Today would have been the 84th birthday of Anne Frank. Fitting that I am planning for my next journey. I will be participating , along with 20 other New Jersey educators on a trip with Holocaust survivor, Maude Dahme (Hidden Child) to Germany, Czech Republic, Poland and Holland- retracing her life in hiding and visiting authentic sites. This will be my second journey to many of the places in Poland , but will be equally poignant, educational, and inspiring as I know much more than I did three years ago ( Vladka Mead trip) and still have much more to learn.
In addition I will be attending a program with the ADL/ Echoes and Reflections program in NYC .
Please follow me once again and I continue my journey, and my passion to educatehttp://www.nj.com/warrenreporter/index.ssf/2011/05/holocaust_survivor_maud_dahme.html myself and others about the horrors of the Holocaust and Genocide
Friday, July 27, 2012
My bag is packed and I have said most of my goodbyes. I shared a lovely erev Shabbat dinner with my cousins Zev and Zippora. The olympics will begin here in a few hours, and fitting it seems that this part of my journey will close with the coming of a solemn day in the Jewish calendar Tisha B Av. A day that commemorates many tragic events that occurred on this day: the destruction of the temple by the Babylonians and the Romans, as well as the day Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492. A bit of trivia is that the "Medussa" or jelly fish that plague the waters in the Mediterranean this time of year always disappear on Tisha B Av! I saw them in Tel Aviv weeks ago and today on the beach in Ashdod- not one!
I will be spending some time reflecting on this amazing trip and will post again.. I always struggle after these programs to assimilate back into my life and then realize my life does change with the new knowledge, the new friends and the scope of what more I hope to achieve. I have learned that the obstacles I face both personally and professionally is what fuels the flames that burn inside of me. There are things worth fighting for and things more important than the ABC's
Shabbat Shalom, Kol Ha Kavod
שבת שלום, אני עוזב את הלב שלי בירושלים, התקווה שלי לבוא לכאן שוב. שלום,
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Went to a Moshav, Bet Oved, where
July 24, I spent a lovely morning at the beach- a 15 minute walk from my cousin in Ashdod. The water was about 75 degrees! Yesterday We went to visit "Shiphrah" she has the same name as my mother. Her mother and my grandmother were cousins. Shiphrah is 88 years old and was born in the Ukraine. In 1941 all the Jews in her town were placed in a ghetto. Her father was sent to a labor camp and survived the war. She was in the ghetto with her 35 yr old mother and her 7 yr old brother. She recalled how she wore the yellow star and no longer went to school. One day several of her girlfriends from school (non Jews) came to see her and asked why she has not been in school.They insisted on taking her with them and removed her Yellow Star. She had blue eyes and blonde hair and did not look like a stereotypical Jewish girl. These girls may have known from their parents that a pogrom was to take place in the ghetto the following night. As a result, when Shiphrah returned home her mother and brother had been shot. She hid in the attic and heard a woman screaming as she was being killed. Shiphrah was 12. She was frightened, hungry and alone and thought the only way out was suicide. She tried but did not succeed. Her neighbor came to the house and found her alive after a dog found her and actually helped led her to the neighbor. The Nazis saw the neighbor and the neighbor said that all the inhabitants of the house, including Shiphrah(who they were looking for) were killed and this little girl was his relative.The Nazi's believed him and said they would send her to a farm to work( They often sent Russians to work in Germany) where she would be safe. She was sent to Germany and lived as a Christian until the end of the war. The neighbor, who helped her told her never to say she was Jewish and gave her a ham to bring with her to the family that took her in. She survived the war.