3RD GENERATION FOCUS GROUP & 3GNJ
HISTORY OF 3GNJ (2018-2021)
- Contact: Michelle Edgar, Elyse Wolff, Jessica Wang
- Email: 3GNewJersey@gmail.com
- Media: https://www.facebook.com/groups/3gnewjersey
In 2018, Nancy Gorrell of the SSBJCC invited Michelle Edgar, Elyse Wallach Wolf and Jessica Wang to the Holocaust Education Center to discuss forming a “focus group” of grandchildren (3Gs) for the community. In preparing for the meeting, she had discovered the existence of a similar group, 3GNY. Coincidentally, its president was none other than David Wachs, a former resident of Bridgewater whose 2G parents were still residing in the community. This was an auspicious moment. Michelle, a former assistant to Nancy establishing the Center’s Survivor Registry, Elyse a member of the Holocaust Commission of the State of NJ, and Jessica, a technological expert in the field became passionate leaders. They reached out to all the 3Gs in the registry database and others in the surrounding community and held their first meeting in October 2018 at the JCC in Bridgewater.
Moving forward rapidly, the group founded an organization, 3GNJ and a Facebook group to post events and reach more potential members statewide. They planned and held a number of meetings including dinner with a local survivor, Tova Friedman, who testified to the group.
2019 (Spring) WEDU Speaker Training (3GNJ)
In May 2019, 3GNY held its first professional speaker training program in NJ at SSBJCC’s Holocaust Memorial and Education Center in Bridgewater. WEDU (We Educate) was developed under the guidance of Facing History and Ourselves, and is an educational initiative that empowers grandchildren of survivors to learn and compellingly share their family’s Holocaust experiences with students and community groups. Peter Nelson of Facing History and Ourselves conducted of 3Gs from NJ and NY. 3GNY provided the training and 3GNJ hosted the location. The training and partnership proved transformational for the 3Gs and helped them to turn their knowledge of their grandparents’ stories into meaningful presentations and future partnerships. Many of the 3GNJ members who participated have presented at schools, synagogues and other organizations statewide.
2020-2021 Regional Coalition Established
In 2021 3GNJ partnered with 3GNY and 3GPA to form a regional coalition of grandchildren of Holocaust survivors. In addition, Michelle Edgar, Elyse Wallach and Jessica Wang from 3GNJ were installed as members of the 3GNY 2021 Board.