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American Society for Yad Vashem Presents Video Series ‘Lessons From Our Parents’

The American Society for Yad Vashem (ASYV), Yad Vashem’s U.S. affiliate, will host a three-part online video series entitled “Lessons From Our Parents—Conversations,” featuring entrepreneurs, philanthropists, builders and dreamers sharing their pride at being children of Holocaust survivors and highlighting the ways in which their parents’ experiences continue to profoundly impact their personal and professional lives. All conversations will be hosted by Lawrence Burian of New Rochelle, the son of Holocaust survivor Andrew Burian and Ruth (Allerhand) Burian.

Readers of The Jewish Link are invited to view the final session of the series, scheduled for Wednesday, October 28, at 6 p.m. by registering at https://www.yadvashemusa.org/events-posts/lessons-from-our-parents/. In that session, viewers will meet Lawrence S. Bacow, president, Harvard University. Bacow’s story is that of being the son of Jewish immigrants and living the American dream.

Daniel Lubetzky, KIND Snacks founder and executive chairman, was the first guest, on September 30. The second installment, held on October 14, featured both Leonard Wilf and Mark Wilf, real estate developers, owners of the Minnesota Vikings and noted philanthropists. These two programs are available for viewing at any time by using the link cited above.

With people sharing their excitement about the series on social media, “Lessons From Our Parents—Conversations” has been resonating with huge audiences worldwide and has been extremely effective in sharing ASYV’s message.

Lubetzky’s love and admiration for his father, Roman Lubetzky, is emotionally powerful. Roman was liberated by American soldiers from the Dachau concentration camp when he was 15 ½ years old. Going to Mexico with his own father, into a vastly different environment, Roman built a successful life for himself and his family, first in Mexico and then in the U.S. Daniel acknowledges the vicissitudes of life as he, at the same age of 15 ½, immigrated to the U.S. with his family, with great advantages and opportunities, eventually earning his law degree at Stanford University. Now a business leader, investor, social entrepreneur and judge on Shark Tank, Daniel has dedicated his life to building bridges between people and increasing the appreciation of our shared humanity. He aims to build a kinder and healthier world, “one act and one snack at a time.” He related his father’s lessons stressing the importance of building relationships, authenticity and dignity.

“My father taught me to be a mensch, even when people aren’t watching,” he shared. “In a place where there’s no humanity, strive to be human.”

Lawrence Burian, a member of YINR, is an executive at MSG Sports and MSG Networks, and an active, impassioned member of ASYV. His father’s extraordinary memoir of survival, “A Boy From Bustina: A Son. A Survivor. A Witness,” was published by Yad Vashem. In 1995, Lawrence was approached by a friend, also the child of a survivor, to help create the “Young Leadership Associates” of the organization.

He shared, “The founder of ASYV—a visionary named Eli Zborowski—was prescient in his decision to invest in young future leadership to ensure the perpetuation of the organization and its mission.” Burian continued, “We still cherish our first-generation members, including Eli Zborowski’s brother Marvin, who is still a member of our board, but we recognize the emergence of the second and third generation as torch bearers for the Holocaust survivor generation.”

Burian talks about the momentum within both Yad Vashem and ASYV as the leadership of both organizations transitions to the next generation. Clearly, the survivor generation is passing on its memories and its work to the second and third generations and to others interested in perpetuating the lessons of the Holocaust. As the parents in the online video series passed on their life lessons to their successful children, so, too, both Yad Vashem and ASYV are welcoming new and younger members into their organizations.

The transition was evident when, at its recent board meeting in September, ASYV announced its new leadership team of Mark Moskowitz and Adina Burian, both of whom were unanimously elected to serve as co-chairs, with terms beginning in 2021. Executive Director Stanley H. Stone commented, “Mark and Adina are two wonderful individuals who represent an important base of our organization, the next generation.” Moskowitz, a child of survivors, is a highly successful real estate developer both in the U.S. and Israel, a role-model philanthropist, and, as Lawrence Burian shared, “an extraordinarily kind human being.” Adina Burian, married to Lawrence, was born in St. Louis with virtually no personal Holocaust background, but has a lifelong passion for Holocaust education and remembrance. She is a perfect ambassador to a wider American audience. Mark and Adina will be replacing board chair Lenny Wilf, who will remain involved as chairman emeritus after nine years of service.

ASYV further announces its eagerly awaited upcoming ASYV virtual galas: “Resilience 2020”—which will be held in three locations, including New York, on November 8. Each lasting under one hour, the programs will feature celebrity cameos and will honor six outstanding individuals: Susanne Czuker, Holocaust survivor and founding benefactor of Yad Vashem and ASYV; retiring Yad Vashem professionals Avner Shalev and Shaya ben Yehuda; and three industry leaders, Nancy Powell, benefactor and advocate of Holocaust education and teacher training; Todd Morgan, chairman and CEO of Bel Air Investment Advisors and founder of The Morgan Aging With Dignity Fund; and Thomas M. Priselac, president and CEO of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. For additional information, please go to https://www.wizadjournal.com/asyv2020galas/ or contact Rachelle Grossman, event manager, at [email protected] or call 212-220-4304, ext. 206.

Yad Vashem’s ultimate goal is to continue to perpetuate the memory of the victims and the survivors of the Shoah. ASYV, in addition to supporting the ultimate mission of Holocaust remembrance, has an additional philanthropic goal as membership contributions are vital to the vibrancy of Yad Vashem. With continued Holocaust education, traveling exhibitions and events and programming for the next generation, ASYV is proud to have over 65,000 passionate supporters throughout the US.

Burian explained, “Our own Jewish post-Holocaust immigration stories can serve as a basis to inspire and connect with other population demographics. We also don’t want our Jewish youth to self-identify only as victims…but also with a generation of survivors, builders and heroes who had the strength and resilience to pick up the pieces and move forward and embrace and overcome the challenges of life with extraordinary success.”

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