Gesher Project fonds
Fonds / Archival Collection
Extent & Medium213 photographs : colour prints
152 photographs : colour slides
24 photographs : colour transparencies ; 4 x 5
23 photographs : colour negatives
20 photographs : black and white prints
35 cm of textual records
8 video cassettes : miniDv
1 video cassette : VHS
1 video cassette : Hi8
1 optical disk : CD-R
Administrative/Biographical HistoryThe Gesher Project was a multidisciplinary and intergenerational project which employed creative approaches and discussion to bridge generations and heal Holocaust trauma. Bridge translates to gesher in Hebrew and was an important theme underpinning the project. The project was led by Alina Wydra, psychologist, Dale Adams Segal, writing facilitator, Linda Frimer, art facilitator, and Reisa Schneider, scribe and co-coordinator. They worked with a group of eighteen Holocaust survivors, child survivors and second generation survivors in Vancouver, BC, who spent eighty hours together over a period of six months, talking, writing and painting. Participants created both collective and individual artworks and writings and explored the psychological and intergenerational dimensions of the aftermath of the Holocaust on families and individuals. The Gesher Project was self-exploratory and guided by themes and chronology rather than individual stories.
The project culminated in an exhibition, The Gesher Project: Bridging Holocaust Trauma, which opened at the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre in 1999. The exhibition travelled to Victoria and Kelowna, then, with assistance from the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre and the Gesher committee, to cities across Canada, including Montreal, London, Burnaby, Calgary and Saskatoon. In connection with these exhibitions, participants in the project conducted workshops, school programs and related events. Participants were: Jean Adler, Mary Adlersberg, Lillian Boraks-Nemetz, Barbara Bluman, Marion Cassirer, Nurit Fox, Bernard Goldberg, Robert Grosz, Frances Hoyd, Andrew Jordan, Gabriella Klein, Rosa Marel, Malka Pischanitskaya, Deborah Ramm-West, Marianne Rev, Sidi Schaffer, Louise Stein-Sorensen and Elsa Weinstein. One anonymous survivor withdrew from the project.
Scope & ContentRecords in this fonds were generated and accumulated as a result of the coordination and facilitation of, and participation in, the Gesher Project and the resulting exhibition that toured to galleries across Canada from 1999 to 2003. Records include photographs, creative writings, participant biographies, correspondence, promotional material, visitor comments, media clippings, lyrics, notes, reference material and video documentation.
Archival History2019.084 Schaffer, 2020.042 Frimer
Immediate Source of Acquisition or TransferOne accession of records was in the custody of Sidi Schaffer prior to being donated to the VHEC in 2019. An accession of related records in the custody of Linda Frimer was donated to the VHEC in 2020.
AccrualsTwo accruals were received and processed together. No further accruals are expected.
NoteFunding note: Digitization of items in fonds supported by the Irving K. Barber BC History Digitization Grant.
System of ArrangementFonds is divided into series by the archivist based on record form, project activity and provenance.
RightsDonors relinquished rights to materials in fonds upon their donation to the VHEC but fonds contains third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Researchers are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials
Rules or ConventionsISAG(G) informed by Rules for Archival Description
Archivist's NoteFonds arranged and described in the fall of 2020 by Shyla Seller.
Date of Description2020