Sarah Birnbach: A Daughter’s Kaddish. My Year of Grief, Devotion, and Healing – Erinnerungen an einen Vater, der 1945 als amerikanischer Soldat nach Krefeld kam

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Date(s) - 16/05/2023
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Villa Merländer


Wir freuen uns, Sarah Birnbaum in der Villa Merländer begrüßen zu dürfen! Sie ist die Tochter eines der amerikanischen Soldaten, die im März 1945 in Krefeld den Nationalsozialismus beendeten und die Stadt besetzten. Ihre Erinnerungen an ihren Vater sind also eng mit der Stadtgeschichte verknüpft.
Die Veranstaltung findet auf Englisch statt, parallel wird während des Gesprächs auf deutsch zusammengefast und übersetzt – lassen Sie sich also nicht abschrecken! Der Eintritt ist frei, das Haus freut sich über Spenden. Um Voranmeldung unter wird gebeten.
A Daughter’s Kaddish (Wonderwell; September 2022) recounts Sarah Birnbach’s year-long odyssey to persevere through an unfamiliar world of Jewish prayer. To honor her beloved father, Sarah commits to reciting the Mourner’s Kaddish twice a day in synagogue for eleven months—a Jewish mourning ritual that was historically reserved for sons—despite her father’s initial request that she hire someone male to do so. A novice worshipper and single working mother, Sarah’s obstacles were many—including objections to her prayer practice because of her gender, her own daughter’s near-fatal car accident, an incident that tore her synagogue apart, and her mother’s dismissiveness.
Sarah incorporates these religious and spiritual practices into her already hectic 21st-century life while struggling with the heavy emotional distress of grief. As she travels the country for work, Sarah must find a synagogue where she can pray in each city and town she visits, a challenge that brings many surprises—and upsets. Throughout her year of devotion, Sarah takes comfort in the loving memories of her childhood while at the same time grappling with some very painful ones—ultimately discovering how the path of faith and grief can lead to true healing.
A Daughter’s Kaddish addresses the universal experience of grief, will resonate with the Jewish community, and will appeal to feminists.
Sarah Birnbach embarked on her encore career as a writer in 2015 after successful careers
as a human resource management consultant and a licensed clinical social worker. She
is a five-time award winner from the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition, a program
of the National League of American Pen Women. Her stories have been published in numerous magazines and professional journals as well as The Washington Jewish Week
and The Jerusalem Post. A third-generation Hadassah member and an active member of the Women’s National Book Association, she lives in Rockville, Maryland. Learn more at:

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