Issue 4: Spring 2014 Authors

  • Michelle Fishman

    Article: Life Beyond Despair

    Born in Toronto, Canada and a grandchild of four Holocaust survivor grandparents, Ms. Fishman always had a unique fascination with the Holocaust.   She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Social Anthropology from Dalhousie University in 2010 and her Masters of Arts in History, specializing in Holocaust and Genocide Studies from the University of Amsterdam in 2012.  Ms. Fishman’s Master’s dissertation, entitled, “The New Bearers of the Burden? An Exploration of Holocaust Memory Across Three Generations,” attempts to identify the place of the Holocaust in the individual and social identities of the third generation; to show how these descendents internalize their grandparents’ Holocaust history; and, finally, to get a sense as to whether or not this generation will play a role as the moral guardians for future generations. Currently, she is the Education Assistant at the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre in Toronto where she works with Holocaust survivors on a daily basis and assists with programming that educates subsequent generations on Holocaust history, its lessons and legacy.

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  • Robert Krell

    Articles: Conference Presentation: Survivor Resilience | A Measure of Faith: Child Holocaust Survivors and their Spiritual Dilemma | Preparing for the Care of the Aging: Child Survivors of the Holocaust

    Robert Krell M.D., F.R.C.P.(C)
    Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychiatry,
    The University of British Columbia
    Distinguished Life Fellow, American Psychiatric Association

    Dr. Krell was born in The Hague, Holland on August 5th, 1940. He was hidden from 1942 to 1945 with the Munnik family and returned to his parents, who also survived in hiding. Their families of origin were all murdered in Auschwitz and Sobibor. In 1951, the Krells moved to Vancouver, B.C. Robert Krell graduated from The University of British Columbia with an M.D. in 1965, interned in Philadelphia at the Philadelphia General Hospital, and continued in psychiatric training at Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, Stanford University Hospital in Palo Alto and then returned to The University of British Columbia.

    In 1970, he became F.R.C.P. (C) and in 1971 a Diplomat of the American Boards of Psychiatry and Neurology. He was appointed Assistant Professor in Psychiatry in January, 1971 and served as Professor of Psychiatry until 1995, when he became Professor Emeritus. In his professional career, he was Director of Residency Training for ten years and for twenty-five years Director of Child and Family Psychiatry at the UBC Health Sciences Centre and B.C.’s Children’s Hospital.

    As a volunteer in the community, Robert Krell served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Jewish Congress – Pacific Region from 1972, Vice-Chair for nine years, Chair (1986-1989) and National Vice-President (1989-1992).
    During that time he founded in 1975, with Dr. Graham Forst of Capilano College as co-Chair and Professor William Nicholls, head of Religious Studies-UBC, the Standing Committee on Holocaust Education, which teaches more than 1,000 British Columbia high school students annually. Outreach programs serve additional thousands of students in the Interior and on Vancouver Island. The program serves as an educational tool to combat prejudice, racism and anti-Semitism.

    In his private psychiatric practice, Dr. Krell treated Holocaust survivors and their families and Dutch survivors of Japanese concentration camps.

    Dr. Krell pioneered audiovisual documentation of Holocaust survivors in the Vancouver area in 1978 and expanded this program in 1983 and 1984 to tape 120 eyewitness accounts. In 1980 he urged the Canadian Jewish Congress to establish a national program which resulted in a nationwide audiovisual project taping 70 survivors.

    Being himself a child survivor of the Holocaust, he assisted with the formation of child survivor groups, first in Los Angeles between 1982 and 1984 and then in Vancouver. He served on the International Advisory Council of the Hidden Child Conference that organized a gathering in New York in 1991 for approximately 1,500 child survivors who came from many countries to meet for the first time and have met annually ever since.

    In 1985, Dr. Krell founded the Vancouver Holocaust Centre Society for Education and Remembrance, which built
    a memorial for Holocaust survivors, and was unveiled in 1987 at the Schara Tzedeck Cemetery.

    Dr. Krell established the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre that opened on November 7th, 1994 in order to provide educational programs for high school children, warning of the consequences of unchecked racism and intolerance. For these activities, he received in 1998 the State of Israel Bonds Elie Wiesel Remembrance Award and in 2011, the Boston University Hillel Lifetime Achievement Award for “bringing solace and understanding to generations of Holocaust Survivors.”

    On January 27th, 2012, he was the Keynote speaker at the United Nations International Holocaust Remembrance Day. In November 2012, the Holocaust Educational Foundation at Northwestern University recognized his “distinguished contributions to Holocaust education” and on December 5th he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal, “as an outstanding human rights educator” On August 24, 2014 he received an award from The World Federation of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust and Descendants at its Gathering in Berlin. March 4th, 2016 he was recognized with a Governor General Caring Canadian Award for founding the Vancouver Holocaust Centre and for his lifelong work promoting human rights and social justice. He has authored six books, co-edited three and written twenty book chapters and over fifty journal articles. For information on his newest book: Memoiries:Sounds from Silence, contact Presently his interests remain the psychiatric treatment of aging survivors of massive trauma and participating in programs against racism and prejudice. Dr. Krell is married and has three children and nine grandchildren.

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  • Moshe Nizri

    Article: Ripples of Trauma and Resilience: Partner Relationships among Second-Generation Survivors of the Holocaust

    Moshe Nizri, M.A., Social Worker, Haifa Treatment Center for Substance Abuse, and University of Haifa, School of Social Work.

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  • Naomi Shacham

    Article: “Food & Love” – On the Role of the “Coordinator of Services for Holocaust survivors” at the Loewenstein Hospital Rehabilitation Center in Israel

    Israeli-born of an Israeli war veteran (Independence War in 1948)and a Polish Holocaust survivor, Mrs. Shacham spent a part of her childhood in Berkeley, California.  After serving in the Israeli army, she went on to study for her B.A. in Sociology and Jewish Philosophy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In 1985, she received her B.S.W. from Tel Aviv University and worked as a medical social worker at the Sheba Medical Center. From 1987 to 1989, she worked with adolescent girls at the Social Services Department of the city of Herzlia. After moving to Boston, Massachusetts in 1989, Mrs. Shacham worked as a medical social worker at the Newton–Wellesley Hospital for five years. Since her return to Israel in 1994, she has been the social worker at the Loewnstein Rehabilitation Hospital. Mrs. Shacham, who is married with 3 grown children, received her M.S.W. from Tel Aviv University in 2008.

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  • Eli Somer

    Article: Ripples of Trauma and Resilience: Partner Relationships among Second-Generation Survivors of the Holocaust

    Eli Somer, Ph.D. completed his doctorate at the University of Florida in 1984.  He is a second-generation survivor of the Holocaust, an Israeli war veteran and peace activist. He is the former president of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), and of the European Society for Trauma and Dissociation (ESTD). He is also the Scientific Advisor of Trauma and Dissociation Israel (TDIL). Dr. Somer is a clinical psychologist and Clinical Professor of Psychology at the School of Social Work, University of Haifa, Israel. In his scientific research, academic teaching and clinical practice, Somer focuses on the both acute and chronic psychological outcomes of mental stress and psychological trauma, as well as on trauma-related dissociation.

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  • Paul Valent     

    Paul Valent is a child survivor of the Holocaust and founder of the Child Survivors of the Holocaust Group in Melbourne, Australia. His professional background is psychiatry, psychotherapy, and traumatology. He co-founded and is past president of the Australasian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. His books and many papers, with a special section on the Holocaust, can be found on


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  • Toby Weiss

    Article: Caring for Holocaust Survivors With Sensitivity at End-of-Life MJHS Hospice and Palliative Care, August 2013

    Toby Weiss is the Director of Cultural Sensitivity and Jewish Programming for MJHS Hospice and Palliative Care.  She manages grant-funded programs charged with improving access to palliative care for Jewish communities, and with educating clinicians and caregivers about the special needs of Holocaust survivors when facing advanced and serious illness. In addition to her Jewish community work, Ms. Weiss sits on the Ethics Committee, has initiated the Cultural Diversity Committee and chairs the steering committee for the “We Honor Veterans” Hospice/VA partnership. Ms. Weiss’s expertise in developing educational and outreach programs reaches into all culturally unique communities served by MJHS, and helps build bridges of understanding that reduce barriers to accessing care and embrace the needs of the seriously ill.  Some achievements stemming from the above mentioned work include a guidebook for clinicians to improve how care is delivered to Holocaust survivors, as well as the development of distinct Jewish, Chinese and Hispanic Cultural Competency programs and tools.

    Ms. Weiss brings 25 years of experience in career and organizational development, specifically in hospital and health care systems.  Her expertise in change management, strategic planning, team building and coaching enable her to support the operational growth experienced in the departments of hospice and palliative care, in alignment with the organization’s goals.  

    Her education includes a Masters Degree in Human Resources Management and Organizational Development from the Robert J. Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy of the New School University, and a Bachelors degree in Marketing and Merchandising from Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University.  Ms. Weiss is a certified Mediator and a member of the Organization Development Network.  She is an active member of the Chevra Kadisha, and sits on several community boards in the Queens community.

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