Pardes Middle Schoolers Commemorate Yom Hashoah with Holocaust Survivor

May 2 –  Pardes Fifth through Eighth graders gathered in the Sanctuary on May 2nd for a poignant and very inspiring commemoration of Yom Hashoah. The program began with a special candle lighting. Six eighth graders lit a single candle, each bearing the name of an individual who perished in the Holocaust, the years they lived, the names of their parents, where they were from, what they did for a living, and where they were murdered. “We lit a seventh candle for all those who had no one to remember them,” said Assistant Head of School and Director of Jewish Life, Mitch Flatow.

Following the candle lighting, George Kalman, an 84-year-old Hungarian survivor told his personal story about being taken to a labor camp.  After sharing his experience, Mr. Kalman opened up the room to an extensive question and answer session. The middle school students had much to ask of Mr. Kalman and he patiently responded to all of their questions. The group then talked briefly about the establishment of Israel and sang Hatikvah.

“This was perhaps one of the final opportunities for this generation to meet a survivor, “ continued Mr. Flatow.  “I am so impressed with the attentiveness and depth of the questions that Pardes students had for Mr. Kalman.” While many of the questions pertained to the time that he was in the labor camp, the students were also very curious about his family, his life after the war and his recollection of his childhood during World War II.  “We are so fortunate to have had Mr. Kalman spend part of Yom Hashaoh with us, and for the Pardes students to hear firsthand about survival in the face of evil,” concluded Mr. Flatow.