On page 48 of the recent Jewish Link publication an article was written about the Chanukah celebration (“Jewish Leaders Attend VP Harris Chanukah Party” (December 22, 2022), the first of its kind at VP Kamala Harris’ official residence in Washington, DC. Pictures of VP Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, rabbinic leaders, a respected judge and a mincha service were all prominently depicted in the article.
I want to bring to your attention the unnamed Holocaust survivor who recited the first bracha and lit the menorah. He is depicted in the picture with the VP couple. His name is Allan Firestone. He is our Uncle Al. His story and experiences are like many Holocaust survivors and is documented through testimony given and archived at the U.S. Holocaust Museum. To this day he volunteers at the museum and speaks to many groups, including students and visitors who learn about the tragedies that befell the Jews from someone who was not only an an eyewitness, but experienced it firsthand.
He is not just a “Holocaust survivor,” but someone with a name, a history and a family who love him very much. Much of which is documented has come to light in recent years as he has as many others believed it was necessary to give testimony and educate the world. He has a name, and his presence at the Chanukah celebration was a highlight for him, our family and for all the dignitaries in attendance and the readership. He was born Abraham Wiznitzer on January 31, 1933, in Kolmyja, Poland. We hope to be celebrating his 90th birthday with God’s help. He suffered a stroke the sixth day of Chanukah. Please wish Avraham b’ Clara a refuah sheleima.
His story is one to tell and learn from, as the readers can access his story at www.ushmm.org.Steven Winchester