Writing Partners

Our volunteer writing partners are people of different ages, life stages and religious, cultural and education backgrounds. They share the desire to learn more about the Holocaust and support survivors in telling their stories in the manner that was meaningful to them.

Survivor: Irene Gray

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Before committing to the Sustaining Memories program, I doubted my ability to do justice to Irene and the process that might test me in ways I could not foresee. The challenge I envisioned was finding a way to maintain a balance between probing for details and Irene’s right to privacy, as well as staying true to her story and voice without imposing my words onto her narrative. The weight of this responsibility compelled me to be sensitive to her vulnerability and emotional tenderness. Despite living through horrific experiences, Irene had the agency and resolve to survive and then to rebuild a life rich in love, decency, family and faith, including finding the courage to bequeath this precious legacy to her family and history. Since Irene entrusted me with her heart, it didn’t take long before my initial qualms faded in the face of her fortitude and graciousness. I will forever hold dear the intimate and rewarding moments we shared.

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