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Helen and Sol Krawitz Holocaust Memorial Education Center

Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center

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Descendant Profile








    Heidi L. Wachs grew up in New Jersey and was active in the Bridgewater Jewish community throughout her childhood.  She attended Temple Sholom’s Hebrew School and Hebrew High School, participated in Kadima and USY, and attended and was a counselor at Camp Tevah and NJ Y Camps.  Both of her paternal grandparents, Rose and Muni Wachs, were Holocaust survivors.

    Growing up, she always knew that the Holocaust was part of her family’s history, but she began to explore what that meant when she went on the March of the Living in 1994. The experience empowered her to begin speaking publicly about the Holocaust in general, and her experience on the March in particular.  In 2005 she first became aware of 3G groups and in 2011 she co-founded 3GDC. In 2019, she completed 3GNY’s WEDU training.

    Heidi lives in Washington, DC and works in data privacy and cybersecurity.  She is active in the DC Jewish community as a volunteer on the JxJ Council at the DC JCC and a member of 3GDC.  Heidi and her brother David also travel the world as the WanderingJews, documenting historic Jewish synagogues around the US and abroad on their Instagram and Facebook accounts and website, wanderingjews.org


    For Descendant Submission, Select "Reflection" Above by Heidi Wachs

    Reflection on my Identity as a 3G by Heidi Wachs

    Growing up, I don't recall a time when I didn't understand that the Holocaust was an integral part of my family's story.  What I didn't begin to understand until I was in my teens was that piece of my history differentiated me, and therefore, my Jewish identity and experience, from other Jewish friends.  When I went on the March of the Living in 1994, I remember realizing that I was experiencing the trip in a different context than some of the other participants that didn't have a direct family connection to the Holocaust. I went on another trip to Poland during college a few years later, and I felt that distinction among the participants again. This was long before I knew the term "3G," and so, I didn't really have the right vocabulary to describe what I was feeling.  Shortly after I moved to Washington, DC in 2005, I discovered a Yahoo group for area grandchildren of Holocaust survivors. Attending an event with that group, and connecting with other 3Gs, was a pivotal moment in understanding and defining my personal Jewish identity that continues to this day.

  • Sources and Credits:

    Biography and “Reflections on the Identity of a 3G” by Heidi Wachs; Family and historic photographs by Heidi and David Wachs