What People Say About the Book

Praise for Among the Remnants

A story of faith, hope, family and inspiration….of a little boy whose childhood was stolen, who went on to become one of America’s greatest leaders and teachers in the field of Senior Care… who now is dedicated to telling his story to young people.

Steven Baral Vice President, Holocaust Center for Humanity, Seattle Executive Board Member, American Society for Yad Vashem

This warmly personal memoir is an encounter with a fortunate Jew, who embodies in his personal life the continuity with the rich Jewish traditions of menschlichkeit and edelkeit.

Gortler’s most vivid account of the Displaced Person’s life from June 1945 to June 1951 is rich with the insights of a future social worker and keen observer of human foibles. This is an important story that is just beginning to be told.

Among the Remnants is a moving reminder of suffering but also an affirmation of life’s lessons viewed through a learned and soulful man.
This a book that every young social worker, rabbi, or aspiring organizer needs to read.

Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, Chaplain, Skirball Hospice, Encino CA Executive Director, Friends of Jewish Renewal in Poland

Josh Gortler explains how he developed Kline Galland Center into one of the nation’s premier Jewish adult services agencies. But the book offers far more: a story of surviving the Holocaust, the five years in DP camps in Germany that influenced the man he would become, and coming to America. Josh tells his story with grace and intelligence in his own distinctive voice.

Howard Droker, Historian, Co-author of Family of Strangers: Building a Jewish Community in Washington State

This book makes it clear that one can dwell on one’s misery, or use the experience to become a better person and speak for understanding and tolerance. From beginning to end, I was on a journey with Josh, and I was unable to put the book down.

Petra Heussner-Walker, Honorary Consul, emerita, of the Federal Republic of Germany Director of the Seattle Eric M. Warburg Chapter, American Council on Germany

This autobiography represents an invaluable addition to the literature of those “remnants” of World War II Europe who spent their youth and early adolescence on the run, in war-torn Europe. [Josh’s] rise from refugee to one of American health care’s most respected and honored executives offers countless life lessons.

Seth B. Goldsmith, Professor Emeritus of Health Policy and Management University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Author of The Rabbi of Resurrection Bay

This memoir is engaging and insightful and teaches both world history and Seattle Jewish history. With a pioneering spirit, Josh takes us through his personal timeline, narrating us on his life’s journey and giving us a sense of the endless tools he used for his own survival and education to become one of the most compassionate and effective leaders that Jewish Washington has ever seen.

Lisa Kranseler, Executive Director, Washington State Jewish Historical Society

Engagingly written with humor, insight and erudition. A truly enjoyable read. From DP camp scamp to a community builder, pillar and mentor. Josh’s description of becoming a mentsh as a Displaced Person was especially rare and very moving. The footnotes are excellent.

Elliott Palevsky, CEO Emeritus, River Garden Senior Services, Jacksonville FL Scholar of Yiddish Language and Literature

For almost 20 years, not really knowing why, I have drawn on the courage, compassion and strength of my friend Josh. After reading his book I now understand that I was drawing from the love, resilience and appreciation of life. This book has humbled me beyond words to be called his friend and honored to witness the sharing of his journey for generations to come.

Eric Pettigrew, Representative, 37th Legislative District (Seattle), Washington State Legislature

Josh takes us on a journey that crosses borders and continents where we experience the best and the worst of humanity. His story depicts the consequences of a world filled with hate and one man’s indomitable will to better himself. A stunning example of the difference one man can make.

Dee Simon, Executive Director, Holocaust Center for Humanity, Seattle

Josh Gortler’s memoir Among the Remnants, co-authored with the skillful Gigi Yellen, illuminates one individual’s experiences within the brutal swath of 20th century history. From Josh’s childhood trauma during the Holocaust, the reinvigorating of a Jewish life and spirit in displaced persons camps, to his incredible journey through a career of service to others, Among the Remnants presents enduring lessons in resilience, humor, faith, and compassion.

Julia Thompson, Education Resource Coordinator,Holocaust Center for Humanity, Seattle

 ©Joshua H Gortler