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Descendants of Rajgród – Learning To Forgive

May 2, 2021 @ 10:15 AM 11:30 AM

Karen Kaplan, author and international speaker, will speak on the topic of her book, Descendants of Rajgrod-Learning to Forgive.  Karen Kaplan tells the story of her father, Arie Kaplan, who after surviving the Holocaust in the forests of Eastern Europe, limped through the rest of his life by lying, cheating, abusing his family and never letting go of his rage. Many years later, her father is on his deathbed and Karen is an unhappy single mother who realizes that she is consumed with a similar feeling of rage. She begins keeping a journal, and in the course of writing about her father, starts to understand that she has inherited his ‘survivor mentality’ and is at risk of losing sight of ever being content. In sharing her story, Karen Kaplan struggles to do the most challenging thing she’s ever done; forgive her father, and let go of the legacy of bitterness and fear that has hovered over the Jewish community following centuries of anti-Semitism.

Karen Kaplan was born and raised in West Rogers Park, a Jewish neighborhood on the north side of Chicago. She received her B.A. from the University of Illinois in Chicago in Nutrition and Medical Dietetics. She also trained at The Claret Center of Hyde Park, IL, as a Spiritual Director.  Karen maintained a private practice and lectured for many years throughout the Chicago area on general health, weight loss and spirituality.  After her father died, she began journaling memoires (both bitter and sweet) that turned into a memoir of conquering the deep-seated fear and all-consuming hatred she felt towards him.  Karen has been featured on WGN-TV Chicago morning news, Bialystok, Poland TV news, WIND Radio, Mental Health News Radio and cable shows. Articles of her book have been published in the Yiddish Forward, Chicago Jewish News:cover story, Sun Times Skokie Review, Sun-Times Deerfield Review and suburban Patch: on- line news.