Judith and Mark Tykocinski hosted a parlor meeting in their home, in support of the Transcending Trauma Project. As a child of Holocaust survivors, Mark expressed a deep awareness of how his family’s experiences have impacted his life, identity, and sensitivity to the challenge and meaning of rebuilding a new life after the horrors and losses of the war. He spoke movingly about his experience as a child of survivors and what he learned from how his family faced death with humanity and compassion. Judith, strongly connected to Mark’s family, graciously offered their home to pay tribute to Mark’s legacy. The program informed the attendees about the work of TTP. The TTP findings reveal how survivors were able to cope, after their extreme trauma and how their experiences affected their children and grandchildren.
Mark kept a comprehensive library in his home – with books about the Holocaust filling his shelves. It was not until he read TTP’s book on its research and findings, Transcending Trauma: Survival, Resilience, and Clinical Implications in Survivor Families that he found a description of survivor families that reflected his experiences. He explained to the audience that he had an epiphany while reading the book. The book gave life to his experience as a child of Holocaust survivors by reflecting his experience as a living witness to the remarkable resilience of the human spirit.
After Mark’s presentation, his daughter Elana Tykocinski Podolyako also spoke to the audience. As a grandchild of survivors, Elana spoke poignantly about the impact of her grandparents’ experiences on her life. She spoke of her Holocaust identity and the mix of feelings that characterize the reality of being a member of the third generation.
Mark Tykocinski serves as the Provost of Thomas Jefferson University and Dean of its Sidney Kimmel Medical College, in Philadelphia. He previously served for a decade as chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. As a molecular and cellular immunologist, Mark, who earned his BA degree in biology from Yale University and his MD degree from New York University, has pioneered protein pharmaceuticals for the treatment of cancer and autoimmunity. In 2007 he founded an Israeli biotechnology Company, KAHRMedical, to develop his novel fusion protein pharmaceuticals.
Elana Tykocinski Podolyako is a management consultant at McKinsey & Company in New York City. She advises pharmaceutical companies on corporate strategic direction and business development opportunities. Elana came to consulting after receiving an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine and a B.A. in Molecular Biology and English Literature from Harvard University.