For Descendants

Voices of Hope has an active group of descendants of Holocaust survivors. Our descendants are committed to becoming the next generation of witnesses to carry on their family stories. Voices of Hope also has a number of initiatives that give descendants of Holocaust survivors the opportunity to meet together to discuss their experiences being a child or grandchild of Holocaust survivors. We welcome you to explore how you can become involved. If you have any questions, please contact us at info@ctvoicesofhope.org.

Many of our descendants are involved through the following opportunities:

Hearing firsthand testimony from a survivor of genocide is the most impactful form of education because it personalizes an experience that is otherwise too vast and too horrific to comprehend. Yet, over 75 years has passed since the end of the Holocaust, and there are fewer survivors who are available to share their stories. Voices of Hope is working with survivors’ children and grandchildren to step into this role and serve as witnesses on behalf of their families.

Since 2017, Voices of Hope has partnered with Matthew and Elysha Dicks from Speak Up Storytelling to present our annual Speak Up Showcase featuring the personal stories of descendants of genocide survivors. Participation in the Speak Up Showcase serves as many descendants’ introduction to Voices of Hope. Following a series of workshops at which participants craft their presentations, the broader community is invited to the Speak Up Showcase where their stories are told before a live audience.

This is many descendants’ first time speaking about their families’ experiences publicly and serves as preparation for future speaking engagements in schools and in the wider community. Many Speak Up participants go on to participate in Voices of Hope’s mini-course to develop a presentation that they can use when speaking.

If you are interested in participating in our next Speak Up Showcase, please contact Kathy Fishman, Voices of Hope Executive Director at kathy@ctvoicesofhope.org.

Voices of Hope’s Passing the Torch: The Responsibility of Descendants is a free mini-course offered to descendants of Holocaust survivors to train them to speak in schools and help students make personal connections to the Holocaust. The course focuses on the historical events surrounding the families’ experiences during the Shoah. Participants create their own presentations using historical context, multi-media platforms and their families’ voices with the goal of becoming the next generation of speakers.

For information about our next mini-course, please contact Sarah Snyder, HERO Center Director at sarah@ctvoicesofhope.org.

Voices of Hope’s HERO Center brings students to the Museum of Jewish Civilization at the University of Hartford which houses the Connecticut Remembers the Holocaust exhibit. The students’ experience includes a tour of the museum, testimony from a Holocaust survivor (if available) and a conversation with a museum docent who is a descendant of Holocaust survivors. 

Please note, the museum is currently closed due to the pandemic.

If you are interested in working as a docent volunteer, please contact Sarah Snyder, HERO Center Director at sarah@ctvoicesofhope.org.

If you are interested in speaking in classrooms or in the community, please contact Sarah Snyder, HERO Center Director at sarah@ctvoicesofhope.org. Please let Sarah know of any past experience or training you’ve had working with students.

Voices of Hope recognizes that grandchildren of Holocaust survivors have different experiences and perspectives from their parents while still feeling the responsibility of passing along their families’ stories and the desire to connect with each other. Voices of Hope is committed to strengthening the involvement of our 3G community. If you are a 3G interested in becoming more involved and/or meeting other 3G’s, please contact Kathy Fishman, Executive Director at kathy@ctvoicesofhope.org.

Voices of Hope has an active descendant book club which meets regularly to discuss Holocaust literature. If you are interested in participating in a book club, please contact Robin Landau, Director of Programs and Development at robin@ctvoicesofhope.org.

Voices of Hope helps organize a chavurah of Holocaust descendants. A chavurah is a self-guided group of people with similar interests who gather regularly. Participating descendants appreciate the opportunity to connect with each other and explore their shared experiences. If you are interested in participating in a chavurah, please contact Robin Landau, Director of Programs and Development at robin@ctvoicesofhope.org.