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Who are we?

Our mission is to remember the Holocaust and convey its history and lessons. In this context, we address the central tenets of what it means to be a moral and responsible citizen. Who do we serve?
We serve the Greater MetroWest community; the general community, including public, private and parochial schools, colleges and universities, synagogues, churches, museums, corporations, civic, professional and service organizations and entities such as the City of Newark; eyewitnesses to the Holocaust (Survivors, Rescuers, POWs and Liberators;) the New Jersey State Commission on Holocaust Education; and the various Holocaust centers around the state. 

Who do we serve?

We serve the Greater MetroWest community; the general community, including public, private and parochial schools, colleges and universities, synagogues, churches, museums, corporations, civic, professional and service organizations and entities such as the City of Newark; eyewitnesses to the Holocaust (Survivors, Rescuers, POWs and Liberators;) the New Jersey State Commission on Holocaust Education; and the various Holocaust centers around the state. 

What do we do?

Education

  • Teachers — We educate educators via conferences, the internet and in-service workshops, scholarships, and trips to Holocaust museums. We are a state-licensed provider of professional development credits. Our conferences and workshops are designed to provide such credits to educators. We founded and support the Council of Holocaust Educators. We support the state mandate to teach the Holocaust and genocide by providing resources, education, and information to educators in and beyond the Greater MetroWest area. We sponsor annual awards for teaching, provide scholarships to teachers for summer study abroad at Holocaust sites, and organize and sponsor educator trips to Holocaust museums.
  • Students — We coordinate student trips to Holocaust museums. We run and administer annual student seminars (with awards to students who are models of leadership and caring).
  • Community — We facilitate “Lunch ‘n Learns” in which eyewitnesses to the Holocaust speak informally of their experiences to members of the public. We run a twice monthly Holocaust film series called Real to Reel and have a “Bagels and Books” Holocaust book club. We develop and coordinate special programming. We partner with schools, colleges and universities, museums, churches, synagogues, civic groups, corporations, and professional organizations to provide programming in their venues.

Interfaith Dialogue — We co-sponsor and partner with religious institutions, schools, colleges and universities for interfaith programming, conferences, and events. We created and curated an exhibit on Sister Rose Thering. Students received tours from Holocaust Council-trained docents and the exhibit was subsequently on display at other Holocaust centers in the state. We also participate in interfaith forums. 

Community Dialogue — We partner with foreign embassies and consulates to create and facilitate joint programming and public dialogues relating to the Holocaust and how it informs contemporary issues.

Research Center — We collect, organize, document, videotape, catalogue, and archive eyewitness testimonies, historical papers, and artifacts in order to preserve this history. 
•Speakers Bureau — We train eyewitnesses in effective speaking techniques and maintain a roster of individuals willing and able to speak of their experiences in public venues. Survivors Speak is an offshoot of the Speakers Bureau and is a program that consists of several eyewitnesses to the Holocaust and an historian who serves as a moderator. Survivors Speak is popular with community groups, corporations, civic and professional organizations, religious institutions, museums, schools, colleges, and universities.

Coordinating and Sponsoring Workshops and Conferences — We create, coordinate and sponsor workshops, seminars and conferences for the general community as well as special interest audiences, including medical and other professionals, educators, students and business executives. Recent examples include the series Legacy of the Holocaust: Trauma and Treatment, day-long workshops for mental health professionals; Subverting Science, a conference on how the Nazis distorted science for political and ideological purposes and an examination of the moral and ethical implications of science in the twentieth century and beyond; and Meet the Authors, a conference highlighting survivors who have published their memoirs. 

Creating and Developing Original Exhibits — We create and develop original exhibits. Our signature exhibit, From Memory to History: Faces and Voices of the Holocaust, focuses on survival and resilience and consists of photomontages, video interviews, historical artifacts, art and biographies of MetroWest eyewitnesses to the Holocaust. More than 10,000 public, private and parochial school students, and countless educators have received individualized, docent-led group tours in the initial run of the exhibit. This exhibit runs periodically and is open to the general public, including civic and service organizations as well as senior groups. In conjunction with the exhibit, a book and educational CD-ROM are in development.

Exhibits On Loan — We provide a venue and trained docents for exhibits on loan from other institutions as well as for exhibits of artistic responses to the Holocaust and other genocides. Recent exhibits included Warsaw Ghetto Drawings and An Inspired Perspective: The Holocaust. 

Tours — We organize group tours of Holocaust-related exhibits and programs at other institutions. 

Twinning and Adoption Programs — These programs encourage and facilitate intergenerational understanding. Students meet and bond with survivors, rescuers, POWs, and liberators, in the process learning to understand communal responsibility and, in the case of the twinning program, gaining an added perspective and appreciation of their religious identity. Through these programs, eyewitnesses learn that their testimonies will not be forgotten and that their sacrifices will have meaning for the future. 

Commemorative Events — We plan, coordinate, and sponsor annual Yom Hashoah and Kristallnacht commemorations at MetroWest and partner with and support other institutions in the creation and facilitation of their own commemorations. 

Programs and Resources for Survivors and Other Eyewitnesses — We provide information, special programs, and events of special interest to this population. We help survivors and their families with claims and restitution forms. In addition, we advocate for the eyewitness community and provide eyewitnesses and their descendants with emotional support. 

Programs and Resources for Survivors’ Descendants — We create programs and conferences. Recent examples include Carrying the Torch and Aging Parents-Raging Siblings. We disseminate information and edit and distribute a monthly newsletter. We are a founding member of the Coordinating Council of Generations of the Shoah International. 

Resource Center — We are a print, film, and digital resource library. We advise and are a resource for local schools and public libraries. We also serve as an information resource to the general community, including newspaper, television, and other public media. We maintain, preserve, and exhibit Holocaust artifacts. 

Harry Wilf Holocaust Memorial — We oversee this memorial containing a gallery which has a permanent exhibition of paintings by internationally acclaimed artist Aaron Gluska and Remembrance, the world’s largest Steuben crystal sculpture, which was designed by Joel Smith. The Wilf Memorial is the site of the annual Kristallnacht and Yom Hashoah commemorations for Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ staff and the public.