Religious School students at Midbar Kodesh Temple recently found themselves sharing space with the Holocaust Resource Center, which moved into the David L. Simon Center for Education and Tikkun Olam earlier this year. They watched with curiosity as the center began to take shape and watched with equal curiosity as portraits of local survivors lined the walls to become a featured hallway exhibit.
The phrase "L'dor Vador" - from generation to generation, became more than a phrase for the students as their curiosity became keener. To answer their queries Midbar Kodesh Temple's Cantor Daniel Gale, along with his teaching staff and the HRC's Susan Dubin and Myra Berkovits began to plan a program to dedicate the portrait hallway on Sunday, May 21. The activities, which begin at 9:00 a.m., focus on building a relationship between our Survivors and the younger generation of Jewish students, whose responsibility it will be to continue to keep alive the stories or our Survivors, and the history of the Holocaust through which they lived. The morning's events will enable the Survivors to tell their stories and life experiences that will be shared and passed on to the next generation..."L'dor Vador."
Susan Dubin and Myra Berkovits will visit each classroom, share age-appropriate stories and lead discussion for each group. Next, students and Survivors will gather in the Simon Wing hallway. There each class will be assigned a Survivor "friend" who will take them on a short tour of the Survivors' wall and answer any questions students may have. Cantor Gale will lead a dedication of the Survivors' Wall in the Simon Wing.
Following the dedication the Survivors and students will share a meal together in the social hall. Each class will sit with their Survivor "friend", providing further opportunity to interact and get to know one another. The older students will help the younger children in facilitating the conversations. Before the brunch, the Religious School will present a short program to honor the Survivors and the meaningful new addition to their Religious School wing.
The day's events will be documented in photographs by Midbar Kodesh USYer Elizabeth Doctors. Pictures of Midbar Kodesh Religious School students interacting with Survivors will be displayed on an Etz Chayim, a Tree of Life which is located in the Religious School/Survivors' hall in the David L. Simon Foundation Center for Education and Tikkun Olam at Midbar Kodesh Temple. These pictures, and the Survivors' pictures, will serve as a reminder to the next generation that the past must never be forgotten, and the story of our Survivors - and what they endured - must be passed on from one generation to the next.