Tuesday, August 4, 2015 Av 19, 5775

Reflections
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During my Bar Mitzvah, I looked up from my prayerbook exactly twice. Once, I peaked to see whether a certain eighth-grade girl I'd invited showed up. (She had, but I was too shy to ask her to dance later.) The other time, I made eye contact with my big cousin Laurence Polatsch from Long Island, sitting right in the front...
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Olivia Mattis knew that her father's family had escaped Brussels on May 10, 1940, the very day that the Nazis invaded the country. She knew that her mother had spent three years as a hidden child in Belgium. Mattis, a musicologist and academic administrator at Stony Brook University, glanced at the yellow fabric Jewish star pinned on her dress --...
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Bea Hollander-Goldfein may only have been 9 when segments of the trial of Adolf Eichmann were broadcast on television, but she still remembers the reaction of her "sweet, soft" mother, a Holocaust survivor who lost her entire family. While she can't swear to an exact quote, it went something like: "They should give survivors knives, and we should cut him...
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A few months after Judith Bernstein-Baker had assumed the top post at HIAS and Council Migration Service in 1998, she was working late when the phone rang. She picked up, figuring it must be her husband at that hour. Instead, it was a U.S. customs official at the airport. He had a family there from Kosovo who somehow managed to...
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Melissa Jacobs, Jewish Exponent Feature
Michael Berenbaum, the renowned Holocaust scholar and consultant, has been hired to guide the development of a Holocaust education center in Philadelphia. The center's exact content -- or even what it will be called -- has yet to be determined. "The bricks we must first lay," Berenbaum said in a phone interview from his home in Los Angeles, "are decisions...
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