WFJHS&D 2023 Conference Program

The 2023 World Federation of Jewish Holocaust Survivors & Descendants conference, in conjunction with Generations of the Shoah International and The Kindertransport Association, will be held in Washington DC August 25-28 2023. This conference is open only to survivors and descendants and accompanying spouses/partners.

Check-in for the conference opens at 12 noon, and the conference starts Friday afternoon August 25 with an informal get-together for all.

Plenary sessions will include Ellen Germain, Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues at the State Department, and Eli Rosenbaum of the Justice Department, speaking on the current rise of anti-Semitism around the world. Psychologist Dr. Irit Felsen (who was such a wonderful presenter at our 2022 conference that we invited her back), will speak on intergenerational trauma. A second generation panel composed of members of the DC 2G group Generations After will speak on their upcoming book, Missing Pieces: Growing up in the Shadow of the Shoah. Panelists include, Dena Hirsh, Anat Bar-Cohen, Harriet Smith, and moderator Gina Roitman.

A third-generation panel will include Amy Spitlanick who led a group that won a $25 million dollar judgment against the neo-Nazis who organized the deadly 2017 Charlottesville march in Virginia. Rabbi Justin Pines of the Shalom Hartman Institute will speak on an exciting new project of Holocaust remembrance.

As always, the heart of the conference will be small group workshops for Survivors, 2nd Generation, 3rd Generation, Spouses and Partners that encourage conversation, connections, and reflections on how being part of the survivor community has impacted, and continues to affect our lives. Hands-on speaker training and memoir writing workshops will also be part of this unique 3-day experience.

Orthodox and Conservative/Reform Friday night Shabbat services will be followed by a festive Shabbat dinner at 7 pm. After dinner there are gatherings for survivors by country of origin, for 2nd, 3rd and 4th generations, for all generations of Kindertransport, and for spouses, partners and first time conference attendees.

Saturday and Sunday are full days of speakers, workshops, and panels. After dinner on Saturday, there will be music and dancing until the wee hours. Sunday evening includes a commemorative service, then dinner followed by dancing. The conference concludes Monday at 11 am after a 3G panel discussion on where we go from here, and a closing ceremony.

Optional add-on trips are being planned.

Please check this website for updated program information in the coming months.

We hope you will join us for a memorable three days as we gather as a truly remarkable community of Holocaust Survivor Generations!

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