Thursday, May 19, 2022

The Middle school at Yavneh Academy had the great privilege of hosting a very special guest for Yom Hazikaron. Julius Stern was born in Germany in 1926. When the Nazi regime made life for Jews unbearable, Stern’s family emigrated to what was then the British Mandate of Palestine, where they settled in Bat Yam. Soon after Mr. Stern’s bar mitzvah, he joined the Haganah where he fought for the creation of a Jewish state. In 1948, he joined the IDF, where he served for three years.

Assistant MS Prinicpal Barbara Rubin began the program by asking the children to raise their hands if they have ever been to Israel. A large majority raised their hands. She explained that the State of Israel exists because a group of brave and determined people fought for its creation. She then introduced Mr. Stern, who shared his remarkable story and answered students’ thoughtful questions. He emphasized that this small ragtag group of fighters faced seven modern well-equipped armies, and was still victorious. He believes this is nothing less than a miracle. He also reminded the children that one and a half million Jewish children perished in the Shoah. It gives him great pleasure to share his story with yeshiva students.

Yavneh Academy is so grateful to Mr. Stern for allowing students to hear firsthand about the birth of the State of Israel. Yasher koach to Claire Hirschhorn, Mr. Stern’s stepdaughter, for arranging his visit to Yavneh. Hirschhorn assisted Mr. Stern in preparing his oral presentation as well as his slide deck which included photographs of his family in Germany, his Palestinian passport and his Haganah pictures.

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