UJA Reminds Us that We Too Are Witnesses

UJA Reminds Us that We Too Are Witnesses

It is with beaming pride (the converse of typical father to his son) for my dad and the tremendous honor bestowed upon him Tuesday evening at the UJA Federation of New York Witness Project.  This wonderful event was held at the Tilles Center on Long Island and centered around five amazing Holocaust Survivors  — Ellen Bottner, Livia Horowitz, Walter Kleinmann, Arnold Newfield, Paula Rieders — and the connection made with a collection of selfless, caring young adults who took interest in learning more about what took place during the Holocaust. It was special to see some of the young adults were non-Jewish, demonstrating that goodness is not confined to any one religion.

These young adults created artwork and other creative pieces, including an amazing musical performance. I am hopeful that their artistic endeavors, which included a video montage of the survivors’ stories and their interactions with these young, interested adults, will ensure that such atrocities are abhorred and remembered.  The undeniable rise in antisemitism in our country served to inspire the evening, and its goal is to inform a wider audience of this history.

My father is one of the youngest survivors of the Holocaust, having been born in one of the concentration camps in 1942, in the midst of horror.  Hearing the experiences of each of the survivors was gripping and each could have easily become its own movie script, with their tales of survival.  

I am grateful my father had this opportunity to share with others what I have learned from him. I am proud to be Jewish, and I continue to be inspired by my father and his life.

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