How You Help — Stories of Impact
Stephanie’s Story: Local Holocaust Survivor Teaches, But Needs Support: Guest Post by Sally & Marty Hiudt
“I just recently found out that I’ll just never walk unassisted again,” says Stephanie Marks. A vibrant, engaging personality, she greets visitors in slightly accented English. A handmade photo-collage propped on the couch, made by her granddaughter, celebrates her 90th birthday.
“I just recently found out that I’ll just never walk unassisted again.”
Sitting in a power wheelchair, Ms. Marks gently mocks her own lack of hostessing ability—she cannot reach the plates for lunch. Her new apartment is not yet configured to be accessible for her.
Her mobility issues are why she needs help — though often she is the one who helps.
A Holocaust survivor, Ms. Marks has helped over 11,000 students learn about the Holocaust through The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education (CHHE). Its executive director, Sarah Weiss, says, “Stephanie’s impact on the students she speaks to is extraordinary.”
“We picked 1939 for our last visit [to Poland], so we got caught. We were in hiding, we were running.
Stephanie Marks was born in Konin, Poland, and at five moved to Belgium. “We picked 1939 for our last visit [to Poland], so we got caught. We were in hiding, we were running.” They covered 7,000 miles, and—with much effort—some quite distant relatives in Cincinnati helped them come here.
Ms. Marks has been a member of the CHHE Speakers Bureau since 2000. She still speaks to students, though she needs to be driven to her talks. She calls it “a great experience.”
However, now Ms. Marks has pressing needs. Her two children live out of town. The Jewish Family Service Center for Holocaust Survivors has linked her to medical services, physical therapy, and additional help for her and her family. Ms. Marks says, grinning, about her care manager, “[Gail Ziegler] packed me up and got me to Cedar Village. And she knew names of doctors and she encouraged me to do physical therapy.”
“Whenever I needed anything, all I had to do was pick up the phone—and call Gail. And it was there for me.”
Ms. Marks is well taken care of these days, even as she learns to navigate the new apartment on wheels. She said, “Whenever I needed anything, all I had to do was pick up the phone — and call Gail. And it was there for me.”
The Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education and Jewish Family Service
are funded in part through the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.
The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati: We look at the whole picture, taking into account the diverse needs of the entire community and encouraging collaborations that help more people for less money. When we bring organizations and individuals together, big things happen—things that no one of us could do alone.