Practical Experience from the Jewish Community of Zagreb
by Ana Hermanovic, MSW
This article presents strategic and programmatic approaches to serving a diverse survivor community where the common thread is the past experience of personal trauma under the Ustasha and Nazi regime in wartime Croatia. The author emphasizes the fact that assistance is critical for a vulnerable population of “aging citizens in a country where age is identified as one of the highest risk factors in leading to social exclusion and poverty.”
As a physician on a house call, Dr. Reis took a moment to listen to the recollections of a patient of who was a survivor. Drawn to her story, he set up regular meetings to learn more. Their visits together inspired the survivor to document her memories and share details of her life never before revealed. The therapeutic nature of their shared activity led her son to report, “These last ten years have been her best.”
During its nearly 100-year history, Hagibor, a Jewish communal center in Prague, has had disparate uses since its initial founding in 1911, reverting once again to being a place of caring for elderly Jewish community members. Current programs serve to improve the quality of life for Nazi victims.
Club Nissim celebrates the miracles of survival for program participants while it provides essential services for those who embrace life well into their later years.
This paper discusses the evolution of understanding of survivors in the aftermath of the Holocaust. In the author’s words: Since the literature on Holocaust survivors is confined to the period post 1945, there is a finite amount of material. The literature discussed in this
article was accessed online through the Ovid, Scholars Portal and Proquest Research Library databases, while older articles and books not sourced online or out of print were hand sourced and acquired from the collections of various Toronto Jewish institutions and the personal collections of Holocaust scholars in Israel, the United States and Canada.
A Partnership Model to Reduce Isolation and Enhance the Well-Being of Survivors in Palm Beach County’s Gated Communities
Unique challenges face survivors in Palm Beach County’s gated communities. The ‘resort lifestyle’ leads to social isolation as well as limited intergenerational interaction. With Cafe Europa as a successful model, AJFCS looked to provide additional regular opportunities for survivors to socialize. Partnering with area agencies and surveying participants in order to make suitable changes over the past year, AJFCS has created Eat and Shmooze, and has developed a model which has met with success.