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Videorecording Available – Intergenerational Trauma and Cultural Healing: A Conversation That Must Continue

Last week, I had the honor of presenting a program I created, thinking how important it is, especially in these times, to share our experiences with each other and to foster our capacity for empathy toward each other (see my earlier blog announcement about this event). I had the honor of moderating a discussion with my esteemed guests, Dr. Jessica Gourneau, a clinical psychologist and member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa who serves as Clinical Director at American Indian Family Center in St. Paul, Minnesota;  Sam Simmons, an alcohol and drug counselor with more than 30 years of experience in culturally-sensitive, trauma-informed work with African American men and their families, founder of the Community Empower Through Black Men Healing Conference, and co-host of “Voices” on 89.9 KMOJ FM radio and Dr. Nina Fischer, a scholar of Jewish Studies at Goethe University Frankfurt and granddaughter of non-Jewish Germans who has authored Memory Work: The Second Generation (Palgrave 2015) and other publications exploring the legacy of the Holocaust.

Our conversation focused on the impact of intergenerational trauma in our families and communities, and on the ways to transcend the trauma and carry forward the aspects of “useable past”, the strengths and resiliencies that are also the result of having endured trauma.

In order for some healing to take place, we must listen to each other’s traumatic stories. We have to understand each other’s pain, so we can build bridges and repair the chasms created by past atrocities. While we cannot change the past, we have to try to change the present and make a better future for our children. The program was hosted and sponsored by the Museum of Jewish Heritage in NYC.

For those of you who would like to listen to the videorecording, it is now available. You can find the videorecording on the Museum’s website at this link, or you can access it on youtube by clicking on the image below, or you

Irit Felsen


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