A call for artists, scholars, and community leaders who are grandchildren of Holocaust survivors

Are you interested in investigating how the legacy of the Holocaust influences your work, relationships, identity, and participation (or lack thereof) in Jewish life or community? Does your family’s experience inspire you to work for justice, especially now, and to resist growing nationalism in the US and worldwide?

Apply now to join us for an immersive retreat April 13-16 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Led by third-generation facilitator and writer Maia Ipp and Healing the Wounds of History founder Armand Volkas, we’ll use drama therapy and embodied exercises to access spontaneity in sharing our stories and uncovering the ways this legacy affects us. We’ll gather Thursday evening to meet, and spend Friday and half of Saturday working with Armand. For our remaining day and a half, we’ll draw on structured and facilitated peer leadership to harness our collective skills to specifically think about what it means to carry this legacy in this critical moment, and how we want to be a part of an organized resistance and/or build coalitions. We’ll share meals, Shabbat rituals, and have fun amidst the intensity of this work. Shared housing will be provided for those who need it, and some travel stipends will be available. Participants need to be in the Bay Area on Thursday evening, April 13, and stay until Sunday evening, April 16. Including lodging, meals, and program expenses, (but not travel,) our goal is to keep participant contribution to under $150.

We hope this retreat, intentionally timed to harness the spirit of Passover, will be the beginning of a strong and active network of progressive third-generation artists, scholars, and community leaders.

Applications accepted until March 7, 2017. Apply here



Maia Ipp decided to organize this retreat after feeling and hearing from others a sense of urgency to respond as Jews and descendants of survivors to this political moment. She called on her mentor Armand Volkas to be a lead facilitator, and asked a committee of collaborators to take part in planning and organizing. Because we’re trying to make the retreat happen as quickly as possible, some logistics aren’t yet ironed out. We encourage you to apply or contact us and we’ll have more information to share shortly.

Armand Volkas is a psychotherapist and Clinical Director of the Living Arts Counseling Center in Oakland, California, where he directs a training program for students, interns, and therapists who want to integrate drama therapy into their practice. He is a Board Certified Trainer in this discipline with the National Association for Drama Therapy. Armand is Associate Professor in the Counseling Psychology Program at California Institute of Integral Studies and Adjunct Professor at John F. Kennedy University. Armand founded and directs Healing the Wounds of History, a therapeutic approach in which theatre techniques are used to work with groups of participants from two cultures with a common legacy of violent conflict and historical trauma. Healing the Wounds of History has received international recognition for its work in bringing groups in conflict together: Germans and Jews; Palestinians and Israelis; Japanese, Chinese and Koreans; Armenians and Turks; African-Americans and European-Americans, to name a few. At the heart of Armand’s work is a profound respect for the power of personal story to build bridges between people and cultures.

Maia Ipp is a writer and educator. In 2010 she founded a group with other descendants of Holocaust survivors to critically and creatively explore how the experience of having survivor grandparents affected their identities, family dynamics, relationships, and spiritual lives. The group declared their intention “to make the unconscious conscious,” and over six years Maia co-led monthly group gatherings, annual retreats, and workshops for the wider community. This powerful engagement with history led Maia to wonder how her German counterparts were coping with their legacy, and in 2013 she began to dialogue with descendants of Nazi perpetrators through Healing the Wounds of History, an international project based in Oakland, California, where she trained as a facilitator with Director Armand Volkas. These experiences inspired Maia to found and lead the Borderlands Retreat in 2016, which brought together Jewish and non-Jewish artists in northeast Poland. Before starting a residency at the International Cultural Center in Krakow this fall, she was Associate Director of Creative Writing at San Francisco’s School of the Arts. She is currently weaving interviews, research, and her own experience of Holocaust legacy and dialogue initiatives into a hybrid non-fiction manuscript.


Our simple application can be completed here. Applications close March 7, 2017.

Applications will be processed as they come in, so feel encouraged to submit ASAP. Please note, a submitted application does not secure a spot for you in the retreat.

If you’d like to join our network, or for more information, contact us


Questions? Comments? Want to connect even if you can’t join the retreat? Write to us!