March of the Living 2017
It is truly an honor to travel with 23 seniors from Rosenblatt High School at Donna Klein Jewish Academy. We have joined with another 100 students from the Southeast Region which includes students from other local schools as well as students from New Zealand and Australia. In addition to the students my own son is travelling with us.
After a fun flight getting to know each other, we landed in Warsaw, then gathered into our various bus groups (red, blue, green and purple) and drove to Lodz the second largest Jewish community in Poland on the eve of the war. We began at the Radegast Station “umschlagplatz” (deportation station) where the Jews of the Lodz Ghetto were liquidated. As we stood at the station, the very place that families were separated from each other, I along with many other chaperones clutched our own children, as our Survivors Rosette Goldstein and Sam Ron shared their families stories and we heard testimonies from students who shared the stories of their families.
After these moving and meaningful testimonies, we crowded into a cattle car (train) and prayed together. With great emotion, we brought the Torah that was recently donated to our local March of the Living, and read it for the first time on a “March” on the very same cattle car, that transported Jews to Auschwitz. It was a transformative experience for everyone. We sang together and cried together and celebrated life as this is the March of the Living. In just a short few hours of our being in Poland, it is clear to everyone that this is going to be an experience that will stay with us throughout our lives. We look forward to Shabbat in Krakow and the March itself (Yom Hashoah). It is a great blessing to be able to have this experience. Shabbat Shalom!