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Surviving: How Religious Holocaust Survivors Cope with their Trauma

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Publication Date: January 2000

Publisher(s): Jewish Communal Service Association of North America

Author(s): Sara Botwinick

Series: Journal of Jewish Communal Service, 76:3

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Social conditions (Discrimination and affirmative action)
Social conditions (Psychology)

Keywords: Social Services; Elderly; Psychology

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


Based on an in-depth study of four survivor interviews, this article traces the ways in which a traditional Jewish upbringing contributes toward fostering the development of a personality type that is able to mobilize specific coping mechanisms and to marshall a special resilience when a person is faced with severe persecution. It also looks at how these religious coping mechanisms and strategies hold up after the Holocaust and, most acutely, when these survivors are faced with the challenges of old age. Recommendations are given to helping professionals on how to provide supportive interventions to aging religious Holocaust survivors.