Discover the transformative art of crafting legacy letters in this heartfelt and introspective class guided by Merle R. Saferstein, former director of educational outreach at the Holocaust Documentation & Education Center. Whether commemorating special occasions or weaving life lessons and blessings for future generations, together we will explore the profound significance of legacy letters. Through expert guidance, self-reflection, and a supportive community, we will cultivate our unique voices, capturing special feelings and cherished wisdom in a beautifully written letter. This process will become a gift of personal growth not only for ourselves, but also a timeless treasure for recipients, fostering connection and leaving an enduring mark of love and authenticity.
Our Guest Speaker: Merle R. Safterstein
As the director of educational outreach at the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center for twenty-six years, Merle Saferstein worked closely with hundreds of Holocaust survivors helping them to pass along their Legacy of Remembrance to hundreds of thousands of students and teachers. When she retired from the Holocaust Center, she developed a course entitled Living and Leaving Your Legacy® and teaches and speaks to audiences locally, nationally, and internationally.
She trains hospice staffs and volunteers showing them ways to help patients leave their legacies and works closely with the patients at the end of their lives doing sacred legacy work. For many years, she has volunteered at a camp for children who experienced the death of a family member—helping them gain important tools to cope with their grief and also conducts an all-day parent session at these camps. Merle facilitates a writing for wellness group at Gilda’s Club for women who have been impacted by cancer. She is also currently involved in Wisdom of the Century, a project that interviews individuals ninety years old and older.
Merle has been facilitating a weekly journaling circle since April 2020 at the start of Covid. For fourteen years, she culled through her 359 journals taking excerpts according to approximately seventy topics. In June 2022, Living and Leaving My Legacy, Vol. 1, a book containing eleven of these topics, was released. The second volume will be published in June 2023.
Merle is a council member of the International Association for Journal Writing, is the author of Room 732, a short story collection which pays homage to the historic Hollywood Beach Hotel and a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree, and is a contributor to the Huffington Post, Medium, Authority Magazine, Women Writers, Women’s Books, and Thrive Global. Her chapter on legacy journaling appears in The Great Book of Journaling: How Journal Writing Can Support a Life of Wellness, Creativity, Meaning and Purpose.