Long Beach is home to the largest Cambodian population
in the U.S. Almost all of these neighbors are survivors of, or
children of survivors of, the Killing Fields genocide. There is a
new generation of children of survivors here, many growing up
without understanding of, or information about, what happened
to their elders. This community also suffers disproportionately
from depression, PTSD, chronic disease, and a number of other
An educational panel discussion hosted by the Social Action
Committee will be held at Temple Israel to assist the Cambodian
community deal with its horrific experiences related to the
infamous Pol Pot, his Khmer Rouge regime and the Killing
Fields beginning in 1975 will be held on Thursday, March 20
from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
The conversation between Long Beach Jews and Cambodians
will address the impact of past atrocities and genocide on
mental health, families and communities. Last year the Temple Isreal Social Action Committee initiated a Cambodian outreach effort with
the following goals:
1) share experiences and resources around
healing from genocidal experiences and their intergenerational
2) raise awareness of the continued tragedy of genocide
in our world, and
3) create bonds between neighbors-- Long Beach area Jews and Long Beach Cambodians.
The March 20 event will focus particularly on the health and
mental health status of Cambodian survivor families and what
can be done both personally and from a public policy standpoint
to support wellness. It is being hosted by the Temple Isreal Social Action and Joys of Jewish Learning Committees.
The event will feature a panel of speakers including:
• Judy Green, LCSW, who has worked with Long Beach
Cambodian refugees as a medical social worker, and is
trained to counsel children of Holocaust survivors. Her own
perspective as a child of a Holocaust survivor and her own
family’s experience of facing their difficult history informs her
outreach to our neighbors. She is on the faculty of CSULB
School of Social Work and is a 2014 Women of VISION
honoree. Judy is also a long-time Temple Israel member.
• Sara Pol Lim, MS, has been the Executive Director of
United Cambodian Community for seven years. As a youth
survivor of the Khmer Rouge killing fields, Ms. Pol-Lim
lost her father, three brothers, and many other relatives.
• Lian Cheun is the Executive Director of Khmer Girls (and
Guys) in Action (KGA)(www.kgalb.org
) She is a generation
1.5 refugee who lived for three years in a refugee camp in
Thailand before arriving in California. She works to develop
leadership among SouthEast Asian youth in Long Beach.