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The entrance sign to Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Tova's hometown

Who Is Tova Friedman?

Tova's Story

Tova Friedman was born on September 7th, 1938 in Gdynia, Poland, a suburb of Danzig. Her family came from Tomaszow Mazowiecki, a small town near Lodz, Poland, and returned there as soon as the war broke out. Tova is among the youngest people to survive the Nazi Holocaust, and one of the few Jewish children to have lived through the nightmare ordeals of Auschwitz. She was one of 5,000 Jewish children living in Tomaszow Mazowiecki before World War II,  and at the end of the war, one of only five children from that town that survived. More than 150 members of Tova’s family were murdered.


After spending several years in a German sanatorium for tuberculosis and DP camps, Tova and her parents arrived in the USA when she was 12 years old. They lived in Brooklyn where she met and married her husband of 60 years, Maier Friedman (recently deceased). She received her Bachelors of Arts degree in psychology from Brooklyn College and a Master of Arts in Black literature from City College of New York. Together they immigrated to Israel and lived there for over ten years where she taught at the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem. After returning to the US, she earned her Master of Arts in social work from Rutgers University and became the Director of Jewish Family Service of Somerset and Warren Counties for over 20 years and still works there as a therapist. Tova has 4 children and 8 grandchildren. Tova continues to share her story with students and audiences at public and private schools, at colleges and places of worship, and all over the country. 

The apartment where Tova lived with her parents and 20 other people in Tomaszaw ghetto

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