April 14, 2024
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RKYHS Students Attend Annual Holocaust Remembrance Day Event in Newark

On Tuesday, May 2, a number of RKYHS students were privileged to go with Rabbi Richard Kirsch to Newark, New Jersey, for an inspirational program. Newark was having its 30th Annual Holocaust remembrance day, which was held in the Robert Treat Hotel. The theme for this year’s event was We Shall Overcome. The students knew this would be a big event, but over 400 people were there. While at the event, the students heard Mayor Ras J. Baraka of Newark speak, and what really stood out was when he said the words NEVER AGAIN. He meant not only saying the words, but also acting to make sure that it will NEVER happen again. Many students knew one of the speakers, Rabbi E. Samuel Klibanoff, father of Kushner student Racheli Klibanoff and spiritual leader of Congregation Etz Chaim in Livingston.

The most powerful and motivational speaker there was Michael Zeiger. Michael was born in Zborow, Poland, known as Ukraine today. At a young age, Michael and his family were saved by a man named Anton, known as the village fool. Michael and his family lived in a small bunker for over a year and a half with limited water and food. If not for Anton, Michael would not be telling his story today. Michael’s grandson was named Anton, as a thank you to the man who saved the Zeiger family.

The experience of that day was eye opening for the students. They didn’t realize that so many non-Jews cared about the pain, torture and inhuman suffering of the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. Zeiger said, “You are the future; my generation is gone but you can, and should, be the ones to retell the stories of what happened. The people who deny the fact that the Holocaust actually happened — let them think that, just remember the stories and retell them.”

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