Dr. Edith Eva Eger is a New York Times best-selling author and a distinguished psychologist whose experience as a survivor of Auschwitz helps inform her treatment of patients experiencing trauma. Tovah Feldshuh is a renowned actress who first gained international acclaim with her role in the 1978 miniseries Holocaust and who narrated the audiobook of Dr. Eger’s best seller, The Choice.
On the 82nd anniversary of Kristallnacht, join us for an illuminating conversation between Dr. Eger and Tovah as they discuss the power of love, forgiveness, and choosing joy despite hardship to have a positive and meaningful life.
You’ll also discover how UJA is caring for survivors at this critical moment in time.
A native of Hungary, Edith Eva Eger was just 16 years old in 1944 when she experienced one of the worst evils the human race has ever known. As a Jew living in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe, she and her family were sent to Auschwitz, the heinous death camp. Her parents lost their lives there. She and her sister survived even though they were subjected to horrible treatment by Dr. Josef Mengele and survived the Death March from Poland to Austria.
In 1949 she and her young family moved to the United States. In 1969 she received her degree in psychology from the University of Texas, El Paso. She then pursued her doctoral internship at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center at Fort Bliss, Texas. She has spent much of her professional time working with members of the military helping them to recover from and cope with the ongoing effects of PTSD.
Dr. Eger has always found ways to use her personal experiences to inspire, educate, and help others. Dr. Eger has a clinical practice in La Jolla, California, where she uses her past as a powerful analogy to inspire people to reach their potential and shape their destinies.
In the fall of 2017 at the age of 90, her memoir The Choice, Embrace the Possible was published. In her book, she details how the synergy of working with, and learning from, her patients’ perspectives has enriched her life experiences. The book focuses on moving forward in light of hardship, has received excellent reviews, is a best seller in several countries, and has been translated into thirty languages. The New York Times Book Review wrote: “Eger’s book is a triumph, and should be read by all who care about their inner freedom and humanity.” Oprah said of the book, “I will be forever changed by Edith Eger’s story.” The book has received the National Jewish Book Award from the Jewish Book Council and the Christopher Award. It has been a best seller in the United States, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Chile. Her second book, The Gift, Twelve Lessons to Save your Life, was released in September 2020 and immediately became a best seller in the U.K. and Ireland.
Tovah (born Terri Sue) Feldshuh is a six-time Emmy and Tony Award-nominee and has been awarded three honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters. For her theater work, she has won four Drama Desk, four Outer Critics Circle, three Dramalogue, Obie, and Theatre World Awards, as well as the Helen Hayes and the Lucille Lortel Awards for Best Actress.
Tovah is a playwright, concert artist, and author. Her memoir, LILYVILLE: Mother, Daughter, and Other Roles I’ve Played, comes out April 13 for Mother’s Day. Her TV credits include Holocaust, Law & Order, The Walking Dead, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Tovah’s films roles include Kissing Jessica Stein, A Walk on the Moon, The Idolmaker, and Clifford (release November 2021). On Broadway, she’s appeared Yentl, Golda’s Balcony, Irena’s Vow, Pippin, among other shows.
Her most recent theater portrayal was of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Sisters in Law by Jonathan Shapiro. Tovah also has two nightclub acts, Aging is Optional and Tovah is Leona! (Helmsley).
Staci Barber, Patti Kenner, Carol Levin, Lynne Wolitzer
CIHS Long Island Chairs
Myra and Harry Wagner
CIHS Westchester Chair
UJA Young Leaders Third Generation Holocaust Survivors & Supporters Chair
Olivia Briffault and Josh Housman
CIHS Leadership Committee
Renee Preisler Barasch, Ruth Brause, Caryn Bukiet, Joel and Ulrika Citron, Robert de Rothschild, Camille Dunst, Sheri Feigen, Karen Friedman, Barbara and Oliver Goldstein, Bennett Golub, Alyssa Greenberg, Linda Jesselson, Barry Kaplan, Karen Kasner, Judy Kaufthal, Nancy Petschek Kohn, Jeane Kraines, Liz Lange, Sandy Lenger, Shelly Lipman, Gabriella Major, Arlene Mark, Patti Mayrock, Amy Goldberg Michel, Lori Moore, Barry Moss, Suzanne Peck, Joseph and Karen Rafalowicz, Denise Rosenberg, David Russekoff, Stacey Saiontz, Jodi Schwartz, Minna Seitelman, Jane Slotin, Judy Stern, Carol S. Weisman, Vivian Zelter, Gary Zimmerman