Los Angeles Jewish Students Participate with Memorable Events
HARKHAM HILLEL HEBREW ACADEMY CREATES MEMORABLE STUDENT EVENTS
At Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy, Holocaust Remembrance day was marked with a Yom Hashoah student-led assembly for the Middle School students and parents on the topic of “Building for a Future.” The students focused on the connection between pre-Holocaust life and how current life has revived post destruction.
Mr. Yoni Zadok a Hillel alumnus, presented a video interview of his 98- year old grandmother, a Holocaust Survivor. She described her wedding and how she raised her family after surviving the atrocities. Zadok said that the school choirs’ singing of Hatikva sent chills down his spine as he felt the hopes and dreams of the next generation and knew that Jews will always prevail.
The Middle School Students lit six memorial candles in memory of those who died al kiddush Hashem, and then everyone stood for a moment of silence while listening and watching the sirens blast in Israel in commemoration of the Shoah victims. The ceremony ended with a moving communal singing of Ani Ma’amin.
On Wednesday evening the Hillel choir led by Cantor Arik Wolheim and Katherine Simon sang Chana Szenes’ “E-li E-li,” and a rendition of “Shema Yisrael.” “There was not a dry eye in the house as these songs were led by the Hillel students,” said Rabbi Robbie Tombosky, Director of Advancement at Hillel and a member of the audience at the event. Rabbi Adir Posy, Associate Rabbi at Beth Jacob Congregation added, “Seeing Jewish children singing the words Shema Yisrael so sweetly and with such pride, is truly the ultimate victory over Hitler ym”s.”
OHR ELIYAHU ACADEMY SCREENS MEANINGFUL VIDEO
On Yom HaShoah, students at Ohr Eliyahu were shown the video V’nikdashti from the B’derachav program of the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation. Rabbi Shlomo Goldberg, the Menahel, spoke to the boys and also to the girls. In addition, the school runs an ongoing Holocaust education program for the 8th graders.
VALLEY TORAH GIRLS MEET HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR
In honor of Yom HaShoah, the Valley Torah girls were privileged to hear from Dorothy Greenstein (Devorah Kirszenbaum), a Holocaust survivor. Although the Germans and their collaborators murdered 1.5 million Jewish children during the Holocaust, Devorah was one of the few to survive. She is a volunteer speaker at the Museum of Tolerance and has shared her story with countless individuals, Jews and non-Jews alike.
The students were spellbound by her story of suffering and resilience. Mrs. Greenstein spoke about her tumultuous experience as a young girl fleeing and hiding from the Nazis in war torn Poland. They learned about the hardships and difficulties endured by her family and many others, and the incredible story of how she ultimately survived. The girls absorbed her poignant story and were honored to have heard it first-hand. It was a powerful way to participate in the remembrance of the Holocaust.
EMEK HEBREW ACADEMY VISITS THE MUSEUM OF TOLERANCE
The 8th grade boys and girls at Emek have been visiting the Museum of Tolerance over the last weeks. The museum offers an exhaustive education of the Holocaust and the various exhibits focused the students on different aspects of the tragedy. The students met a holocaust survivor and docent, Mrs. Gloria Unger, who spoke with the girls about her experiences in the holocaust, and had her picture taken with them. The new Ann Franks exhibit was an emotional part of the museum as the students related to the trials and tribulations of the Frank family as they hid in the annex.
Mrs. Gloria Unger visited Maimonedes Academy and spoke with students as part of the 70 days for 70 years program.
BEVERLY HILLS SYNAGOGUE HOSTS SPECIAL EVENT for MAIMONIDES, VALLEY TORAH BOYS, HARKHAM HILLEL, YULA BOYS, YULA GIRLS AND EMEK STUDENTS
Last Thursday, Rabbi Pinner’s Beverly Hills Synagogue held an event in the shul to commemorate Yom HaShoah. It was a remarkable and moving event with approximately 80 students attending from six local schools: Emek, YULA Boys, YULA Girls, Harkham Hillel, Valley Torah Boys, and Maimonides. The kids had the opportunity of meeting and hearing personal testimonies from ten concentration camp survivors. Before the formal program began, the survivors mingled with the students and chatted with them. The event began with a personal video message for our community, and for the event, from Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. Then the students heard the detailed and harrowing personal stories from two of the survivors, Mrs. Helen Fixler, and Mrs. Hedy Orden, in addresses that moved everyone to tears.
Each student who came received a ‘70 Days for 70 Years’ book, and committed to study the 70 essays in the book each day for 70 days, in memory of the named Holocaust victim on the card insert in their book. More than 20 of those cards contained names of relatives of our members who perished in the death camps. Some of the students even had the privilege of meeting the children of the victims in whose memory they will be studying those essays, which was so meaningful.
With profound thanks to Benjamin Thompson, who labored so hard on the day itself to ensure that the event was without a hitch, and since that time has worked diligently to produce a youtube video record, so that a much wider audience can benefit from these testimonies. You can see the video here http://youtu.be/vr_BUo9sLLw