May 23, 2024
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May 23, 2024
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Yavneh Academy seventh and eighth graders were honored to hear Sunny Van Leeuwen Segal share her story of survival during the war. She was just a young
child yet she saved the lives of her parents and siblings. Mrs. Segal was born in England. Her family traveled to Holland when she was 6 weeks old. They were unable to leave Holland as the war had begun. Her English passport kept her immediate family alive. Hitler had a treaty with England that any natural citizen and family could remain alive. They were held as a bargaining tool, so Hitler could eventually get back the German prisoners held by the English. Sixty other family members did not survive.

Mrs. Segal shared the harsh realities of having no food to eat, no water to drink or bathe and clothing which was outgrown way too quickly. She and her brother ate paper to abate the hunger pangs. She stressed her emunah in Hashem to stay alive. Her parents’ belief was strong and kept them going from Europe to Canada, to Camp Moshava where she met her husband, and then to Detroit, Michigan. Mr. and Mrs. Segal moved to Monsey last year to be closer to their family. Thanks to Yavneh’s Rabbi Yehuda Segal for bringing his grandparents to Yavneh Academy. May the school be zoche to welcome them back in the years to come.

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