Gesher Project

Administrative 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.
NotesSource of administrative history: Gesher Project video introduction narrated by Alina Wydra, 1999. Item 2019.084.331.


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