A Sweet New Year for Survivors

September 3, 2021 by Danny Hochberg
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The Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants in partnership with Youth HEAR are sending Rosh Hashanah Care packs to Survivors.

Deliverying the goodies

The AAJHSD was established by survivors to represent Holocaust survivors and their descendants; to perpetuate the memory of the martyrs and heroes; to gather testimonies and provide facilities for teaching the legacy of the Holocaust. In this capacity, its members were the key instigators in the establishment of the Sydney Jewish Museum.

Today the organisation is driven by members of the second and third generations, who remain committed to perpetuating and commemorating the memory of those who perished as well as those who survived.

The Rosh Hashana Care Pack initiative comes as the Sydney Jewish Community is faced with its second Rosh Hashana in lockdown.

“We are acutely aware of the challenges faced by our aging remaining survivors”, says AAJHSD President George Foster. “Isolated from family, friends and support services, and many still carrying the trauma of the past, these times are particularly challenging for them. We hope this small gesture will let them know that they are not alone, and we will continue to work on their behalf”.

Particularly exciting, is the partnership with Youth HEAR, an organisation dedicated to mitigating hate in society by connecting young Australians with the memory of the Holocaust. Youth HEAR is run by 35 young adult volunteers who are all driven to engage the young adult community, both Jewish and non-Jewish, to educate about the power of hate if left unchecked. Co-Founder and Managing Director, Julia Sussman, says “We won’t always have holocaust Survivors around to share their stories, so it falls to our generation to create new and engaging was for young people to learn about the Holocaust.” Youth HEAR members met on zoom on Sunday night [pictured below] to write personal messages for each Survivor. The volunteers will then safely deliver the Care Packs, (contact free) within their 5km radius.

“Youth HEAR  is very proud to be able to engage in this touching project with AAJHSD. It has allowed us to engage directly with Survivors, obviously with COVID safety measures in place. Nevertheless, the chance to let the Survivors know that the young adult community is thinking of them and cares for them during this time was heartwarming and fulfilling for all of us” said Youth HEAR Engagement Officer, Alissa Foster, who launched this partnership project alongside her grandparents, George and Margaret Foster from the AAJHSD. “Many of our members identified Survivors on the delivery list who they have met, have heard their stories, who they look up to and are inspired by. The opportunity to write a personal letter to the Survivors was a humbling and meaningful experience for every member.”

“We are very excited”, said AAJHSD Committee member Danny Hochberg, “Not only to be able to do this act of kindness, but to be able to partner younger members of our community. We look forward to working with them on future projects”.

Thanks must go to Grandma Moses who provided the Care Packs.

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