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Holocaust Survivors Joined ‘Shabbat to Remember’ at BBYO International Kallah

Read this story in eJewish Philanthropy.


Bob Germinder (AZA Alum) is Honored with an Aliyah; photo courtesy BBYO.

Last Shabbat, as part of its International Kallah, BBYO hosted a Shabbat to Remember welcoming 8 Holocaust survivors. Kallah, celebrating its 50th Anniversary!, provides a variety of experiences for participants to connect to Judaism such as: text study, yoga and meditation, interpersonal conversations with rabbis and other Judaic educators, Hebrew, outdoor adventures, song leading and writing, leadership training, performance, sports and more.


Holocaust Survivors with BBYO International Kallah Community; photo courtesy BBYO.

The Kallah community of 225 teens hailed from 10 countries: Argentina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Israel, Latvia, Slovakia, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.


Esther Geizhals Becoming a Bat Mitzvah; photo courtesy BBYO.

During a Shabbat to Remember, the survivors joined with the Kallah participants to share their stories and answer questions in an intimate environment. The survivors were then inducted as honorary members of AZA and BBG, BBYO’s high school leadership fraternity and sorority, and given the opportunity to become B’nai Mitzvot as part of the Kallah community, facilitated by the teen participants, if they did not have the chance to mark this coming of age moment during their own teen years. This experience will be a model event for Shabbats hosted in BBYO communities around the world.

Following Shabbat a 25-hour program – Jewbilee – took center stage. The line-up included Jewish educators from across North America as well as special guests, culminating with a music festival of performances featuring Zusha, a Brooklyn-based Orthodox musical group.

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