Friday, April 13, 2018

To Remember and Not to Forget

יום השואה
לזכור ולא לשכוח

Yesterday my "senior citizens class" and I joined the other students in Ulpanat Ofra, the Ofra Girls High School in commemorating/remembering the Holocaust.

There were two parts to the memorial. First they divided the student body into a few smaller groups in large seminar rooms to hear personal Holocaust stories. As the Holocaust gets further away in time, there are fewer and fewer survivors left alive who can tell their stories. The woman who spoke to us is one of the youngest survivors. She was born in Holland during World War Two, and her parents took quite a bit of convincing to pass their newborn baby to a total stranger, someone in the underground who had volunteered to care for her.

The miracles continued in that not only did she survive and thrive, but both parents also survived, and the woman who had cared for her willingly returned her to them. Post-war Dutch Laws made it very difficult for Jewish families to reclaim their children who had been cared for by non-Jews. The woman and those who helped her parents survive have remained in contact to this day.

After that moving and amazing story, we all crowded into the auditorium for a much longer and varied program. It included standing for the siren, prayers, readings, dance and more. I must say that the students were quiet and attentive throughout the event. Here in Israel, it doesn't matter what your family history, it's clear that the message is relevant to all.

No comments: