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By A Thread—a Daughter’s Search for her Mother’s Hidden Identity
Sunday, December 10, 2017, 01:30pm - 03:30pm
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. “I’m a Zionist and Israeli,” she would proudly say, avoiding any conversation of how she escaped the fate that claimed her own mother and large family who were murdered in Auschwitz. Then 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, where she finds vital 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 4.5 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, finding relatives and survivors who knew her mother around the globe, from Manhattan to Melbourne, Toronto to Tel Aviv, Detroit to Haifa to Berlin to Malmo, Sweden, 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 pre-determined or are we creatures of self-invention and reinvention?
Veteran journalist Marisa Fox has interviewed luminaries from comedian Amy Schumer to New York Senator Chuck Schumer. With her directorial debut, “By A Thread,” Fox sets her sights on something more personal. The documentary feature traces Fox's search for her mother’s hidden identity in prewar Poland and past as a prisoner of an all-women’s Nazi slave labor camp in Sudetenland, where thousands of teenage girls from her hometown of Sosnowiec, Poland, had been trafficked.
Throughout her 30-year career, she has worked in print, broadcast and digital journalism. A New York contributor to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the New York Times and other publications, Fox writes in-depth profiles and features about current events, culture, women’s issues, immigration and the Holocaust. She graduated from Northwestern University with a BS and MS from the Medill School of Journalism and a BA in French Language & Literature.
Read about "Reception In Honor of JGS's 40th Anniversary" which follows
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The Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute at CJH will be open starting at 11 AM.Admission: JGS members are free, guests pay $5 at the door
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