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Capture & Share Remembrances with the Memoir Group

M. Lawson & C. Backman on Friday, January 7, 2022

The Memoir Group at the Pozez JCC is a haven for memory keepers, who preserve their remembrances by writing, editing, and sharing our stories and poems with one another. Some members have been with the group for years and others join when the time is right: often coinciding with career retirement, the passing of a loved one, and/or realizing that there is no better time than now to record your life’s journey for yourself and your family.

For 10 years the group has been led by Carol Backman, who provides encouragement and prompts to stimulate story ideas. Although the prompts are not mandatory, they have been inspirational, particularly as related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The prompt of “How Corona Virus Changed Your Everyday Life and How You Have Been Coping with It” facilitated the group’s development of stories and poems, some of which are posted to the J's website.  The group also has produced two booklets of stories and poems, and the third booklet will include many of these COVID-19-inspired works. Marcia Lawson recently joined Carol as the Co-Leader.

During the monthly meetings, members share stories that are personal, filled with exquisite details, and often offer a humorous and heartfelt perspective. The writers frequently focus on their love of family and craft special tributes to their mothers, fathers, and siblings as well as mentors, and friends who were influential in shaping their sensibilities and outlook on life’s blessings and challenges. Prompts such as “Write a Story about a Friend or Family Member Who Shares a Special Memory with You,” “Write About Something You Love to Do,” and “My Best New Year’s Resolution” have led to writing poignant stories centered on joy, strength, and/or resilience.

Everyone is welcome to participate in this friendly group. There is ample time to share stories and comments are encouraged that offer praise and suggestions for refinements to enhance the stories and poems. Many members have expressed their appreciation for the group interactions that have helped them to improve their writing skills. These exchanges have fostered a sense of closeness among the Memoir Group writers. This support drew the members together over Zoom during the darkest days of the pandemic, and when meetings resume in-person around a table at the JCC, it will be more than a simple return to normal—it will be a face-to-face meeting of friends.

The Memoir Writing Group meets on the second Monday of each month. For more information about this group, please contact Shari Berman shari.berman@thej.org or Marcia Lawson marciaglaw@aol.com

On December 23, 2021, Washington Jewish Week wrote an article, "The Mystery behind Memoir-Writing" which featured several members of our memoir writing group. Click here to read the article: The mystery behind memoir-writing - Washington Jewish Week 

 

 

 

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