April 15, 2024
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Jewish Pride and Faith Are Themes at JEC LS Yom HaShoah Event

The JEC lower school heard from RTMA’s Associate Principal of the middle school Rabbi Sharir Yablonsky, the grandson of a survivor, at its Yom HaShoah commemoration. He challenged students to try to envision what the loss of six million would have looked like.

It was a sobering presentation and the students were attentive, many sitting at the edges of their seats, some with tears in their eyes. His message culminated in an uplifting charge to celebrate our lives as Jews, as he unwrapped a silver kiddush cup that was salvaged by his grandmother from a secret hiding spot after the war. He said that he uses it just once a year, at the Pesach Seder, as he sings “Vehi She’amdah.” “As much as a reminder those words are for us,” he said, “we, as Rabbi Beer said earlier, must be Jewish and we must be proud of being Jewish. That is what my grandmother’s kiddush cup is all about.”

Students also heard from Mrs. Rochel Pollack, grandmother to JEC Lower School twin third graders Yosef Chaim and Ruthie Fleischer of Hillside, who also spoke of her harrowing ordeal during the war. Her message too, despite her deep loneliness during that period, was one of faith. “I always knew that Hashem was with me at all times,” she said.

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