The Yom HaShoah program at the Young Israel of Beverly Hills was a remarkable and moving event. Approximately 80 students from 6 local schools – Emek, YULA Boys, YULA Girls, Harkham Hillel, Valley Torah Boys, and Maimonides – 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. Then the students heard the detailed and harrowing personal stories from two of the survivors: Helen Fixler, and Hedy Orden (pictured) in addresses that moved all to tears.
The event began with a personal video message for our community, and for the event, from Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.
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 for them and for the students.
One of the students, Chana Shemghatan of Emek, also spoke about her reflections on the Holocaust and on Yom HaShoah.