On April 30, teens from Temple Emanu-El in Closter hosted two Holocaust survivors during their religious school classes. Alice Blass, care manager-Holocaust survivor services at Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Northern NJ, initially spoke with the seventh graders to help them understand what happened during the Holocaust and to provide them guidance for speaking to seniors who are in their late 80s and 90s. Adam Schwartzbard, head of the religious school at Temple Emanu-El, also had the students prepare thoughtful questions to ask the survivors.
With the help of Alice and Adam, the teens met with Peter Adler (88), whom they learned was from Germany, and Sally Whitmore (90), from Poland, and asked them probing questions about their lives before, during and after the Holocaust. Among other details, the teens were interested to know what kept them going during that terrible time and if they are still angry about what happened to them and their families. Adam commented, “It was an impactful evening, and we hope that in 60 years, these teens tell their grandchildren about the time they met and interviewed Holocaust survivors.”