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As a teenager in 2012, Jori Epstein traveled to Poland with Holocaust survivor Max Glauben during a March of the Living trip. Sitting on the musty floor of a Majdanek barrack, one of the six concentration camps that Glauben survived, the enormity of the tragedies and horrors he endured weighed heavily upon her.
Four years later, Epstein and Glauben reconnected at their synagogue in Dallas, Texas. Soon after that, they began to compile wartime records and document Glauben’s recollections to write his memoir, The Upstander: How Surviving the Holocaust Sparked Max Glauben’s Mission to Dismantle Hate.
Our annual Kristallnacht commemoration service will bring Jori Epstein to Temple on Tuesday, November 9, to share Max Glauben’s story. The service begins at 7:00 pm. Joining Jori to moderate her discussion will be her great-uncle, David Epstein.
Infused with raw emotion, vivid detail, historical records, and Glauben’s poignant voice, The Upstander relays the true story of the brutal violence and dehumanization he endured. It relays his powerful lifetime commitment to actively thwarting hate and galvanizing resilience and encourages the reader to transform adversity into their greatest strength.
Glauben’s mission to outlast hate, preserve memory, and compel the world to embrace tolerance is a stark contrast to his experiences as a teenager. The Nazis had destroyed the family’s business, upended their rights, and ultimately decimated their neighborhood. On a train overflowing with trapped Jews heading from the Warsaw Ghetto to Majdanek death camp in May 1943, the stench of decay filling the air, 15-year-old Glauben asked himself, “Why me?” After the Nazis murdered his mother, father, and brother, Glauben channeled grit, determination, and a fortuitous knack for manufacturing airplane parts to outlast six horrific concentration camps in his quest to survive.
The Upstander explores Glauben’s mischievous childhood and teen years as a go-to ghetto smuggler. It tracks his journey following the Holocaust when he was a displaced person, an American immigrant, and serving in the Korean War. For decades, Glauben bottled up his trauma until he realized he could transform his pain into purpose.
In the 75 years since his liberation, Max has ceased to ask himself, “Why me?” Instead, he reframes his focus and asks, “What can we do next?”
Joining us in person?
For those who still feel safer at home, this program will also be available via livestream.
About the Author:
As a journalist for USA Today, Jori Epstein reports features, investigations, and news—primarily on the Dallas Cowboys and NFL. She worked previously for The Dallas Morning News and Sports Illustrated. Jori holds journalism and Plan II Honors degrees from the University of Texas.
Click here to purchase this book through WHC’s Mitzvah Mall.
About the Moderator:
David Epstein is a lawyer, author and self-described conversationalist. But his favorite relevant credentials, he says, are that he has always asked substantive questions. As a lawyer, he worked in trial advocacy including as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. David co-authored Torah With Love: A Guide for Strengthening Jewish Values within the Family, which details how to have substantive conversations.
Presented in partnership with the Jewish Book Council.
Tuesday, November 9
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Hybrid – Temple
Adult Ed, Lecture, Worship Service
3935 Macomb Street NW
Washington, DC 20016
11810 Falls Road
Potomac, MD 20854
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