BBYO | AZA & BBG | International Convention | Summer

Connection

Finding Light In the Darkness

September 14, 2018

Rockville, Maryland, United States

This past summer, the International Kallah community experienced the Shabbat of a lifetime. Seven Holocaust survivors visited Perlman Camp to share their wisdom with the future of the Jewish community to teach us about the atrocities of the Holocaust and what it truly means to “Never Forget.”  

These survivors lived in a world of uncertainty for years. They told us stories about when they were in hiding and how afraid they were of being deported to the concentration camps. Something I learned that really stood out to me during the experience was that many survivors were helped by strangers, who risked their own lives to do the right thing. These brave individuals kept them safe and fed them for extended periods of time. One of the survivors, Bob Geminder, born in Poland, explained during his breakout session that his mother did everything she could to give his brother and him safety. She eventually sent them to live with a family in another part of Poland who agreed to keep the two of them safe. This part of all of their stories was extremely uplifting because it showed us that there was still light in this dark moment of history.

Holocaust survivors are extraordinary people. Their ability to continue to speak about—and relive—one of the most traumatic experiences any human can go through inspired us to make the world a better place and ensure that something like this will never happen to any human again.

I will never forget this experience and the stories, lessons, and wisdom that were passed down to me. I know that the entire International Kallah community will be committed to spreading this education and knowledge l’dor vador—from generation to generation. We will keep their memories alive and the story of the Holocaust will never be forgotten.

Jeremy Hasson is an Aleph from Northern Region East: DC Council and is an avid sports fan and photographer.

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