History made personal

SDJA honors Holocaust survivors

A staggering 1.5 million of them were children.

They were slaughtered in the Holocaust. Every year during the Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony, San Diego Jewish Academy fifth-graders retell some of those children’s stories.

Students read from Holocaust children’s diaries as faces flash on the screen behind them. They were children, forced to live in ghettos, not allowed to go to school, ripped from their parents’ arms and sent to live in concentration camps. They never had a real childhood.

The students read and sang songs that told of a nightmare filled with starvation, exhaustion, torture and horrible loss.

Every year the ceremony leaves the audience speechless, survivor Gussie Zaks said.

“There’s no words to describe the emotion we feel inside,” Debbie Kornberg, SDJA director of Judaic studies, said. “But look into our eyes and you know what it means to us.”

In fifth grader Janette Gaizman’s eyes there were tears, as she stood on the stage barely able to get through the last songs.

The children’s participation makes it very special for the survivors. Zaks said it’s wonderful to arrive at the school campus and see children lined up on the sidewalk to welcome them.
Survivor Horst Cahn, who spent three years in Auschwitz starting at age 16, has a great relationship with the students. Children surround him at all times.

“I’ve done it every year,” Cahn, 84, said of SDJA’s memorial. “Every year the memory of the people who died, including my family, is special.”

While there are many tears, the day is also about hope. Remembering what happened and honoring the survivors is a way to make sure it never happens again, said Larry Acheatal, SDJA’s executive director.

“If we fight bigotry, hatred and intolerance,” Acheatal said, “then there is some meaning, if there every could be, for what happened.”

And Acheatal said there is still hatred to fight, citing Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denial that the Holocaust ever happened and assertion that it was exaggerated to promote a cause.

Acheatel said allowing children to see and touch people who lived through the Holocaust ensures that they won’t allow those lies to be perpetrated.

Related posts:

  1. Butterfly project memorializes victims
  2. Law firm offers assistance to Holocaust survivors
  3. When racing gets personal
  4. Self-taught Del Mar songwriter reveals personal beliefs in lyrics
  5. Dads join Seuss celebration

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=4205

Posted by ziggycute1 on Apr 30, 2009. Filed under Archives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply



Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6





  • New Rancho Santa Fe Library Branch Manager welcomes community input
    Rancho Santa Fe Library’s new Branch Manager Haley Kwon has been charmed by the village’s “sweet, down-home” character, the simple pleasure of visiting the local library and people’s enjoyment of a slower speed of time. “It’s a small town and the library is a place for people to connect,” Kwon said. “People have a different sense of time here, they come in t […]
  • Robotics booming at Rancho Santa Fe School
    By Karen Billing At R. Roger Rowe School, 44 percent of first graders are participating in the robotics program this year. The school is fielding 44 robotics teams, including 31 percent of second grade, 23 percent of third grade, 35 percent of fourth grade and 39 percent of fifth grade. In the middle school, there are two FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams and fi […]
  • Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices honored with Stevie Gold Award
    Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices was recently named Startup of the Year in the 2014 American Business Awards, earning the brokerage the Stevie Gold award. The award was presented at the Fairmont Millennium Park Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. “Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is among a select few organizations to be entrusted with the Berkshire Hathaway name,” co […]