JCS Launches Holocaust Trauma Effort

Myra Giberovitch (provided)
Myra Giberovitch (provided)

Jewish Community Services launches an effort to spread awareness of the impact the trauma of the Holocaust had on survivors this month.

JCS, an agency of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, received a $45,000 grant from the Jewish Federations of North America and provided $15,000 of its own funds for the two-year project.

“It’s the start of an effort to create a community that’s aware of and sensitive to the impact of the trauma of the Holocaust had on the survivors,” said Karen Nettler, director of community connections at JCS. “There’s a lot of survivors not just in the community, but  in facilities throughout the community, and they deserve a special sensitivity to what they’ve been through and what can bring back past traumas and how they deal with them.”

The free community event launching the effort is “Shadows of the Past: How the Trauma of the Holocaust Impacts Survivors Today” on Sept. 13 at the  Edward A. Myerberg Center. The speaker is Myra Giberovitch, an expert in this field who is the daughter of survivors and who was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany after the war. She is a social worker, educator and author who wrote the book “Recovering from Genocidal Trauma: An  Information and Practice Guide for Working with Holocaust Survivors.”

Giberovitch will be doing staff training with JCS professionals while she’s in town — a major component of the JFNA effort. JCS staffers will be trained on Holocaust trauma, and then in turn, 15 of them will go out and train community organizations in the methods they’ve learned. They will also meet with a consultation group of other professionals who work with trauma survivors throughout the program and share experiences and skills.

“This is a really big launch for us,” Nettler said. “We’re just very excited.”

“Shadows of the Past” takes place on Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  at the Edward A. Myerberg  Center, 3101 Fallstaff Road, Baltimore. Call 410-466-9200 for more information.


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