SJM staff to present at International Holocaust Conference

April 17, 2015 by J-Wire Staff
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Sydney Jewish Museum will  make a presentation at an International Holocaust Conference in Krakow, Poland  next week.

Sponsored by the University of Gdansk, the conference is titled “The Holocaust and the Contemporary World”.

Rony Bognor

Rony Bognor

Volunteer Manager, Rony Bognar and Community Stories Manager, Jacqui Wasilewsky will join a host of international researchers and practitioners examining the effects, implications and responses to the Shoah from an interdisciplinary angle.

For Bognar, who co-founded a Survivor Support Group with psychologist Renee Symonds, the conference provides an opportunity to bring the unique work of the SJM to an international and engaged audience.

Bognar established the group with Symons as a means of support for survivor volunteers and guides.

Jacqui Wasilewsky

Jacqui Wasilewsky

“It’s our belief that the Survivor Focus group is the only program of its kind in the world. I am excited to share the successes and challenges of a program which, we believe, has enhanced the health and longevity of its participants” said Bognar.

Wasilewsky, will present and chair a session on writing and interpreting testimonies.

“A colleague suggested that we submit an abstract for consideration.  It came as a bit of a shock when we were accepted overnight. It really goes to show the value and interest in the programs we run here” she said.

Renee Symonds

Renee Symonds

Wasilewsky has been at the Museum for ten years helping holocaust survivors and members of the community to preserve and share their stories through written or oral mediums. She hopes to give her audience a sense of the passion and support that lies at the core of the program.

“We aim to acknowledge the trauma and hardship involved in the process, providing a safe and respectful service that is savoured by survivor and team member alike” she said.

Renee Symonds will present a talk on Compassionate Responses in the Memory and Education session.

Excerpts from these presentations will be available after the conference on the Museum YouTube page.

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