous actions of resistance in Germany and Holland during WWII. It was an inspiring presentation of survival, resourcefulness, and selfless contributions that saved hundreds if not thousands of Jewish lives. And of most timely value as well.

Jeff talk for website

Recap: Sun. April 16, 2017– Next Gen Book Club. Author Laurence Overmire attended. Hosted by Veronica Esagui

The next book club members read is one that has drawn worldwide attention, a philosophical work titled, The One Idea That Saves The World: A Call to Conscience and A Call to Action. Author Laurence Overmire calls it “a blueprint for world peace.” It has been widely acclaimed for its compassionate, common sense approach to many of the world’s most pressing issues.

Overmire was at the meeting on April 16th to discuss his book and answer questions. He is an accomplished author, speaker and a very active advocate for peace, social justice and the environment. For more info please visit


Recap: Thu, Apr 6,  – Debbi Montrose – Tapestry of Hope: A Holocaust Story
First United Methodist Church, 12555 SW 4th Street, Beaverton.

deb at viva village talk

Debbi Montrose, daughter of Holocaust survivors and member of OJMCHE Speaker’s Bureau, shared the story of her mother’s odyssey from a Romanian village to the death camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen, her liberation in 1945, and her eventual journey to Portland, OR. Debbi’s mother, Alice Koppel Kearn, was among the first Portland-area survivors to envision what was to become the Oregon Holocaust Memorial in Washington Park. This free public presentation was sponsored by Viva Village. 503-746-5082, or

From Rev. Ross Miller: Debbi,

Nancy and I were at a Viva Village meeting this morning where there was still a grateful “buzz” about your presentation on Thursday. Your story sharing approach was simple yet powerful. It was so natural, so gripping. The proof was in the questions which continued even after the session ended. And the “high chair” was perfect! 

Thank you, thank you. I’ll let you know how our OHM tour works out in May.
Ross, (and all your new Viva Village friends).

Recap: Feb 2017: For those who were able to attend our Get-together on Feb. 26, we were so fortunate to meet Timna Rockman, who is in Portland for the school year to promote understanding about life and culture in Israel.  About Timna.  Also, see this article.


Timna, who is also a descendant of Holocaust survivors, shared the story of her Grandparents who survived Lodz Ghetto, to meet again and marry after the war. She told her own story, about her family, growing up in Israel, and about her role visiting schools and groups in the Portland metro area and beyond to promote understanding of life and the complex issues in Israel.

Thank you Timna! She is a genuine and gifted speaker (see photos attached). And, the Next Gen group wants to help her succeed while she is here. Timna is currently accepting speaking engagements. If you or someone you know would be interested to have her come talk to your middle/high school students, or group, please email her at


Recap: Jan 2017: At our first Next Gen get-together in 2017, Sun., Jan. 22, a group of about 15 viewed a documentary called Memory Keepers by Molly Blank
As a group we represented child survivors, 2G, 3G, OJMCHE board members, speakers’ bureau, Memorial docents, past OHRC board members, and supporters of Holocaust education.
 The moving and beautiful film is about Sighet, Romanian Jewish survivors who were welcomed back to Sighet after 70 years for a commemorative reunion. But it’s also about “memory” and what we do with it. Debbi Montrose (whose mother was a Sighetsurvivor), and her two children attended the reunion in 2014. Debbi introduced the film and afterward we had a discussion about the film and about what we as citizens can do now, especially in this new and challenging atmosphere.
Thank you to Debbi Montrose for sharing Memory Keepers, and to Temple Beth Israel for use of their space until the remodel at OJMCHE is completed in June.


Recap – Sun. Nov 20, 2016- Survivor & Artist Table, Chanukah Fair at the MJCC.


The Next Gen Group with support from OJMCHE manned the survivor authors book table, as we have done for the past few years. We feature local survivor  and next gen authors and artists. Proceeds  benefited OJMCHE, the Memorial, and the Next Generations Group. It was a wonderful opportunity to support our survivor and next gen authors and artists. Thank you to Debbi Montrose for spearheading the project. And to all the volunteers, artists and authors on hand that day!

Recap – Wed. Sept. 7, 2016 –  The Next Generations Group hosted a very special program to hear child survivor Ruth Lindemann Wed., September 7,  2016, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education


Ruth Lindemann was active in the Portland area Jewish community and currently lives in California. She  was in town for the 12th Annual Oregon Holocaust Memorial picnic on August 28th,  and graciously accepted our invitation to talk with the Next Generations Group. We in turn, would like to extend the invitation to the OJMCHE Speakers Bureau and Board and others.


Ruth talked about her life as a child of survivors from Vienna, Austria. After arriving to the US at a young age, she traveled across the country from Washington DC to finally land in Portland where she eventually married and raised a family.  In Vienna, growing up with parents who refused to talk about atrocities of the  Holocaust, Ruth remembered the whispering in the kitchen, the tears, the knotted fear in her stomach, and her parents not wanting to discuss the horrors or talk about family members lost. Following her talk there will be time for Q&A.

Ruth is a past member of  OJMCHE Speakers Bureau, and currently speaks in schools in Palm Springs. She is an author of fiction and nonfiction, and is a regular speaker at the Tolerance Education Center in Rancho Mirage.

Recap –  Aug. 24, 2016 Next Gen Get-together: Holocaust Memorial film of interviews screening

At our August Next Gen Get-together and in commemoration of the Oregon Holocaust Memorial’s 12th Anniversary, next geners were invited to a special screening of a film of interviews about the building of the Oregon Holocaust Memorial in Washington Park. 
After the viewing their comments, impressions, insights and suggestions provided feedback vital in planning for future use of these filmed interviews — with the goal of the Next Generations Group to host and present a public showing event in the future. Thank you all for attending and for participating in the discussion. And a big thanks goes to Debbi Montrose for hosting the event, and for being an integral part of producing the film and the Memorial itself.
About the film: Produced by Rob Lindemann, with interviews conducted by Deb Montrose, the interviews were filmed on June 8, 2014 in commemoration of the Memorial’s 10th Anniversary. The film features 17 accounts of never heard before recollections of what it was like during the building of the Memorial by members of the Oregon Holocaust Memorial Coalition. The Coalition who administered the Memorial’s creation between 1995 – 2004 included Survivors, Design Team members, community leaders and clergy. Ten years after the Memorial’s completion, many were gathered together to be interviewed for this very special occasion.

For future Next Gen month get-togethers please visit our website often and Facebook page “Next Generations Group.”


Recap – Sun., Aug. 21, 2016 Annual Holocaust Memorial Clean-up.
A passionate handful of volunteers joined in on Sunday, August 21 from 10:00am-12:00pm to help tidy up the Oregon Holocaust Memorial in Washington Park.

Supervised by the Portland Parks & Recreation Department and OJMCHE staff and volunteers, the clean-up included leaf and debris removal and some tree trimming. The weather was cool and the team came through!

Screenshot 2016-08-21 at 8.23.18 PM


Recap – Mon., July 25, 2016 Next Gen Get-together featured Jill Neuwelt.  
We thank Jill Neuwelt who shared the remarkable story of her Austrian refugee parents and of herself growing up in post-war Vienna. Space was limited to about 15, so an RSVP was required.

About Jill’s story: Jill’s mother had been able to leave Vienna for England before the Anschluss in 1938, and she survived the war living in England. Jill’s father left Austria in 1939 and made it to Seattle via Denmark, Sweden, and the Trans-Siberian Railway ending up in Japan. He secured a ticket for a ship to the US with the help of a Japanese Esperanto Club. It was the last civilian ship to go from Japan to the States before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

We heard how Jill’s parents finally met in London, married in 1944, and in spite of all that had happened, returned to Vienna after the war to live and raise a family. As a former employee of JFCS in charge of their Holocaust survivor program, and after hearing so many of her parents’ contemporaries relate their stories of survival, Jill knows that her parents were very lucky; both during the war and thereafter. 

Jill’s story showed us not only a refugee perspective, but one of a second generation, who grew up the daughter of refugees in the city that her parents had originally fled from. As a matter of fact, Jill’s oldest daughter, Jennifer, has returned to live in Vienna. Through Jennifer, Jill has gained insight into life of a third generation in Vienna. Thank you again Jill and all who atended this inspirational evening.

Recap – Next Gen Group member Debbi Montrose honored for 23 years of service to OHSRAF

Debbi reception

Eva Aigner presents Debbi with etched glass vase honoring 23 years of service to OSHRAF.

A reception held at OJMCHE on June 30th was attended by an appreciative crowd to thank Next Generations Group member Debbi Montrose for 23 years helping Oregon Holocaust Survivors Refugees and Families Steering Committee. “Every minute of helping has been my complete pleasure, and as long as OHSRAF mission continues to be realized, we will all – including our entire community – continue to benefit from its legacy,” said Debbi. 

The mission of OHSRAF is to serve as survivor consensus and consultation for events involving survivors such as Yom HaShoah and Oregon Holocaust Memorial commemorations, to name a few. OHSRAF had recently merged with OJMCHE Speakers Bureau and Debbi’s hope is that it will be energized to continue to fulfill its mission.

Debbi was presented with an etched glass vase. “The vase is an heirloom to me – from you, I will treasure it always,”said Debbi adding, “You know that I love you all and that your inspiration over the years has shaped me tremendously.” Debbi stressed that she has all the confidence in April Slabosheski, (OJMCHE Holocaust educator) overseeing the Speakers Bureau and that OHSRAF Steering Committee’s mission remains part of the Speakers Bureau agenda each month. Debbi ended her remarks with: “And Judy, (OJMCHE executive director) without you, none of this would have been possible. We are all grateful for your belief and support for Holocaust education, and related exhibits and activities at OJMCHE.”

To see more pictures, please see the Google Photo Album: 

Recap: On Sunday, June 26, 2016 we asked “Are you a descendant/grandchild of Holocaust refugees or survivors? Are you curious about ways to discover missing pieces of their lives?”


Thank you Naomi (center in pink) for helping us answer those questions. Naomi Derner, 3rd gen, shared her amazing journey about how she pieced together a history of her grandparents that was previously unknown to even her own parents.

naomi derner

Next Gen member Naomi Derner grew up knowing that all four of her grandparents were “Holocaust survivors” that first came to this country from Eastern Europe after WWII, but this topic was never further discussed in her family.  When her last grandparent passed away in 2013, she realized too late that she and other members of her family, including her parents, knew virtually nothing about the pre-USA background of the four grandparents — with whom she had spent so much time as a child in Brooklyn, NY.  

A quick Google search on her grandparents’ names led to the discovery of an immigration card hinting at a chilling past. Using a wide variety of sources on the internet, old family documents pulled out of long-forgotten boxes, connections with distant relatives, — and most recently a pivotal trip to the research desk of the US Holocaust Museum in Washington DC that revealed some shocking information about her grandfather — Naomi has begun to piece together a history of her grandparents that was previously unknown to her own parents and other family members as well.

 At our June 26th Get-together, we learned about Naomi’s adventure unraveling family mysteries, her process of researching their history; plus we learned some of the best tips and most surprising resources that she found on the internet and elsewhere that helped her Jewish genealogy research.

Resources Naomi used:

Recap: June 12, 2016 Next Generations Group Get-together

Thank you Richard Lazere for the  moving presentation/discussion about social justice at our June 12 Next Generations Group get-together. 

The conference room at OJMCHE was filled to capacity. The table loaded with fruit, snacks and chocolate. Survivors Eva and Les Aigner, OJMCHE Holocaust Educator April Slabosheski, and Charlotte Bennet Schoen (Advocate for Global Justice, visiting from New Jersey) joined our group as well.
As one scanned the 15 of us in the room on Sunday, noted is that all of us are involved in taking action for causes that we hope will make for a better more just world. — From volunteering for a variety of  causes, to educating about the atrocities of the  Holocaust and genocide, being stewards of the Holocaust Memorial in Washington Park, to advocating for the rights of animals through veganism, among many more causes. 
Richard eloquently took us through the definition of social justice and described ways to take social action. If you would like to learn more about how to get involved in social justice action, Richard has graciously agreed to field your interest and questions. Please email him at
At our get-together wrap-up portion, there was talk about starting a book group and a film group. 

We learned that social justice is the fair, just and equitable relationship between the individual and society as well as between and among individuals. Social justice is constructed around the idea of a social contract in which enlightened people agree to rules of fairness and equity for all. Judaism contains some clear and explicit guidelines for the expression of social justice which will be the nucleus of our discussion.

Thank you again Richard for your important and timely presentation. And thank you to April for all your support.

About Richard Lazere:

Richard Lazere

Richard was born in the Bronx and grew up in Queens and then Long Island, New York. He grew up in a home in which social justice was preached and practiced, as anti-Semitism was problematic in everyday life. Richard joined the Next Gen Group because he believes  that it is important to be a part of institutional memory regarding the Shoah, as well as being an activist voice trumpeting the message “Never Again”.

Richard graduated from the University of Iowa, earned an M.A. from Long Island University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo in Canada—all in psychology. Professionally, Richard’s career as a psychologist has included positions at OHSU, the Morrison Center, as a private practitioner, and as a psychology instructor at Portland State University and the University of Portland. Upon “retirement,” in 2001 he began teaching Psychology at PCC, which he continues to do presently.

Richard has been active in a wide variety of organizations reflecting his interests and values, from psychological and mental health concerns to Veterans for Peace, Physicians for Social Responsibility Wholistic Peace Institute and other peacebuilding organizations. In addition, Richard is secretary of the Jazz Society of Oregon and a member of the Cascade Blues Society, and more!  

July 5-31, 2016 Art Show: Our newest Next Gen member: Award winning and published artist, Rosalyn Kliot has shown and or sold her works nationally and in a travelling art exhibit in Japan. Her numerous juried exhibits, both solo and group shows include galleries in Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, Vancouver, and includes a museum in Springfield, Oregon.


Lecture Review – May 26, 2016:

“There’s No Business Like Shoah Business: Why Would a Typical Jewish American Princess Be So Obsessed with Her People’s Greatest Tragedy?”

by Richard Lazere, Ph.D.

The Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies at Portland State University hosted author Ayelet Waldman for its 2016 Sara  Glasgow Cogan Memorial Lecture on Thursday, May 26th. She addressed an enthusiastic and responsive audience with remarks centered on her latest book “Love and Treasure”. This book considered the fate of Jewish life in Hungary during the Second World War and specifically the disposition of wealth and treasure stolen from Jewish Citizens by the Nazis when they invaded Hungary in l944. The story is about The Gold Train, which contained so much of the valuables plundered from Hungarian Jews and the ultimate disposition of so much of this valuable treasure.

Waldman is married to an author and between them, they have authored four children. She is a reformed lawyer who devotes her time productively to her love of writing. In addition to Love and Treasure, she has written Red Hook Road and Bad Mother, a Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace. Her novel Love and Other Impossible Pursuits was adapted for a movie entitled The Other Woman starring Natalie Portman. She is currently working on a novel about LSD set to debut this coming January.

Her speech was scintillating, animated and informative. Her books have been published throughout the world and I am sure, very worth reading.  RL

Recap: May 22, 2016 Get-together focused on the extraordinary Ruth Gruber.

ruth gruber photo journalist
Ruth Gruber.

We saw the amazing film Ahead of Time and met afterward for a private Q&A in the conference room with OJMCHE’s Holocaust Educator April Slabosheski. Then, April took us through the Gruber photo exhibit. The exhibit now runs thru June 19. Highly recommend!

May 22 ruth gruber meeting

Thank you April (at right ) for leading the post film discussion and for the most interesting tour.


Ruth Gruber, Photojournalist celebrates the remarkable life, vision, and heroic tenacity of a twentieth-century pioneer and trailblazer. Once the world’s youngest PhD, Ruth Gruber is now in her 104th year. The photographs in this exhibition span more than fifty years, from her groundbreaking reportage of the Soviet Arctic in the 1930s and iconic images of Jewish refugees from the ship Exodus 1947, to her later photographs of Ethiopian Jews in the midst of civil war in the 1980s. A selection of Gruber’s vintage prints, never before exhibited, will be presented alongside contemporary prints made from her original negatives.

Recap: May 4, 2016 Yom HaShoah Commemoration

Next Generation Group members Debbi Montrose, Sue Wendel, Lynne Chassain, and Alan Gotleib helped at the Yom HaShoah Commemoration to greet guests, light candles, place flowers, set-up and clean-up. Thank you all.

Screenshot 2016-04-26 at 7.52.40 AM

Recap: Sun., April 17 Next Gen Get-together

Next Generations Group and others associated with the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education met for an afternoon Social Hour from 1:00-2:00 prior to the Portland Center Stage’s production of The Pianist of Willesden Lane. Social Hour attendees enjoyed Next Generations Group’s talented member Philip Mandel play piano, and light nibbles during the social hour.

About the play: “Set in Vienna in 1938 and in London during the Blitzkrieg, The Pianist of Willesden Lane tells the true and inspirational story of Lisa Jura, a young Jewish musician whose dreams are interrupted by the Nazi regime. In this poignant show, Grammy-nominated pianist Mona Golabek performs some of the world’s most stunning music as she shares her mother’s riveting true story of survival. Pianist is infused with hope and invokes the life-affirming power of music.”

Also, following the 2 pm performance  — at 4:00 pm, Oregon Holocaust Memorial Design Team members John Laursen and Miriam Greenstein held a talkback with the audience. They spoe in part on writing as a tool in memory, memoirs, and memorials.

Recap: Sun. March 20, 2016 Next Gen members participated in the Echoes and Reflections Teacher Training Workshop 8:30 am-3:30 pm at OJMCHE.

Next generations are educators, OJMCHE speakers, Memorial docents, volunteers and more. We look for opportunities  to deepen our knowledge, understanding and connection to Holocaust education. In lieu of a March “get-together” we were invited to participate in the education workshop. This is what one Next Generations Group member said:

I thought the workshop was outstanding. Sheryl is a powerful presenter and the content material was enlightening. I learned a lot. I enjoyed the experience thoroughly. I look forward to plowing through the resource book that was a part of the workshop material.     — Richard Lazere

Echoes and Reflections is a comprehensive Holocaust education program that delivers professional development and a rich array of resources for middle and high school teachers. Topics for the workshop include: Holocaust education principles, history, anti-antisemitism, rescuers, and how to access and use primary sources, among others. For info please visit

Next Gen Get-together Recap: Sat. Feb. 27, 2016 – Thank You Ruth Bolliger

Ruth Boliger 2-27-16

A heartfelt thank you to Ruth Bolliger (left) for sharing her incredible story and reflections about her family and growing up in the shadows of the Holocaust at our Feb. 27th Next Gen Get-together. Child survivor and OJMCHE Speaker Ruth Bolliger (bio: was our featured speaker. She wove a tale of her family’s story of loss, hiding, resourcefulness, luck, and determination. She was able to bridge the concerns of child survivors and 2nd generations, as we share many similar feelings and emotions. Also Diana and Ruth talked about the annual World Federation of Jewish Child Survivors and Descendants conference.This year the conference will be in LA in early November. There is interest in getting a group from Portland to go!

Recap: Sun. Jan. 24, 2016 –  Preserving our family stories with Gloria Nussbaum, Personal Historian. Thank you Gloria.

group discussion 2

Personal Historian Gloria Nussbaum (left) with Alan, Lynne, Naomi, Ron, Linda, Richard, Boaz, Veronica, and Sue discuss the importance and value of preserving family stories (ours too). Photo couresty Diana. See more photos on Facebook “Next Generations Group”

Why do stories matter? How often have you wanted to record your own, or a family member’s story, but never got around to it? At our first get-together of the year, Gloria introduced us to the key elements of drawing out stories (our own and others) and provided tips for types of questions to use and how to organize the material. Lively discussion ensued.

About Gloria: Since 2001 Gloria has recorded the personal stories of over 200 individuals throughout the U.S. Through one-on-one interviews, she uses guiding questions to reveal the stories. For more info about Gloria please see her website at

“I love sitting down, asking questions and guiding people through their lives. When they say, ‘I haven’t thought about that in years!’ or ‘I really shouldn’t tell you, but…’ and I see the twinkle in their eye, I wait…and listen. Listening is the most important thing I do. – GN

Thank you Gloria for this most interesting and uplifting presentation!
(Photos courtesy Diana and Sue)


Recap: Sun. Dec. 27, 2015 Next Gen End of Year Lunch 

Screenshot 2015-12-27 at 7.06.42 PM

From back left to front: Evelyn, Evie, Sue, Richard, George, Carlene, Veronica, Tanya. From back right to front: Boaz, Nurit, Lynne, (Diana but taking picture), Linda, Barbara, Naomi, and David (oops, where are you?)

Sixteen of us enjoyed being together, eating great Thai food at the Red Onion, chatting it up, and talking about 2016. We had another successful year of interesting and informative programs, fantastic speakers, and community projects. OJMCHE board member Barbara Atlas gave us an update on 2016 exhibits and events, and next geners offered input on what kinds of activities they would like to participate in the coming year.

Thanks for your time, efforts, involvement, and donations for making 2015 a productive and memorable year. And thanks to OJMCHE for their support. To see all the 2015 Next Gen Recaps please visit the recaps page on this site —

Recap: Sun. Nov. 29, 2015 – Next Gen Get-together

2015 Nov w Miriam Gerber

THANK YOU Tanya for your very interesting talk at our Next Gen get-together on Sun., Nov. 29th. Fifteen of us learned about Miriam Gerber’s life as you led us through the twisted ups and downs beginning with her childhood in Worms, Germany, as she courageously dealt with antisemitism, and her fateful journey to the Dominican Republic, that ultimately brought her to the United States. We were happily surprised to discover that Miriam and her son Gabe were in the audience and that we had a chance to meet and talk to Miriam afterwards. Photo from L to R includes Gabrielle, Brenda, David, Gabe, Miriam Gerber, and Debbi.

About Tanya’s presentation:
Through the life of local Holocaust Survivor and author Miriam Gerber, we will explore the very difficult circumstances that Miriam and Jewish Germans faced in Nazi Germany. Next Gen member Tanya will take us on a virtual journey back through time from southwest Germany to the Dominican Republic utilizing Miriam Gerber’s family photos as well as authentic film footage.

We will learn how Miriam demonstrated fortitude in the midst of hostile surroundings. The fates of Miriam’s two uncles will also be presented in order to demonstrate just how fickle the hand of fate can be.

Recap: Sun. Oct. 25, 2015 – Next Gen Get-together 

We watched Rescue in the Philippines: Refuge from the Holocaust (2013), at OJMCHE.
Continuing our study of rescuers, we learned how a family of tobacco growers and General Eisenhower were able to get 1300 Jews out of Germany.
From The moral courage of an influential few in the Philippines saved the lives of 1,300 Jewish men, women, and children in Nazi Europe in the days leading to World War II.

Recap: Sold out event. Wed. Oct. 14

Recap: Wed. Oct. 14, 2015 – The public viewed the screening of In Vienna They Put You in Jail: The Max Birnbach Story.Screenshot 2015-10-18 at 8.32.18 AM
Gerry Birnbach, Max’s son (left in top photo), introduced the film and he and director Cheryl Blaylock (center in middle row left photo) led a conversation following the film. Thank you OJMCHE staff and next geners Diana, Sue, Lynne, Naomi (bottom right photo, Tanya not pictured) for planning the event.

About the film: In Vienna, They Put You In Jail: The Max Birnbach Story:

In 1938 Vienna, anti-Semitism was at its peak. Hitler’s army was threatening Austria’s border. One day Max Birnbach, as a young man working in his father’s store in Vienna, heard the words, “You a Jew?… In the car with you.” And Hitler’s dreaded SS hauled him off to a concentration camp.

Many years later Max gave Gerry a box of postcards Max had received while living in Switzerland written by his parents who were trapped in Poland. From these postcards a documentary was born that traces Max’s remarkable story — including his imprisonment by the Nazis, a dramatic escape to the Swiss border, life in a refugee camp, the futile efforts to save his parents from deportation to the concentration camps, and the remarkable meeting that made possible Max’s emigration to America.

At the end of the film, a visit by Max and Gerry to Ellis Island – on September 9, 2001 – juxtaposes this tale of hope with the sadness that would engulf the nation only two days later, ending the film on a graceful emotional note. According to the Oregonian, Birnbach’s epic odyssey “embodies the resilience and determination that have characterized Jewish life for millennia.”

The film reveals the sharp instincts Max used to survive, the tragedy he had to leave behind, and the life-affirming courage and tenacity he demonstrated throughout his life. Directed by Cheryl Blaylock. 2003, 52 minutes.

About Cheryl Blaylock

Cheryl Blaylock’s company, Kalamazoo Gal Pictures, produces documentaries, tributes and wedding videos. The award-winning documentary feature, IN VIENNA THEY PUT YOU IN JAIL: THE MAX BIRNBACH STORY is distributed by Cinema Guild. Cheryl has worked extensively in film and television as a puppeteer. Her favorite characters include Frederica in Blue’s Room (spinoff of Blue’s Clues), Eureeka in Eureeka’s Castle and many characters on Sesame Street. She co-directed the musical Avenue Q at the Civic Theatre in Kalamazoo Michigan. With the Jim Henson Company, she designed, built and performed the Muppets, winning an Emmy for her work on Sesame Street. She has acted on stage, television and film in various projects from drama to commercials to cartoon voices, and recently directed herself in Shakespeare’s Sonnet #2 for the sonnet She is currently creating programs for the non-profit Trees New York with her puppet Mrs Crabapple, the cantankerous old lady who hates trees. She is represented by Abrams Artists Agency.

Recap: Memorial clean-up Sun., Sept. 27, 2015: Working hands make a difference

On Sunday, Sept. 27 Next Gen members participated in the OJMCHE Oregon Holocaust Memorial clean-up in Washington Park. It was an honor to work for the Memorial and also a joy. Thank you all who showed up. It made a real difference. See photos on our Facebook page: Next Generations Group.

Recap: Thank you Peter Arton for sharing the story of your remarkable life at our get-together Aug. 23, 2015

Screenshot 2015-07-26 at 8.39.19 PMpeter arton 8-23-15 talks

Peter Arton, father of Next Gen member Nurit Arton Kahana, who is visiting from Israel spoke at our Aug. 23 get-together. At the young age of 93, he shared the story of his remarkable life that began in Czechoslovakia, uprooted in 1938 and winding through Poland, Russia, Japan, and England among other places. His life’s journey included time as a RAF navigator in the British Army’s Czech bomber squadron destroying German U-boats, surviving plane crashes, and serving as a military attaché after the war. His detailed memories exemplify a courageous life and the men and women heroes of that time. We were honored to get to know him and have him speak to us. If you are interested, he has written his memories in a book titled: Strange Story of a WW2 RAF Navigator. See info at


Recap: We joined together for the annual Summer Picnic at the Memorial for its 11th Anniversary. 
Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 11:30-2:30 at the Oregon Holocaust Memorial in Washington Park. For photos of the event please see them on the Next Gen Facebook page Next Generations Group


Recap: Sun. July 26, 2015 Next Gen Get-together at OJMCHE Gerry Birnbach presented the documentary about his father: In Vienna They Put You in Jail: The Max Birnbach Story 
 gerry at podim7-26-15
Gerry Birnbach responds to audience questions after the film.

The Next Generations Group, along with members of the OHSRAF Steering Committee, and OJMCHE Board, Speakers Bureau, and Staff together viewed the documentary “In Vienna They Put You in Jail: The Max Birnbach Story.” Gerry Birnbach, son of Portlander Max Birnbach (z”l) shared the moving documentary he created and narrated about his father Max Birnbach.

Portlanders may fondly recall that Max Birnbach owned Rose’s restaurant on NW 23rd Ave. from the late 1960s to the early 90s, and remember his philanthropic endeavors as well.

Attendees schmoozed before the showing and enjoyed lox, bagels, and cream cheese, rugelach, and soda from Kenny & Zukes —  in honor menu items from Rose’s Restaurant. We thank Gerry for his generous donation of the wonderful food.

 A general public evening showing and friend/fundraiser for OJMCHE/Next Gen Group is in planning for Wed., October 14th. Stay tuned for details.

About the film: In Vienna, They Put You In Jail: The Max Birnbach Story:

(Information compiled from various sources.)

In 1938 Vienna, anti-Semitism was at its peak. Hitler’s army was threatening Austria’s border. One day Max Birnbach, as a young man working in his father’s store in Vienna, heard the words, “You a Jew?… In the car with you.” And Hitler’s dreaded SS hauled him off to a concentration camp.

Many years later Max gave Gerry a box of postcards Max had received while living in Switzerland written by his parents who were trapped in Poland. From these postcards a documentary was born that traces Max’s remarkable story — including his imprisonment by the Nazis, a dramatic escape to the Swiss border, life in a refugee camp, the futile efforts to save his parents from deportation to the concentration camps, and the remarkable meeting that made possible Max’s emigration to America.

At the end of the film, a visit by Max and Gerry to Ellis Island – on September 9, 2001 – juxtaposes this tale of hope with the sadness that would engulf the nation only two days later, ending the film on a graceful emotional note. According to the Oregonian, Birnbach’s epic odyssey “embodies the resilience and determination that have characterized Jewish life for millennia.”

The film reveals the sharp instincts Max used to survive, the tragedy he had to leave behind, and the life-affirming courage and tenacity he demonstrated throughout his life. Directed by Cheryl Blaylock. 2003, 52 minutes.

Thank you again Gerry, for this most moving and heartfelt Next Gen Get-together.

Recap: June 28 Next Gen Get-together with Peter Wigmore
Peter Wigmore, a retired teacher from the Lake Oswego School District,
spoke about his mother Rose and her experiences during the Holocaust, her
imprisonment at Auschwitz, and being the subject of Mengele’s “medical
experiments. He also talked about being the child of a survivor and growing
up with a disability, which did not occur due of her interactions with Mengele;
but her Holocaust experiences did sufficiently affect her perceptions of it.
You can see Peter’s personal story in the Jan. 2015 issue of Oregon Jewish Life
From a Next Gen member who heard Peter Wigmore talk at our get-together on June 28: He has such a wonderful, polished way of presenting his mothers story. The teacher in him really comes through and he presents good clear information that is easy to absorb. I have not heard him speak before and I was so glad I came. He also stepped up and answered a bit about what it was like to be a second generation person. Very brave. A lot of what he said is common to many of us.


Recap: May 30, 2015 Next Gen Get-together featured Dr. Aart Lovenstein and plans about a new discussion support group for 2nd generation.

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Thank you Dr. Lovenstein for accepting our invitation, and sharing your background about being a descendant of Dutch Holocaust survivors, and about your therapy practice. We are happy to see that some Next Generations Group members are interested in the new discussion/support group forming for 2nd generation folks. This group would meet monthly independently of our Next Generations Group Get-togethers and be facilitated by Dr. Lovenstein. It would be open to 2nd generation folks who want to delve deeper into issues. There is a small fee. In the future Dr. Lovenstein welcomes talking about forming a group for 3rd generation grandchildren of Holocaust survivors. The first meeting for the 2nd generation discussion/support group was Wed., June 3, 6 to 7:30 pm. Registration is required for future meetings. For info about Dr. Lovenstein please visit For questions and to register for the 2nd generation discussion/support group please directly email Dr. Lovenstein at or call 503-804-5968.

Recap: Next Generations Group Get-together April 26, 2015 at OJMCHE, featured Boaz Kahana


Udi, Ronit, Boaz, and Nurit


Bo, Freida, and Evie

Thank you to Boaz Kahana for your talk about your father from Sighet, Romania, survivor of Auschwitz,  and about growing up as a next gen in Israel. We learned about how not only you and your family dealt with your father’s past, but how Israel as a nation dealt with survivors. It was a perspective we rarely hear, and we so appreciated you sharing that with us. Our hope for the future is that you can take your important story to schools and community groups. We also welcomed new faces to our get-together, including Ronit and Udi, Naomi, Bo, and his mom Freida who is a child survivor. As a group our roots included Poland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, and Lithuania. Together we will keep our stories alive and relevant.

Boaz was born and raised in Jerusalem. His father was a Holocaust survivor from Sighet, Romania who lost most of his family in Auschwitz. His mother  was a “sabra.” Boaz and his wife Nurit joined the Next Gen Group over a year ago.

Boaz says he lives by these inspiring words from his Uncle Nachman, his father’s brother:

Do protect our country with all the power within you. For we shall never, God forbid, be at the mercy of other nations. We do not  have any  other country.

Do not drift away from the legacy of the Hebrew nation and its religion, as this is our legacy. A legacy from ancient  times that was cherished from one generation to another.

Keep united and loving to your families, relatives and friends and to the whole Israel people where ever they are. Remember the Holocaust. Gather pictures, documents and books about your family heritage for you and for the next generations.

Boaz says, “I wish to do just that by telling my father’s story – my story.”

Recap: Thank you Veronica Esagui for speaking at our March 21 Next Gen Get-together 
March - 2015 veronica
Veronica Esagui (seated front at left) talked about two of her diary books,  The Journey of Innocence, which describes her life growing up in Lisbon, Portugal, and her fourth diary book, Angels Among Us, where a Nazi woman begs her for forgiveness.Veronica’s life story is a true account of the good and evil experiences that we all face throughout our lives. She stressed that that by sharing these stories, we can learn from history and put a stop to the madness that comes from ignorance and prejudice.We thank her for sharing vignettes of her most interesting and inspiring life!

February 2015 Announcements

Sun., Feb. 8 – Special announcement: click on the link too.

Join Next Generations Group member Philip Mandel this Sunday 2/8 at 2:30 to view the Anne Frank exhibit at Oregon Jewish Museum/Center for Holocaust Education (OJMCHE) and attend a free presentation about a local Holocaust survivor.…/sunday-speaker-phillip-mandel

Address: 1953 NW Kearney St. Portland 97209


Sunday, Feb. 22 – Laureen Nussbaum Talk

My Memories of Anne Frank; My Work with her Diaries

Sunday, February 22, 2015, 2:00p.m., at OJMCHE | Talk

Ticket Info: General Public: $10; OJMCHE Members: $8; Students: $5

RSVP and ticket required for the Nussbaum Talk

Financial assistance is available if needed.

Next Gen to meet with Laureen Nussbaum afterwards
Time: 3:30 pm – 4:15 pm  No Charge, Space is limited. RSVP Required to Diana.

Professor Emerita at Portland State University’s Department of Languages and Literature, Nussbaum has written and taught at length on the literary and social implications of Anne Frank’s diary. Like Anne Frank, Nussbaum was born in Frankfurt and emigrated to Amsterdam with her family after the start of the Second World War. Both the Franks and the Nussbaum families moved within the same Amsterdam social circles and after discovering they had both survived the Holocaust, Nussbaum and Otto Frank developed a lifelong friendship.

Laureen is part of the Sunday speakers series associated with the Anne Frank Exhibit now running at OJMCHE through April 15th. She will be giving a public presentation at 2 to 3:30 pm on the same Sunday – Feb. 22. Reservations are required for the pulbic presentation as space is limited in the auditorium.  Ticket Info: General Public: $10; OJMCHE Members: $8; Students: $5.

The full schedule of the Anne Frank Exhibit Sunday Speakers at OJMCHE (some are Next Generations) include: 
  • 1/25 Debbi Montrose with sisters, Sue Wendel and Evie Oxman presenting their mother’s (Alice Kern z”l) documentary A Journey to Remember.
  • 2/8  Phil Mandel on behalf of survivor and author From a Name to a Number Alter Wiener.
  • 2/15  Deb Mrowka,daughter of survivor and speaker Eline Hoekstra.
  • 2/22  Laureen Nussbaum, Anne Frank scholar and Holocaust survivor, will speak on Holocaust history and the legacy of Anne Frank’s work. Laureen Nussbaum, visiting professor, “My Memories of Anne Frank; My Work With Her Diaries.
  • March 1 David Rutiezer, descendant
  • March 8  Child survivor Evelyn Banko
  • March 15  Child survivor Miriam Greenstein
  • March 22  Survivors Eva & Les Aigner
  • March 29  Artist and child survivor Henk Pander (Pander’s drawings, Hiding, are currently on exhibit)
  • April 5  No Public Speaker due to Holidays
  • April 12 Phil Mandel (on behalf of Alter Wiener) and author Trudy Ludwig speaking about her children’s book based on Wiener’s story.

(Schedule is subject to change. Please call OJMCHE ahead on the day of.)


Wed. Feb. 25 – Special Next Gen Group tour of the Anne Frank Exhibit.

RSVP required to Saundra at

Time: 5:45 pm film, 6:30 to 7:30 pm exhibit tour.

Museum fees apply, No one will be turned away because of lack of funds.


Feb. 2015 Items of Interest:

January 14 to April 14, 2015 – Anne Frank: A History For Today Exhibit and many other related events. Please see for full details. 

Anne Frank: A History for Today explores Holocaust history and the specific story of Anne Frank’s life, while reminding visitors of the continued relevance of the themes of intolerance, compassion, and the importance of diversity and human rights embedded in Anne Frank’s story. Many Next Geners are volunteering to be docents for the event..


Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, 7:00 pm –  Alter Wiener speaks at Lakewood Center for the Arts

Holocaust survivor and author of From a Name to a Number, Alter Weiner will share his experiences as a young man during WWII. Mr. Wiener’s father was brutally murdered on September 11, 1939, by German invaders of Poland.

Alter was then a boy of 13. At age 15, he was deported to Blechhammer, a forced labor camp for Jews, in Germany. Mr.Weiner subsequently survived five different camps. Upon liberation by the Russian Army on May 9, 1945, he discovered most of his family was gone.

Through sharing his experience of a time in our history which must never be forgotten, Mr. Weiner’s message is ultimately one of tolerance and strength.


Friday, February 20, 2015, CD Release Party for Philip Mandel

6:30 PM, Portland Piano Company, 711 SW 14th Ave, Portland, OR.

You are invited to celebrate with Philip Mandel, pianist  and Next Generations Group member and speaker. Champagne and light hors d’oeuvres will be served. Philip will perform excerpts from the CD along with a few surprises! for all the details.

Philip is offering a special CD price of $10 for Next Generations Group members (regularly $15). You would need to use the Fractured Atlas link on his website –, – click on “Giving Levels,” then choose the “Bach” level ($10). When you enter your name and address for payment, put NEXT GEN (or similar) in the “Company or Organization” box. For info email Philip at


Jan. 2015 RECAPS
RECAP – Fifteen members attended our January 25th get-together for lunch. We talked about 2015 programming and welcomed three new members as well!
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RECAP – Sat., January 24, 2015 — Miriam Greenstein spoke at the Tualatin Library.

Veronica Esagui, who recently joined the Next Gen Group helped to organize the event and provided transportation for Miriam. Tanya Webber, another Next Gen Group attended and had this to say:

To write a brief synopsis of Miriam Greenstein’s talk is not possible. For many, it was a consciousness altering experience (me included).  The room at the Tualitan library was absolutely packed!!  Many people were standing out in the hallway in order to hear because all the seats were taken. A couple people were sitting in the aisle in front (fire marshal would be quite displeased). I didn’t count but I guess a couple hundred people were there . . . I gained a much deeper respect and appreciation for Miriam .

Get-together 2014 Recaps Archives

Dec. 14, 2014 MJCC Chanukah Fair book table was a fun and rewarding experience. Next Geners planned and manned the table. We sold books and proceeds benefitted the Oregon Holocaust Memorial, OJMCHE, and the Next Gen Group. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped – Diana, Debbi, Lynne, Nurit, Rochelle, Ruth, Jeff, Deb, Tanya, and Sue. Special thanks to survivor Eline Hoesktra for talking with shoppers. We couldn’t have done it without all of you!
Dec. 28, 2014 Recap: Thesis presentation by Leslie O’Donoghue at our Dec. get-together

Leslie O’Donoghue, of Portland State University shared her master’s thesis which included interviews with local descendants of Holocaust survivors. This thesis is the culmination of years of study in which she plans to move on to a PhD with a similar focus. We thank her for a most interesting presentation and for leading a discussion about issues that are so important to us.

Nov. 2014 Recap: Thank you Tanya Webber for your presentation at our Nov. 30th Get-together.
Tayna talked about how she delivered the diary of local author Miriam Gerber to the museum in Worms. She also shared stories of people immortalized on  the Stolpersteine (literal translation is stumble stones).See:
Tanya highlighted the stories of three heroes: Herta Mansbacher of Worms; Dr. Emil Homburger of Freiburg, and Richard Schwarzschild of Kaiserlautern.
Also, thanks goes to Phil Mandel and Deb Mrowka for giving speeches this month to school and community groups.

Looking for grandchildren of survivors to fill out a survey for research

From Katya Ekman:

My name is Katya Ekman, and I’m a third year doctoral student at the Wright Institute in Berkeley. I am conducting my dissertation research on potential resilience factors in the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors (specifically strength of Holocaust narrative within the family and Jewish identity).

The surveys can be taken online, and should take less than 20 minutes.  Anyone is welcome to contact me via email at, or simply fill out the survey directly. The link to the survey is here:

I appreciate the support!
Thank you,


Recap: Oct. 26th, 2014 Next Gen Get-together – Liberators, Heroes and their Descendants

A group comprised of descendants, child survivors, and survivors gathered at OJMCHE on Sunday, Oct. 26 to hear from a liberator and his daughter, and from the daughter of a RAF navigator pilot.

As descendants of Holocaust survivors and refugees, our parents and relatives transmitted stories to us that became woven into the fabric of our lives. And liberators and war heroes are paramount features of these stories. Survivor Alice Kern (z”l always sought out to meet and thank camp liberators and war heroes. At our Next Generations Group October get-together we had the opportunity to do just that.

Liberator Mel Morasch and his daughter Melissa Morasch, and Nurit Arton Kahana were our guest speakers.

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Mel Morasch (left) mingling with Evie Banko, Jerry Paster, and Diana Lindemann.

Mel served as a medic in the 104th Infantry Division, known as the Timberwolves. He was one of the first medics who were sent into the Nordhausen concentration camp, without knowing, to search for survivors. (This was the camp where fellow Next Gener, Alan Gotlieb’s father worked as a slave laborer for several months building V1 and V2 rockets). Mel is a spry, energetic nonagenarian, who tells a painfully heartwarming story of his time in the military, and of the darkest moments of liberating and rescuing dying prisoners – 800 of 6000 — who were able to survive.

melissa morasch
Melissa Morasch talking with Mrs. Atlas.

Daughter Melissa is a member of Timberwolf Pups. “The Pups are us children of the Timberwolves. The 104th Veterans had been getting together every year since WWII ended. 2010 was the last reunion put on by the Veterans group” says Melissa. “A group of Pups stepped up and formed an organization quickly and the reunions continue even as fewer and fewer Veterans are with us or able to attend. I am fortunate that my Dad is still with us and healthy enough to attend. We go to this every labor day.”

If you want to learn more see this story about Mel’s life: at:


Info about the Timberwolf Pups:

nurit 1-26-14
Nurit Arton Kahana with Deb Mrowka, her mom Eline Hoekstra, and Boaz Kahana in a discussion after her presentation.

Nurit Arton Kahana along with assistance from her husband Boaz Kahana shared stories about her father, RAF fighter pilot Peter Arton, who currently lives in Israel. As a navigator, he flew 49 missions with the 311 (Czech) bomber squadron. After the war he returned to Czechoslovakia and acted as deputy to the Head of Education at Air Force Headquarters in Prague but resigned when Russian pressure increased. Peter went back to England and in 1954 moved to Israel. He recently published his book titled “Strange Story of a WW2 RAF Navigator” chronicling his wartime ordeals. See

Sue Wendel also read from an email sent by Tom Brown (a longtime friend who lives in Baltimore) about his dad, Don Brown, who as a young GI liberated Dachau. After the war, Tom writes that Don became one the early founders of the Raoul Wallenberg annual lecture series at the University of Michigan.  As it happened, one year a survivor of Dachau spoke. He described the liberation of the camp and how joyously the surviving inmates received the GIs in their khaki uniforms who entered the camp after the Nazis had fled. In the question and answer period Don stood up and said, “I was one of those GIs.” The crowd gasped and Don was persuaded to go up onstage where the speaker hugged him for some time.

These are our present day heroes. When we descendants talk of liberators and heroes, it’s with a sense of pride, honor, and admiration. On behalf of Next Generations Group, and the Survivors and friends and family who attended our October get-together, we thank all the speakers for not only their past courage, but for the courage to keep the stories alive. Thanks also to April Slabosheski, OJMCHE Holocaust Educator, for her support.

P.S. A note from Melissa Morasch

Thanks for inviting my Father and me to come talk to your group. Hopefully we covered what you wanted. I already have family members asking for copies of the video so they can see how Dad/Grandpa did.

I had meant to mention that we are having our local 104th Timberwolf Luncheon on Saturday, Nov 8th. We usually get 30 to 50 people coming to renew old friendships and honor the Timberwolves. Alan Gottlieb from your group has come to several of our luncheons. For details and to RSVP email:

Thanks again,
Melissa Morasch

PPS. If you would like to send a message to Mel, Melissa, or Nurit, please let me know and I will send you contact info.  — Sue

Re-cap: Sept. 28, 2014 Next Generations Group Get-together  – Topic: Next Generations  Speakers Training session
       Have you ever heard a Survivor tell his/her story, at family gatherings or at a school or other public venues? There is something exceptional about hearing their first-hand life experiences. But someday, Survivors will not be among us to enlighten and educate future generations. Will their stories fade? No!
       At our Sept. 28 Next Gen get-together we heard from speakers Evie Banko and Miriam Greenstein who shared their stories and experiences of being a member of the OJMCHE Speakers Bureau, and emerging Next Gen Speakers Debbi Montrose and Phil Mandel had the opportunity to get feedback for their developing presentations. We were so appreciative of learning from the survivors and it became apparant that many next gen’rs want to be able to hear from them as often as possible. As a result, we will work with OJMCHE and let you know of future speaking engagements that we could attend.

[Note: we received this email below from one of our group members, Tanya Webber. It pretty much sums up how things went as we were learning about becoming a speaker. Tanya gave us permission to share it.]     — Sue

Thank you so very much, Evie Banko and Miriam Greenstein (both child survivors), for sharing your wisdom and experience as seasoned Holocaust speakers this afternoon [at the 9/28/14 Next Gen Get-together]. The information you provided us novices ranged from practical to profound.

Miriam, in particular, provided me a gift that I had been seeking for a long time .  . . . . . .the quote by Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

I’ve heard this quote before in the context of Holocaust education but never had I heard it endorsed by Miriam until today.

This quote causes me to reflect on the stories of some of our local Holocaust Survivors: Les and Eva Aigner, Ruth Lindemann, Jane Rosenbaum, Rosa Wigmore, and Miriam Gerber — in addition to the two stories provided by you both today.

Each story identifies someone who came to the aide of a Survivor or Survivor’s family member in either a large or small way. As you know, those who risked their own life are considered heroes. It is my humble opinion that the following individual’s actions rise to the level of that which would be considered heroic:

Miriam Greenstein – the German woman whom extended her own home and food to Miriam and her group of young, starving women.

Ruth Lindemann: the Viennese police officer who protected Ruth and her mother in a doorway.

Jane Rosenbaum: the German man whom hid Jane’s father during Kristallnacht (I believe this is what Jane told me but not 100% certain).

Les Aigner: A man ripped off the Star of David from Les’ sister’s coat which enabled her to survive.

Eva Aigner: two separate men risked their own lives to spare Eva’s mother.

I will conclude my Holocaust talk (as a Docent at the Oregon Holocaust Memorial) by describing these heroic acts which directly or indirectly sustained the Survivor’s life. I believe describing the actions of these “heroes” will drive home the message about doing good instead of nothing (Edmund Burke quote).

As always, big thanks to Dianna and Sue for the Next Generation group! — Tanya Webber

After the Sept. get-together Phil Mandel sent this link about the synagogue Evie mentioned in her speech: Synagogues of Europe Also remember that the April  Slabosheski, the new Holocaust Educator at OJMCHE is offering speech coaching to any emergent next gen speakers who would like extra help developing and practicing their presentations. You can email her at


Recap: Through Dec. 29, 2014  OJMCHE Memorial Exhibit

A Triumph of Life: Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Oregon Holocaust Memorial

memorial exhibit pix


The Oregon Holocaust Memorial in Portland’s Washington Park began with a group of community-minded citizens who gathered together in 1994 to create a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. The Memorial opened a decade later in 2004 and has since been the site where thousands of visitors–school children and adults– have learned about one of the greatest atrocities in the history of humankind.

The exhibit places the Memorial in the context of other Holocaust memorials throughout the world. It also chronicles the building process, from design to execution. Above all it serves as a potent reminder that bigotry, hatred and racial prejudice of any kind are unacceptable in a civil society.


Re-cap: 8/24/14 Next Gen Get-together at The Oregon Holocaust Memorial:
Thoughts on the 10th Anniversary Commemoration

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The Oregon Holocaust Memorial: Commemorating 10 years

From Debbi Montrose, Chair, Friends of the Memorial Core Group of Planners:

Hello to those volunteers and visitors who helped make the Memorial’s 10th anniversary on Sunday, August 24, 2014 so memorable, including – Friends of the Memorial, Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, OHSRAF Steering Committee, and the Next Generations Group.

On behalf of Friends of the Memorial Core Group of Planners, we want to thank each and every one of you who came together at the Memorial to docent tours: Eva and Les Aigner, Evie Banko, Jill Slanskey, Diana Lindemann, and Debbi Montrose; to answer questions from visitors: Sue Wendel, Sandra Oberdorfer, Nurit Arton and Boas Kahana, and Jeff Baker; to enlighten us with beautiful music: Ross Miller, flute and Amy Shapiro guitar and song; as well as everyone who helped at the OJMCHE reception for the incredible exhibit: A Triumph of Life that will be held at the museum and through January 11, 2015.  If you haven’t seen it yet, we highly encourage you!

It is momentous to realize that our Memorial is now 10 years old; 20 years since Alice Kern’s initial dream. For all of us who came together to see the opening of the exhibit, from the survivors to members of the Design Team and Coalition who built the Memorial, to OJMCHE board members and families, to special donors and supporters of the Memorial – it is heartwarming to know that our Memorial has solidified its place in our community and will no doubt continue to enlighten generations to come.

The OJMCHE Exhibit Committee undertook a tremendous task to pull the Memorial Exhibit together in less than four months, all during the merge of OJM and OHRC, and it is a tribute to the expertise of those involved that this momentous anniversary could be commemorated with such dignity and poise.

Thank you again to all of us for our commitment to what is right in this world in our own way through the Oregon Holocaust Memorial.

From Amy Shapiro:

I sang today at the Oregon Holocaust Memorial in Washington Park, for the 10th anniversary of the dedication of the Memorial. I sang at the dedication 10 years ago, and at the 5 year anniversary. A few of the remaining survivors were there, including my friend, Miriam Greenstein. (From Facebook)

From Jeff Baker:

I was really impressed with everything that happened that great day. I didn’t know what I was going to be doing, I just heard from my friend Debbi Montrose that the event was happening. When I arrived, I had time to reflect on my own why the Memorial was there and what it meant to me.

Then, I was given a tour of the site. I was so impressed with the reasoning behind the Memorial and the design of it; I wanted to know what else I could do to pass on the information to visitors.

The section of the Memorial which pulled at my heart the most was the stone covered area where buried beneath is earth taken from the sites of five camps in order to remember those who don’t have a name or grave. I have studied and listened to Survivors for the past six years and each time I hear the stories, I think and reflect on how I can make sure that others know “NEVER AGAIN.”


Recap — August 13, 2014 Survivors and Next Generations met to
commemorate the Oregon Holocaust Memorial

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Eva Aigner (in white jacket) gives an impromptu  tour to the group.

Jane Rosenbaum aug 13 memorial picnic

Jane Rosenbaum (center) shares stories about the building of the Memorial.

A welcome cool overcast day and lush green surroundings made for a comfortable and enjoyable setting for survivors and next generations as they gathered to commemorate and celebrate 20 years since the beginning of OHSRAF (Oregon Holocaust Survivors, Refugees, and Families), and 10 years since the dedication of the Memorial.

Twenty years ago this month Portland resident and survivor Alice Kern had a vision – For all Survivors to come together as a group to build a Memorial to leave their legacy to future generations here in Portland, Oregon. Ten years ago because of the hard work of many individuals including survivors, their descendants, designers, architects and ecumenical community leaders,  the Oregon Holocaust Memorial was dedicated.

From 11:00 AM until past 2:00 PM, we talked, shared stories about the Memorial, and simply enjoyed being together. Eva Aigner gave an impromptu tour to our group, and visitors to the Memorial that day even received spontaneous tours by some of the group members.


Recap — July 2014 Next Generations Group Get-together 

Next geners hear about volunteer opps

7-20-14 group pix

From L to R, some of the july 20th get-together attendees included Liz Connor (speaker from Jewish Family and Child Services), Evie Oxman (next gen member and JFCS volunteer), Rochelle Atlas, Diana Lindemann (OJMCHE board member and Next Gen coordinator), Alan Gotlieb, and newest members Boaz and Nurit Arton Kahana (Laural Park dance movement instructor). Photo by Sue Wendel (Next Gen co-coordinator, website administrator).

At our July 20th Next Gen Get-together, we heard from staff of the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, and from Jewish Family and Children Services about how we, as next generations, can become involved and help in our community.

Sandra Oberdorfer, OJMCHE Program and Education Manager, said that at any one time period there are over 50 much appreciated volunteers helping with archival and exhibit work, welcoming guests at the front desk, providing docent tours at the Memorial, speaking to students, and serving on its board and committees among others.  She said OJMCHE is looking for Education Committee members, as well as docents for the upcoming Anne Frank exhibit Jan. 18 – April 12, adding that training will begin this fall.

Liz Connor, Volunteer & Development Coordinator at JFCS, talked about programs that thrive because of volunteers, including helping with the elderly, Holocaust survivors, low income, and the disabled —  through a variety of programs that fill needs related to hunger, transportation, house chores and camaraderie.  For example, Next Gener Evie Oxman shared how she helps an elderly woman once a week with laundry, but what she discovered, she told us, is that the real impact of being there is the conversation and the connection that takes place – the camaraderie that is growing between the two of them. Currently, Liz is looking for much needed drivers to take survivors and elderly to appointments and social events.

It’s great to know that many Next Gen members already give of their time, talent, and passion to OJMCHE and to JFCS. If you are a Next Gener and do volunteer work, let us hear from you! We would love to highlight your contribution in a future website update. Next generations are making a difference!

For more info about volunteering with OJMCHE or JFCS visit: and

June 2014 Next Gen Get-together  Recap

bisquits cafe 2 6-22-14

The Next Generations Group June 22 get-together was a lunch at Biscuits Cafe. Under sunny skies, among other things, we talked about ideas for upcoming get-togethers, the exciting merger of OJM and OHRC, and some of the films we had seen at the Jewish Film Festival.

May 2014 Recap – A heartfelt thank you goes to Anneke Bloomfield, Jerry Paster, and Ruth Lindemann

Anneke & Jerry

Anneke Bloomfield and Jerry Paster with Diana Lindemann (center).

First of all, we want to thank child survivor Anneke Bloomfield and Jerry Paster for their most moving presentation at our May 25th get-together. Anneke told us about how her family was forced to make choices,often painful – yet deliberate – necessary to survive during the Holocaust years in the Netherlands. From joining a church, to stock piling food, to being moved to safe-houses, Anneke survived the fear, family separation, starvation, and sickness. From the kindly gesture of an American soldier who gave her a little food, to gift boxes received from American children, Anneke’s life could begin again. Jerry filled in with details about life in those times, and props including maps, pictures, and even a replica of the wooden shoes Anneke’s father made for her. We thank Anneke and Jerry for sharing their story to us and to students and groups throughout the Portland area.

And, we were very fortunate to hear child survivor Ruth Lindemann on June 1st.

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Ruth Lindemann

Here are emails from Next Gen members who heard Ruth’s talk:

Lynne Chassin writes:

On June 1st, Ruth Lindemann came from her home in Palm Springs, CA  to talk to The Next Gen group at the OHRC.  Ruth was a child refugee born in Vienna, Austria. She described what it was like living with terror during the years of the Holocaust.

One incident, was when she was visiting her aunt and uncle and twin cousins. They heard Nazis approaching and Ruth’s mother grabbed her and they hid in a window seat for hours until dark. When they climbed out of it, her aunt, uncle and cousins were gone. Her mother took her by her hand and they ran through the dark through a very scary forest which seemed to take forever. She later found that her family was murdered by the Nazis.

Ruth’s message to us was that we must guard against evil that develops as a result of prejudice.

Phil Mandel writes:

I am always amazed at the street smarts and survival skills of the parents of child survivors. Ruth’s parents somehow managed to stay one step ahead of the Nazis. Imagine trying to survive when you know that almost everyone is out to get you, while trying to protect a precocious youngster. Her parents did just that, sending her hither and yon when they felt she would be safer elsewhere, hiding under furniture and keeping the child absolutely still and silent until the invaders left, and so on.

When asked what she learned through her ordeals, her answer surprised me: No respect for authority…unless they’ve earned it. I don’t know about you, but I was brought up to respect authority. The problem that creates, of course, is this: What if the people with the power and titles are evil? Therefore, for Ruth, titles mean nothing. People have to earn her respect before she accepts them as authorities. Wow. How powerful is that!?

Thank you Lynne and Phil for your thoughts, and on behalf of the Next Gen Group, a huge thank you to Ruth, Anneke, and Jerry for helping next generations truly understand and learn, — and feel, the stories of our families, loved ones, victims, and heroes.

March 30, 2014 Recap: A Thank You to Eva and Les Aigner

We want to thank survivors Eva and Les Aigner for speaking at our March 30th get- together.

Our group was very moved by their stories of sadness, of strength, of courage to move forward, and to move past the suffering and loss to rebuild a wonderful life, here, in America.  Eva and Les answered lots of our questions afterwards, and we thank them warmly for sharing their time with us.

February 23, 2014 Next Generations Get-together Recap

Our guest speaker was psychologist Aart Lovenstein. We thank him for his gracious sharing of insights, time and expertise.

About Dr. Lovenstein: Here is a quote from his website: “Being the oldest child of a Dutch family of Holocaust survivors, I “learned” how trauma and resiliency gets transmitted from one generation to the next. My attempt to reclaim myself (what neuroses belong to me versus what is my family’s), my fascination of learning how the body keeps the score, my interest in helping people be securely attached and engaged with each other all brought me to this exciting calling.”

January 2014 Speakers meeting Recap

From Elaine Coughlin, Speakers Group coordinator

Thank you to Debbi for “trying out” her speech about her mother’s (Alice Kern) Holocaust experiences at the Jan. 12 speakers meeting. We all agreed Debbi did a superb job and is ready to speak!  I think she was also a wonderful model to inspire us all!  If you missed Debbi speaking, we have another meeting scheduled for Feb. 9th from 2:00-4:00PM.

January 2014 Next Gen Group get-together Recap
Thank you Evelyn Banko for sharing her most interesting and heartwarming life story as a child refugee at our January get-together. We learned about her parents, and life-long friends she made on her journey from Austria in 1938 to the U.S., with stops in Lavtia, Moscow, China, and Japan. And how her parents made a new life for the family in Portland, Oregon.
Evelyn is involved with the OHRC Speakers Bureau, serves on the Board, and helps facilitate the Sala Kryszek annual art and writing competition for middle and high school students. As descendants it is important for us to hear as many first hand accounts as possible, because it eventually will be up to us to pass on these important stories to future generations.

Life and Legacy Project
Thank you to Debbi Montrose and Lisa Kaner for sharing information about the Life and Legacy Project and the Reshaping the World After the Holocaust: Weekend of Learning, that will occur this April.

Story Archives
May 2014 – Next Generation Speaker shares story of his mom

On Friday, May 30th Next Gen Group member and Speaker David Rutiezer spoke to about 40 students from Hazelbrook Middle School at the Memorial, and to about 30 students at Clackamas Charter School Tuesday, June 3. David talked about his mother’s family, the Blumenfelds, and what happened to them during the Holocaust.

His mom’s parents came to the US in 1922, but her uncle and both of her grandfathers stayed behind. They were killed in the Holocaust and their names can be found inscribed on the Memorial Wall of the Oregon Holocaust Memorial.


May 2014 – Philip Mandel Speaks in Idaho. A video of Phil Mandel’s presentation in Idaho can now be viewed


On Thursday, May 1, 2014, Philip Mandel spoke at the Second Annual Holocaust Memorial Lecture held at Idaho State University. Below is a link to the video of his presentation which includes an introduction by Justin Dolan Stover, lecturer in ISU’s Department of History and director of its Holocaust Memorial Lecture and Survivor Testimony Project. The video is an excellent example of the power of next generation speakers.

Idaho State University 2nd Annual Holocaust Memorial Lecture

Here is a link to a newspaper article as well:

“More than a number: Philip Mandel started a project to share Holocaust survivor Alter Wiener’s story” 

Around 100 attendees learned about survivor Alter Wiener through Phil’s moving presentation. Philip is the son of Austrian refugees who fled Nazism. He spoke about his life experiences which guided him to public speaking and the pursuit of producing a film about the Holocaust. Phil talked about Alter Wiener and his autobiography, “From a Name to a Number.”


May 2014 – David Rutiezer, Next Gen member and OHRC Holocaust Memorial Docent

David Rutiezer was a docent on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at the Oregon Holocaust Memorial for a group of students and teachers from John F Kennedy High School in Mt. Angel, Oregon. David has been a docent since 2009 and now provides training for docents. You may contact him directly or contact the Oregon Holocaust Resource Center for more information.


May 2014 – Oregon Holocaust Memorial docents play a vital role connecting visitors

david at memorial

Docent David Rutiezer (center) at the Memorial.

By Lynne Chassin

(May 2014) One important way the Oregon Holocaust Memorial connects with student groups and visitors is through the dedicated group of volunteer  docents. Docents are trained to take groups through the Memorial, guiding them in exploration and discovery. Next generation docents David Rutiezer, Lynne  Chassin, Diana Lindemann, and Chris Reed were on hand Wednesday, May 21st to do just that.

A group of 150 8th graders from Hood River arrived in big yellow buses and broke into smaller groups to be led by the docents through the Memorials’ six main zones. Students started at the “town hall” and then down the “rail road path” to the train station — while being encouraged to imagine what it would be like to have to leave most everything behind, and be forced to board a crowded and cramped box car.

Then students read from the “history and testimonial panels”, and were led past the “vault” to end at the “Memorial Wall” where names of Oregon residents’  family members are inscribed for all eternity. At each stop, docents provided details, encouraged personal reflection, and answered any questions the students had.

On this day, Lynne led her first-ever group. She had been trained by OHRC docent David Rutiezer with support from OHRC board member and Next Generations Group coordinator Diana Lindemann. After the tour the kids told Lynne that they really enjoyed it. Lynne noted that the students were really in to it, and that this is the perfect age to learn about the Holocaust. If you are interested in becoming a docent contact Diana.


May 2014 – Next generations travel to Sighet, Romania for 70th anniversary commemoration

deb w johnny poescu 2014

Elise, Jeremy, and Debbi Montrose with event assistant Ioan Popescu.

This first ever Commemoration, attended by descendants and survivors from all over the world, included Debbi Montrose and her adult children Jeremy and Elise. Below is an article about the event. We hope to hear from them about this most amazing event in an upcoming get-together! See some stories here.

return_to_sighet by Peninah Zilberman,7340,L-4523216,00.html

Plans are underway for next year May 2015. If you or someone you know has roots in Sighet or is interested, please email event organizer Peninah Zilberman at You can visit the website FB is Sighet Generations.


April 2014 -Thank You Next Generation Volunteers

OHRC’s community wide weekend of learning April 24-28, Reshaping the World After the Holocaust, was filled with learning sessions, a fund raising dinner, Memorial tours, a memorial service, and readings of names, just to name a few of the activities.

The success of the event was due to many volunteers, and in part to many Next Generations Group volunteers, and a thanks goes out to them: Diana Lindemann, Tamara Lindemann, Debbi Montrose, Sue Wendel, Lynne Chassin, Philip Mandel, David Rutiezer, Tanya Weber, Karri Fox, Rochelle Atlas and more. Please let us know if we inadvertently left your name out!

All proceeds from the weekend events will be placed in the Oregon Holocaust Memorial and Education Endowment Fund. Your support serves the three goals of the endowment:

–To provide ongoing educational programming for students, teachers and community members to ensure the lessons of the Holocaust are not lost.

–To extend the mission of promoting a just and humane society which values respect and acceptance.

–To preserve and maintain the Oregon Holocaust Memorial in Washington Park.

The Oregon Holocaust Memorial and Education Endowment is a participant in the Oregon Jewish Community Foundation’s Life & Legacy initiative. Please contact them a t503-245-2733 if you would like to receive more information about leaving a bequest to the Endowment.


April 2014 – Dr. Geri Crain “honorary Next Gen member”* speaks at East Carolina University, NC

Geri spoke at a Holocaust class at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC in April. She talked about her mother Alice Koppel Kern and her story of survival: Deported from Sighet, Romania in 1944, she survived Aushwitz/Birkenau, the Death March and Bergen Belsen before being liberated in May 1945. From there was taken by the Swedish Red Cross to Sweden where she met her husband Hugo Kohn, who survived Dachau – and was from Wopfing south of Vienna. He had been relocated to Sweden early on in 1939 to work as a dairy farmer. He then met survivors after the war at a hospital near Helsingborg, Sweden, where Alice was recuperating, married Alice, and they emigrated to Oregon in 1946.

The college students were attentive and engaged,” says Geri. “One was from Romania and had been to Alice’s hometown of Sighet.”

* Geri is the sister of Next Gen members Sue Wendel, Debbi Montrose, and Evie Oxman.

Meeting and Other Announcement Archives

Sunday, July 20, 2014 – Next Generations Group Get-together – Volunteerism 

Please join us for the next get-together Sunday, July 20, We will have special guests talk about the new Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education; and volunteer opportunities at Jewish Family and Child Services.

12:30 pm —  Munch & Mingle

1:00 pm — Sandra Marianne Oberdorfer, OJM/CHE Program and Education Manager

and Liz Connor, Volunteer & Development Coordinator form Jewish Family and Child Services; and JFCS volunteer and Next Gen member Evie Oxman,

2:30 pm — Wrap up and announcements

Next generations have a place and purpose in our community. Come and learn about it!

Sunday, June 22nd is our next Get-together

Our get-together on Sunday the 22nd will be a brunch and film. Given that the Jewish Film Festival is in full swing, we thought it would be fun to meet for brunch at 11:30 am at Biscuits Cafe (where we met last December) and end brunch  in time to travel and see the first of three films that day “The Zig Zag Kid” that starts at 2:15 pm at the NW Film Center.

11:30 to 1 – Brunch at Biscuits Café
460 SW Miller Road, Portland , OR, 97225
Phone: 503-297-3880

1 pm ish —  Carpool etc. to the NW Film Center for the 2:15 pm film
Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park Avenue, Portland, OR 97205
Please see for ticket details.


(Diana got a pass for all the movies! She’ll be sitting in the mid-section. Look for her, so we can all sit together if possible.

Sunday, June 1, 2014 child refugee Ruth Lindemann to speak

Sunday, June 1, 2:30 – 4:30 pm, at the OHRC/OJM,  there will be a very special presentation for the community at large by child refugee Ruth Lindemann.

Born in Vienna, Austria, as a young and inquisitive child growing up under the dark shadows of the coming Holocaust, Ruth describes what it felt like to be a child, caught in the terror of those days. The theme of her presentation is to show how we must all guard against the evil that is often the result of prejudice.

Over the last 30 years, Ruth has spoken to school classes, adult gatherings, and at many Holocaust Memorial functions under the auspices of the Oregon Holocaust Resource Center in Portland and beyond, and the Tolerance Education Center in Rancho Mirage, California. She now resides in Palm Springs, CA.

We hope you can attend this very special event to hear this very moving story.

Sunday, May 25 Get-together: Speakers Anneke Bloomfield and Jerry Paster

Our next get-together will be Sunday, May 25th at the OHRC/OJM, 1953 NW Kearney St. Child survivor Anneke Bloomfield will share her story of being a 3- to 10-year-old caught up in the horror of the Holocaust, and next gener Jerry Paster will talk about pre-Holocaust life to set the context. Please see Anneke’s bio at

12:30 pm – Munch and Mingle
1:00 pm – Anneke and Jerry’s presentation
3:00 pm – Announcements and Wrap-up

In April, there will not be a Next Generations get-together because we hope to see you at many of the upcoming events that are part of Reshaping the World After the Holocaust: A Weekend of Learning, April 24-28. There are lectures and speakers, commemorative activities, services, a dinner, and more. For a complete listing please see 

Volunteers are needed at many of the events of Reshaping the World After the Holocaust: A Weekend of Learning in April. Please contact Kindra at the OHRC if you can help out. Call 503-245-2733, or email Kindra at

Member News Archives

May 2014 – A lecture, film and discussion with Deb Mrowka and Rob Hadley — Contextualizing the Holocaust: Why It Still MattersToday

Saturday, May 17, 2014; 2 pm, Saturday, at the Salem Central Library, 585 Liberty St SE Salem, OR 97301

To explore this theme, there will be a  viewing of a short film, The Path to Nazi Genocide, followed by a discussion facilitated by Rob Hadley, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Regional Education Corps Member. Then, Next Generations Group member, Deb Mrowka will talk about her mother’s experience surviving the Holocaust. This event is appropriate for audiences of middle-school age and older.


May 17th – 20th

Debbi Montrose and her children Elise and Jeremy Montrose to attend conference in Romania

(Press Release) The Municipality of Sighetu Marmației, Romania, Jewish Cultural Museum-Elie Wiesel Museum and the Jewish Community Sighețu Marmatiei will be holding a commemoration service and special events dedicated to the Holocaust victims in Maramureș.

Programs will include: Commemoration Service at the Holocaust Memorial Monument in Sighet, Exhibit of Jewish Life in Sighet prior to WW II, Klezmer Concert and a play. In addition a min-conference will be held on the topic including presentations by survivors or their children as well as showing documentaries and launching a book.

“This Commemoration is an act of Remembrance of the Jewish citizens of Sighet who were once our neighbours and friends. Their Legacy should never be forgotten. By the exhibits and testimonies that we will promote during the month of May our young generation has the opportunity to get closer to Jewish culture and history in addition to school education on the topic. We hope that other Communities in Romania will conduct similar events as they have a significant contribution to fight prejudice and racism” says Ovidiu Nemeș, Mayor of Sighetu Marmației.

We are calling all survivors and their families to come and take part in this unique event first of in the Sighet Community. If you have pictures, special memorabilia books and films on the Jewish History of Sighetu – Marmației, please contact us and we will be delighted for you to take part in the program.

We thank the following organizations who are taking an active part in the Commemorations events: Romanian Jewish Federation- Bucharest, Israel Embassy in Bucharest, Elie Wiesel –NationalInstitute for Holocaust Study in Romania, Oral History Institute – Cluj Napoca, Judaica Association – Cluj Napoca, Holocaust Memorial Museum – Șimleul Silvaniei, Tikvah Association – Oradea, JewishStudies Institute – Cluj Napoca and members of Transylvania Jewish communities and officials.

(We look forward to hearing about their trip!) 


Sunday, March 16th, 2014 – Next Generation Speakers meeting
David Rutiezer will present his mother’s story, 2:00-4:00 pm., at the OHRC, 1923 NW Kearney, Portland

David is a Next Generations Group member as well, and has been a volunteer with OHRC for many years. He is a docent for the Memorial, and trains new docents to lead Memorial tours. He wants to perfect his story to present in schools, and would like to have an audience of his peers to listen and provide feedback. If you want more info about becoming a speaker, contact speaker group coordinator Elaine Coughlin at

From Elaine:

Please be sure to join us on Sunday, March 16th at 2:00PM.  David Rutiezer  has prepared a speech on his mother’s family who are inscribed on the wall of the Oregon Holocaust Memorial.  He volunteered to speak and we are going to combine with Diana’s Next Generation group-so we should have a good-sized audience. In January, Debbi Montrose delivered her beautiful speech of her mother’s story and I  know inspired everyone in attendance!   Please let me know by March 7th if you can join us, hope so, as we will also provide snacks!

Sunday, March 9th, 2014 Memorial clean up and more . . .
Good Deeds Day, a mitzvah day coordinated by the Federation’s Portland Mitzvah Network. Cleanup of the Holocaust Memorial and it’s surroundings. To volunteer and invite others to volunteer, please visit our website,

Caron Blau Rothstein
Community Engagement Director
PJ Library Manager
Jewish Federation of Greater Portland

Wednesday, March 12, 2014
From 1:00-4:00 pm at the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland office. We need help stuffing envelopes. The invitations need to get our for the April “Reshaping the World After the Holocaust: A Weekend of Learning”.  If you can help please call the OHRC office at 503-245-2733 and let them know you can be there!!

The address for the Federation is 6680 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland 97219. Note, there is limited parking available, so you may need to park up the street at MJCC.
2013 Archives

2013 Next Generations Get-togethers:

  • January – Viewed the film “Watermarks” about the young women’s Jewish swimming team who defied Hitler,  with presentation notes and group discussion facilitated by Gail Heymann (who’s mother was a member of the team.
  • February – Meeting theme was Polish Descendants, with a presentation by member Henry Rauchweld.
  • March – Participated in the Friends of the Memorial mailing work party.
  • May – Some Next Generations members participated in the first meeting of the OHRC Speakers Bureau with Elaine Coughlin, who is beginning to train “next generation” speakers.
  • June – Summer Potluck and Guest speaker Michelle Blackwell, Jewish Family and Child Services. She talked about JFCS and shared ideas for volunteering to help Holocaust survivors.
  • August – Attendance at the Oregon Holocaust Memorial’s 9th Anniversary Picnic with OHSRAF/Café Europa on Sunday, August 25, 2013.
  • October – Viewed the film “Gloomy Sunday”, with discussion facilitated by Nancy Becker. We were also honored to have Eva and Les Aigner join us.
  • November Hadassah Chanukkah Fair – Next Gen funds purchased a table for $75, for the Local Survivors Book Table. Volunteers included: Debbi Montrose, Sue Wendel, Diana Lindemann, Deb Mrowka, Phil Mandel, and Evie Oxman. Proceeds from the sale of books totaled $111 and were donated to the Oregon Holocaust Memorial Endowment Fund.
  • December 2013, planned is an end-of-the-year festive get-together at a local restaurant and preview of 2014 activities.

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