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Sun, Dec 03


Knollwood Place Apartments and on Zoom

Researching Shoah Family History

Meryl Frank, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and author of Unearthed, will share the story of her search for the fate of her cousin Franya Winter, once the leading light of Vilna's Yiddish theater.

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Researching Shoah Family History
Researching Shoah Family History

Time & Location

Dec 03, 2023, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM CST

Knollwood Place Apartments and on Zoom, 3630 Phillips Pkwy, St Louis Park, MN 55426, USA

About The Event

On Sunday, December 3 at 1 p.m. Central Time, the Minnesota Jewish Genealogical Society together with CHAIM (Children of Holocaust Survivors Association in Minnesota) will host Meryl Frank offering a talk, Researching Shoah Family History. She will speak of her search for the fate of Franya Winter, her cousin swallowed up in the Shoah. Franya was once the leading light of Vilna’s Yiddish theater, casting off the restrictions of her Hasidic family to play prostitutes, bellhops, lovers. and nuns. 

Meryl scoured the Internet, visited international archives, interviewed survivors and scholars, and slept in her ancestral home. In her book Unearthed, she conjures the rogue spirit of her cousin—her beauty and her tragedy. Her search reveals a lost world destroyed by hatred, illuminating the cultural haven of Vilna and its resistance during World War II.

Meryl Frank is an international champion of women’s leadership, human rights, and political participation. She provides expert advice to women on effective communication, campaigning, constituent relations, and good governance, as well as strategic planning for effective policymaking. She is also a frequent speaker on gender, health, environment, and refugee issues worldwide. Frank was appointed as the United States Representative, and subsequently, as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women by President Barack Obama in February 2009.


She has served in the leadership of many national and international organization’s governing boards, including the President of American Jewish Congress - Women’s Division, Jewish Women International (JWI), and Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom. She was appointed by President Biden to the US Holocaust Memorial Council in May 2022 and the Board of YIVO in September 2022.

The program will take place in person at Knollwood Place Apartments and also on-line via Zoom. Questions can be emailed to MNJGS at The program is free for MNJGS and CHAIM members, $5 for non-members. Payments can be made at

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