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My Recent Publication About the Experiences of 2G During the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the Importance of 2G Forums During Stressful Times

I am very pleased to share tne news that my paper describing the reactions of Second Generation (2G) to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to the socio-political events that took place in the USA during the same time, was recently published in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Social Innovations,  Vol 91(2), 2021, 171-180. The electronic citation to the paper is

The paper provide a narrative report of experiences expressed by over 1,200 participants in several web-based interactive webinars for 2G during the “shelter at home” period in March and April 2020. The intergenerational transmission of unique Holocaust-related fears and sensitivities, and the unique perspective borne out of having grown up in families of parents who survived genocidal violence, were prominent in the interactive discussions during these online webinars. Despite differences among individuals in the way they experience the impact of their Holocaust legacy on their reactions to the Covid-19 pandemic, many felt that this impact was very meaningful and that it created a profound difference which they felt could not be understood, could not even be discussed, with other friends and relatives who were not children of Holocaust survivors. The sense of not being able to share one’s deeper feelings with relatives or friends during a distressing time could contribute to feelings of subjective isolation and alienation, especially when social distancing already limited the ability to engage in meaningful social relationships and activities. This possibility to gather virtually and communicate with others who share the same legacy offers a particularly important space for voicing and mutually processing the unique reverberations of intergenerational trauma during times that bring to the fore echoes of existential threat and genocidal violence.

It is proposed in the paper that this format of “web-based, second-best” way of being together, an intervention that emerged spontaneously in response to the coronavirus and social distancing, offers a novel, non-pathologizing, effective form of supportive psychosocial intervention uniquely suited to the unprecedented challenges experienced during circumstances that require social distancing.

Those interested in reading the paper can do so by clicking the image of the paper title below, and following the link to download a .pdf version of the paper.

           Irit Felsen



  1. Lynn H Friedman says

    Thank you for this excellent study. As a 2G and a psychotherapist with a number of 2G and 3G clients, I found the results to be very much in sync with what I am seeing . Well done.

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