American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants
The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants is the foremost umbrella organization of survivors located in North America with a mission to advocate for survivors and to advance and encourage Holocaust remembrance, education and commemoration. It is located in New York City and its chief officers are Sam E. Bloch (President), Roman Kent (Chairman) and Max Liebmann (Senior Vice President).
There is also an executive committee and a national council listed on the group's website at amgathering.org
As part of its mission, the American Gathering maintains a number of ongoing projects:
Conference on Jewish material claims against Germany
The American Gathering is a key member of the Board of Directors. With the present negotiating committee composed solely of survivors and chaired by the American Gathering's chairman Roman Kent, hundreds of millions of additional dollars are coming from Germany to better provide for current health care and assistance to survivors in desperate need.
Meed Registry of Jewish Holocaust survivors
Established in 1981 to document the names of survivors who came to the Americas after World War II, the Registry, the only one of its kind, was moved in 1993 to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). Along with the Museum, the American Gathering continues to manage the database and to seek new registrants via its quarterly newspaper Together and its website, amgathering.org among other venues. As a result of the American Gathering's efforts, the Registry now includes over 200,000 records related to survivors and their families and is a resource for Holocaust historians and scholars, as well as families looking for lost relatives.
Summer seminar program on Holocaust and Jewish resistance
Initiated in 1984 by Vladka Meed and jointly administered by the American Gathering and the USHMM, this program takes middle school and high school teachers, both Jewish and non-Jewish alike, on trips to Holocaust sites in Poland and to Israel. Participating scholars come from Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, the Study Center at Kibbutz Lohamei HaGeta'ot, and the USHMM in Washington, D.C. A biannual Alumni Conference of the program's participants further reinforces its goals to foster remembrance and toleration.
Founded in 1985, Together is the official publication of the American Gathering. With a circulation of approximately 85,000, it reflects the collective voice of survivors, the second and third generations, and includes news, opinions, information on education, commemorations, events, book reviews, announcements, searches, and articles on history and personal remembrance. Contributors include professional writers, poets, thinkers, historians and Holocaust scholars.
The Gathering is a member of other organizations such as the World Jewish Congress, the World Jewish Restitution Organization, the JCRC and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. In that capacity, its mission is to use its moral authority to influence issues of importance to the survivor community and to the world Jewish community.
The American Gathering actively assists survivors on a daily basis. Whether it is through sitting on the Claims Conference, Self-Help Boards, manning an office to offer information, applications for assistance or interfacing with other related agencies on behalf of survivors, the American Gathering does its utmost to ensure that survivor issues are addressed.
National Holocaust commemorations and memorials
The collective and individual initiatives of the American Gathering leadership has fostered Holocaust commemoration, remembrance events and the establishment of Holocaust memorials in many communities throughout the United States and in almost every State House in the Union. While the American Gathering continues to sponsor its own annual commemoration program with the Museum of Jewish Heritage and WAGRO, it has been instrumental in the creation of the ongoing Holocaust programs at both the United Nations and the U.S. Congress.
- amgathering.org - official site