THANKS FOR THE MEMORY! – HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR LUNCHEON 2010
The 14th Annual Survivors’ Luncheon was held on Thursday, December 9, 2010, at Temple Beth Sholom, and, as in previous years, was hosted by the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee and sponsored by Barbara and Martin Arch. Loyalty and generous support such as theirs is most heartwarming and deeply appreciated by the Holocaust survivors and their families as it provides us the opportunity to gather to remember and commemorate our journey of survival and our passion for life.
A special bonus in recent years has been the GENERATIONS AFTER group, the descendants of Holocaust survivors whose mission is to continue to raise awareness of the Holocaust and related issues, provide a Speakers’ Bureau for various topics on the Holocaust, and participate in community events and educational forums. Taking on the responsibility of today’s luncheon was co-chaired by Betty Silberman and Suzanne Pardo together with Orna Nissan, our Federation Outreach coordinator who attended to all of the details. A most heartfelt thank you to the three of you and all of your great helpers.
Many thanks for the moving message by Federation President Nelle Miller, Hazzan Diane Nathanson’s uplifting voice, and the adorable children of the Goldie Feldman Academy Choir whose Hanukkah songs put smiles on everyone’s faces. I will count among my most memorable moments the sight of the lit menorah with the Generation After group standing behind it with their faces aglow with the reflection of the lit candles.
As Helen Fagin so poignantly states in part in Our Legacy, “We pass to you a symbolic torch that carries the flame of responsibility and of obligation to vouchsafe integrity, justice, and reverence for life and human dignity for all men, women, and children of the world. You, the Generation After group, make us proud and grateful”. You certainly do.
The words of Carolyn Bass, Executive Director of the Florida Holocaust Museum, were most appreciated.
Last but not least, to put into words the emotion one feels at being honored for doing something that has brought such personal fulfillment, is most difficult. It was because of my friend Helen Fagin’s confidence in me that I dared take on the position of coordinator for the Holocaust Education Speakers’ Bureau. Her laudatory introduction of me was most kind. I am confident that her expectations will be met together with our cadre of willing, dedicated, and courageous speakers who, after all, are the ones who give voice to those whose voices were snuffed out.
Thank you all for the privilege, your friendship and for your loving tribute.