THE SELFHELP HOME, A JEWISH RETIREMENT COMMUNITY, COMMEMORATES HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY WITH A NEW STORYTELLING INITIATIVE
Open to all Chicago-area Holocaust survivors, refugees, and their children, Last Whispers: Our Holocaust Stories, seeks to provide families with lasting, personal stories of survival, perseverance, and hope.
CHICAGO, IL, May 1, 2019 – To commemorate Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, The Selfhelp Home is proud to announce that it will be hosting a community wide program titled Last Whispers: Our Holocaust Stories on June 30th from 10AM to 4PM. Free and open to the public, video production crews will be onsite to capture the more personal, family-oriented stories of aging Chicago-area Jewish Holocaust survivors and refugees, and will be releasing the interviews to all participating families.
Originally an elderly care facility created by and for the German-Jewish refugee population during the Second World War, The Selfhelp Home continues its mission today by serving the larger Chicago Jewish community by providing the only Jewish Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Chicago.
“We are grateful to be home to some of the last Holocaust survivors in the city,” says Efrat Dallal Stein, Chief Marketing Officer at The Selfhelp Home, “and while there has been a great effort to preserve their stories for historical purposes, we created this program to help capture more personal, family-oriented stories that one might tell their children and grandchildren to provide context for the whole family in light of such great tragedy.”
“I was fortunate enough that my grandfather was able to escape Germany in 1938,” said Nate Hartmann, Selfhelp Home Board Member and creator of this program, “and while my grandfather provided testimony to both the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Steven Spielberg’s Shoah project, I was lucky enough to have had the chance to bring my camera over to Selfhelp a few times while he lived there and capture more candid stories about his experiences.”
Telling the stories of its survivor and refugee community is nothing new to The Selfhelp Home. In 2012, the award-winning documentary film, Refuge, directed by Ethan Bensinger, was released and explores the lives of six Chicagoans against the context of the Nazi cataclysm.
Now with a focus on providing a voice to the entire Chicago Jewish community, The Selfhelp Home hopes to capture once more the stories of the families that came to Chicago seeking refuge.
“That’s what we’re trying to do here: preserve each family’s stories and make them accessible digitally to all who participate,” says Mr. Hartmann. “These are stories that need to be shared with the world, but especially with each other.”
The event will be held at Selfhelp’s facilities at 908 W. Argyle in Chicago on June 30th, and free parking will be available. If you are interested in reserving time for an interview, please visit LastWhispersProject.org. If you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities in support of this event, please reach out to Efrat Dallal Stein, [email protected] or call 773-249-0073.
About The Selfhelp Home:
The Selfhelp Home provides older adults the highest quality of care in a culturally rich Jewish environment. Selfhelp of Chicago, founded in 1938, subsequently established a refuge for Holocaust survivors. Today Selfhelp honors its legacy of empathy and state-of-the-art care as an urban, independent non-profit home offering the continuum of services from residential living to skilled nursing. The Selfhelp Home has earned the Joint Commission Seal of Approval for Post-Acute Care and Nursing Care Center and ranks at the top nationwide.