Impact of Trauma from Generation to Generation

Dr. Irit Felsen


JFS will offer “Impact of Trauma from Generation to Generation,” a two-part free event on Thursday and Friday, April 30 and May 1.

The event will begin on Thursday, April 30 from 7:00 to 8:30PM at the St. Paul Jewish Community Center (JCC) with a presentation by Irit Felsen, Ph.D. Dr. Felsen, herself a child of Survivors, studied in Israel and Germany and did her post-doctoral training at the Yale Psychiatric Institute at Yale University. She is a member of the Yale Trauma Study Group, Genocide Studies Program and an adjunct professor of psychology at Columbia University and Yeshiva University in New York City. She is the co-convener of the Trauma Working Group of the NGO Committee on Mental Health in Consultative Relationship to the UN. Dr. Felsen has  published book chapters and articles in professional journals about survivors and inter-generational transmission in the second generation.

Her Thursday evening presentation, “Through the Lens of the Holocaust” will examine the long-reaching reverberations of mass trauma in the life cycle and into old age, influencing the individual survivor, spouses and even children born years after the end of the parental trauma. The impact of trauma suffered at earlier phases in life can be experienced immediately but might also surface at much later times influencing objective and subjective physical and psychological well-being, as well as the quality of relationships in the family. Refreshments will be served after Dr. Felsen’s presentation. This event is free and open to the public.

On Friday, May 1 from 7:30 to 9:00AM at Sholom East, Dr. Felsen will lead “Understanding Trauma Triggers for Trauma Survivors, Immigrants and Refugees fleeing from War Zones and Genocide.” Dr. Felsen will discuss the processes of transmission of historical trauma learned about Holocaust survivors and applied to more recent traumatized refugees and immigrants. The session will begin at 7:30AM with a continental breakfast. This session provides a CEU. This event is free and open to the public.

Following this session will be a second session at Sholom East entitled “Understanding Holocaust Trauma Triggers,” from 9:30 to 10:30AM. It will be presented informally to create an opportunity for attendees to talk, with Dr. Felsen facilitating and adding to the discussion. This session will also provide a CEU. This event is free and open to the public.

From noon to 1:00PM at the JCC, the public, particularly the second and third generation of Holocaust survivors and their partners, is invited for Dr. Felsen’s presentation “Inter-generational Trauma – In the Shadow of the Holocaust.” She will facilitate a discussion that will help with any struggles they experience as children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors. Lunch will be served. This event is free and open to the public.

Impact of Trauma from Generation to Generation event partners include Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis (JFCS), Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), Hamm Clinic, St. Paul Jewish Community Center (JCC), Sholom and a grant from the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA).

Contact Chris Kellogg for more information at (651) 690-8920.