DAY 1404: Never Forget, Time to Support our Survivors

May 4, 2016
By bethmordecai
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DAY 1404: Never Forget, Time to Support our Survivors

Reflection on the beginning of Yom Hashoa, Holocaust Remembrance Day, beginning tonight with a program at the JCC at 7:30 pm…

Dear Hevreh,

Some of you may have already seen the email shared with our community, or the article I wrote in the New Jersey Jewish News on the subject, but right now there is a great need in our larger Jewish community to support our Holocaust survivors. Yes, we need to help our survivors because their stories are invaluable, their presence is precious, and their sacrifice is too great to articulate. But even more so, we need to help them because they have done so much to help us.

Earlier this November, during one of our parlour meetups, we shared stories behind some of the key pieces of Judaica our family has passed down to us. So many of these stories, especially from our hosts Fran and Joel Ryzoff, contained some connection to the Holocaust — a prayer book that survived, some candlesticks that were rescued. These mementos connected us to lost generations and to the stories of perseverance and survival that lie at the core of our Jewish identity. And even if we don’t have mementos from our family who survived, we have their stories.

For instance, one of my great grandmothers on my mother’s side was the only member of her extended family to survive because she was sent to live in America before the war. And why was she sent to America? Because, as I’ve been told, she was a rebel – no one in her family could handle her. So because of her rebellious spirit, I’m alive here today. We all have stories like these, and it is our duty to the people who survived to pass on their stories to make sure that the stories of their brothers and sisters who are still with us can continue to tell theirs.

So on this Yom Hashoa Holocaust Remembrance Day which begins tonight, let us re-commit to Never Forget the tragic and redemptive stories of our own families by never forgetting those who are still us to shaire theirs.

See you tonight at 7:30 pm at the JCC and if you are capable, please consider contributing to our larger community’s Yom Hashoa fundraising drive.

Kol Tuv,

Rabbi Ari Saks



Rabbi Ari Y Saks (@Ari_Saks)

Congregation Beth Mordecai:  A Jewish Home for the Soul

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Perth Amboy, NJ 08861


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