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“Together for Generations”– Remembering the Holocaust by caring for its survivors

Dror Israel partnered with the City of Jerusalem on Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) this year to launch Together for Generations – an innovative new project to nurture community remembrance by connecting volunteers with individual survivors in their neighborhood.

Each volunteer connected with a survivor in their neighborhood, visiting with them during the nationally observed minute of silence at 10 a.m. Each survivor received a house plant as a small gift and shared their stories with their visitors and stood together as the siren rang across the country. This small act of respect and appreciation was well received by the survivors, who were able to feel cared for and thought about in spite of the national ban on public memorial ceremonies.

I specifically brought to my neighbors Nissim and Raisa. Both spoke exclusively in Russian but their son was with them to translate. Nissim was so excited we were there he kept approaching to greet us only to have Raisa hold him back and remind him that we weren’t coming in for a reason. Their son sheepishly apologized for not having us in but he is trying to protect them. We said we of course understood and not to feel bad. We were told not to come in anyways. We finished and walked home feeling lighter- I feeling I wasn’t expecting to feel on Holocaust Remembrance Day. Nissim and Raisa were just so happy to see us and to get their plant- their joy was contagious.

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