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The Holocaust was an historical event of orchestrated acts of brutality and murder by the Nazis and their accomplices against the Jewish people. In this exhibition, we attempt to reveal the human story and create a space for the unique voice of the women among them, and to emphasize the responses and actions of Jewish women to the situations they faced.

Before the Second World War, Jewish women – like most of their counterparts – inhabited a society that was largely conservative and patriarchal. Accordingly, most women did not take part in the leadership that was tasked with administering the Jewish community during the Holocaust. Instead, Jewish women assumed the main familial role involving the “affirmation of life” – survival under any circumstance.

During the initial phases of the war, large numbers of Jewish men were mobilized for forced labor or escaped to the east. In the later stages, men tried to flee to the forests and many others were executed. As a result, countless women remained alone with children and the elderly. Overall, they often constituted the greater part of the ghetto population in subsequent stages. Even when the men remained, their inability to continue serving as the breadwinners of the family often left them psychologically shattered and impaired their traditional role as heads of household. As a result, women often assumed the duties of obtaining food for their families, trying to provide a minimum level of family functioning despite their grim situation.

The identification of women with children, both by the surroundings and by the women themselves, became a motivating force for clinging to life, but also bound them to extermination together.

Women who survived the annihilation campaign and became part of the Nazis’ slave-labor force entered the world of the camps. There, usually in women-only camps, they attempted to rehabilitate their psychological identities after having been deprived of their individuality, families and cultural traditions.

Women in the Holocaust applied their minds to a place that deprived them of their minds; and brought strength to a place where they were denied their strength. In a place where the very right to live was wrested from women and their families, faced their deaths with fortitude and invested every additional moment of life with meaning. It is these women’s voices that we wish to sound and whose stories we wish to tell.

“Project 4293”
A JFCS & Bolles School Partnership

Remarkable things can happen when young people from very different lived experiences share space together with the intention of building authentic connection.

12 teens, half are in the Child Welfare System and half attend the Bolles School. The differences and divides seem extreme…economics, race, family, geography, societal expectations. But through art, history, conversation, and human touch threads of understanding began to bind them/us.

“My vision for creating a Holocaust Memorial comes from the love and dedication I feel for the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust who have no resting place. A monument made from stone symbolizes the strength we have as a community to never forget them and to teach our future generations how important our history is. We must never forget.” Morris Bendit

“A Place to Come Together” Meeting Space
Chartrand Tolerance Education Center


  • Morris Bendit
    Morris was born in 1941 in the town of Chernovitz in the Ukraine. When Morris was only two months...
  • Manfred Katz
    Manfred was born in a small German town, where only five other Jewish families resided. His family faced regular...
  • Bob Fischer
    Bob’s father went to town to have the children’s’ shoes repaired and was never seen again. His mother led...
  • Leonid Arbitman
    When his mother was pregnant with Leonid, he was evacuated from Kiev to Chelvabinsk, where Leonid was born....
  • Natan Koifman
    Natan was born in Odessa, Ukraine in 1931. His family moved to Moscow, Russia due to employment opportunities. When...
  • Alla Makhtina, Foma Izrailevich, & Roman Makhtin
    Foma was born in 1935 in Minsk, Russia. During the war he was in Tataurovo, Russia, a small Siberian...
  • Jeff Levitsky
    Jeff was born in Leningrad, historically and currently known as St. Petersburg, Russia. Between 1941 and 1944 the German...
  • Esfir Sonis
    Esfir and her family fled to Uzbekistan from their home of Odessa, Ukraine during the Nazi invasion. After the...
  • Perry Mibab
    Born in 1933 Perry was the youngest of seven children in a family living in Labima Valinsk, Poland, a...
  • Yan & Nelli Murashkovsky
    Both Nelli and Yan were born in Kiev and fled as children with their families to Uzbekistan in 1941....
  • Ella & Lev Ladzhinsky
    At age 5, Lev and his mother, father and sister were forced from their home in Tulchin, Ukraine and...