HAFTR High School began preparing for its fourth annual senior trip to Poland divrei chizuk from Gaby Benedict, who spoke about Jewish life in Hungary before and during World War II.
Benedict, who was born in Hungary before the war, noted that for eight years after the war there were no bar mitzvahs in Hungary because there were no children, everyone had been killed
This is the first time that Benedict spoke publicly about his experiences during the Holocaust; he explained that he had come now because he feels it is important for the next generation to understand what it means to be a Yid.
The speech touched on the history of anti-Semitism both from a world perspective and from his personal view. He was accompanied by longtime friend Rabbi Ehud Hubner, who as a child was in hiding in Belgium during the war, and whose son, Rabbi Moshe Hubner, is a rebbi at HAFTR HS.
Benedict’s speech was part of the HAFTR Holocaust education initiative, which culminates with a week-long trip to Europe after Purim.
Rabbi Gedalia Oppen, principal, explained that the upcoming senior trip is not only to pay tribute to the victims by visiting concentration camps but to inspire students by giving them a glimpse into the life of European Jewry before the war.
The trip is sponsored by Marty Sharf in the memory of his father, Rabbi Avraham Sharf, z”l.