10 | Dec
2017
10 | Dec
2017

jewish genealogical society monthly meeting

By a Thread - a Daughter's Search for her Mother's Hidden Identity

Speaker: Marisa Fox

New York journalist Marisa Fox knew her mother as Tamar Fromer Fox, a self-proclaimed freedom fighter and hero of the Israeli War of Independence. But Tamar's Polish roots were more elusive, as she avoided any conversation of how she escaped the fate that claimed her own mother and large family who were murdered at Auschwitz. Nearly 20 years after Tamar died, Marisa discovers her mother had a hidden identity and goes in search of it. Her quest takes her to her mother's Polish hometown-Sonowiec, where she finds records bearing a name and family members she had never heard before, addresses that take her through doorways she never thought she'd cross, and eventually to an obscure alpine village in the Czech Republic where her mother and thousands of other Polish Jewish girls were imprisoned for up to 4 1/2 years in Nazi forced women's labor camps. Though Tamar always denied she was a Holocaust survivor, Marisa finds evidence to the contrary and ponders the nature of identity. After a 7-year investigation from Manhattan to Melbourne, Toronto, Tel Aviv, Detroit, Haifa, Berlin, and Malmo, Sweden, finding survivors and relatives who knew her mother, Fox has directed a documentary about her search called "By a Thread." Connecting the dots between her mother's alias and her true genealogical roots and secret past, Fox asks: Is identity something that's genetically determined or are we creatures of self-invention and reinvention?

Marisa Fox is a veteran journalist who has worked in print, broadcast and digital journalism. She has written for Haaretz, the New York Times, and other publications with profiles and features about current events, culture, women's issue, immigration and the Holocaust. She graduated from Northwestern University with a BS and MS in Journalism and BA in French Language and Literature.

Presented by: Jewish Genealogical Society and the Ackman & the Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute at Center for Jewish History

jewish genealogical society monthly meeting