Israel Forever in the News

Israel Forever In The News: Yom HaShoah 2014

Rachel Avraham

Jerusalem Online News

Apr 28, 2014

Ukrainian Holocaust Survivor: I Lost All My Family

Last night, the Israel Forever Foundation, Adopt A Safta, and Nefesh B’Nefesh hosted a Holocaust Memorial Ceremony in Tel Aviv for the English speaking Jewish community in Israel titled “On the Edge of the Abyss: Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Decimation of Hungarian Jewry and the Events of 1944.” A packed crowd of young Jewish immigrants and other English speakers living in the Tel Aviv area came to listen to Ukrainian Jewish Holocaust survivor Zeni Rosenstain speak about her childhood experiences.

“When I was six year old (this was in 1941), I had a birthday. All of my family was together. My grandmother made candies and cakes. We had clowns,” Rosenstain described. She was living in Czernowitz, Ukraine; a place that she claimed was like a “little Paris.”

Dr. Elana Heideman, Executive Director of The Israel Forever Foundation shared: This year was focused on 1944. The goal was to focus on the 70th anniversary of of the destruction of Hungarian Jewry and the other events of 1944. We made references to other final transports. No stone was left unturned to find those last Jews,” she stressed. While the survivor who spoke was from Ukraine, a series of descendants of Holocaust survivors from Hungary told the stories of their families as well. Heideman believes that the destruction of Hungarian Jewry has special significance because “it took place in such a short window of time” compared to other countries in Europe.

“So many things need to be told! That is why I try to provide content to connect people to Holocaust memory and its relation to Israel throughout the year. In January, we have an initiative for a special needs youth movement to come to Poland for International Holocaust Memorial Day. We cannot separate the Jewish people from the Holocaust and we cannot separate Israel as a part of who we are.”