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Merle Saferstein: Remarkable Educator + Journaler

Merle Saferstein:  Remarkable Educator + Journaler

 

 





Introduction to Merle R. Saferstein.  0:56 sec.  Interview:  Raymond Elman.  Post-Production:  Lee Skye.  Recorded via Zoom:  1/21/2021, Hollywood, Florida.

 

As the director of educational outreach at the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center for twenty-six years, MERLE R. SAFERSTEIN worked closely with hundreds of Holocaust survivors helping them to pass along their Legacy of Remembrance to hundreds of thousands of students and teachers. She developed a course entitled Living and Leaving Your Legacy® and teaches and speaks to audiences locally, nationally, and internationally.

 

She trains hospice staffs and volunteers showing them ways to help patients leave their legacies and works closely with the patients at the end of their lives doing sacred legacy work. She volunteers at a camp for children who experienced the death of a family member — helping them to gain important tools to cope with their grief, facilitates an all-day parent session at these camps, and also facilitates a writing class at Gilda’s Club for women who have been impacted by cancer. She is currently spearheading a committee to create a weekend bereavement retreat for Jewish families in South Florida.

 

Merle, an extensive journal writer, has completed over 375 volumes of journals. She has been facilitating two journaling circles since March, 2020, when we began sheltering in place. For fourteen years, she culled through her journals taking excerpts according to approximately seventy topics. From this, she is currently working on a collection of books entitled A Strand of Pearls. Merle is the author of Room 732, a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree, is a council member of the International Association of Journal Writing, and is a contributor to the Huffington Post, Medium, and Thrive Global.  Merle was chosen as the 2019 Greater Miami Jewish Federation Volunteer of the Year.

 

The videos below were recorded via Zoom, are organized by Success Factor, and run between 30 seconds and 8 minutes. Click on any video. You must be connected to the Internet to view the videos.

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO MERLE R. SAFERSTEIN’S JOURNALS: 4:15 min.





Merle Saferstein explains her approach to journaling, and reads selections from her journals addressing the topic of journaling.

 

SELECTED JOURNAL ENTRIES ABOUT HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS:   3:49 min.





Merle Saferstein reads selected journal entries about her experiences with Holocaust survivors.

 

INSIGHT & INSPIRATION:  3:44 min.





What was your first awareness of art of any discipline?

 

DEVELOP A VOICE:  0:46 sec.





At what point did you think you wrote better than most people?

 

DEVELOP A VOICE:  3:16 min.





Tell us about your first experiences with journaling.

 

CREATES A UNIQUE PERSONAL BRAND:  2:26 min.





Do you let people read your journals?

 

EMPATHY:  1:23 min.





Tell us about the journal project you completed for a friend who was dying from cancer.

 

CRITICAL THINKING:   5:17 min.





What is your criteria for deciding what content from your journals will be included in your legacy?

 

VALUES FIRST-RATE EDUCATION:  2:49 min.





Where did you go to school and what did you learn that still informs you today?

 

INSIGHT & INSPIRATION:  1:55 min.





What are some of the teaching skills that you learned through experience?

 

SEIZES OPPORTUNITIES:  7:40 min.





Talk about the evolution of your work with Holocaust education.

 

SERENDIPITY:  4:08 min.





Tell us more about your position as Director of Educational Outreach at the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center in Hollywood, Florida.

 

UNDERSTANDS THE AUDIENCE’S PERSPECTIVE:  3:09 min.





What is it like to talk with Holocaust survivors who are reluctant to share their experiences?

 

SERENDIPITY:  2:37 min.





What is the best way for people to share their Holocaust stories and legacy?

 

CREATIVE FLEXIBILITY:  1:59 min.





Most biographers and memoirists admit that the stories they recount have been refined and honed over time. Is the same thing true for the stories of Holocaust survivors?

 

DEVELOP A VOICE:  0:56 sec.





When you look back at some of your journals, are you ever surprised by what you’ve written?

 

RESILIENCE:  3:46 min.





How are the Holocaust survivors living in South Florida able to find and support one another?

 

COLLABORATION:  1:20 min.





Tell us about your legacy work and its impact.

 

OVERCOMES CHALLENGES TO SUCCEED:  2:38 min.





Do you have any role models or mentors for the kind of work that you do?