Keeping Memory of the Holocaust Alive

Tags: Federation, Advocacy, Young Adults

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Each year, the Jewish Federation of Cleveland welcomes a shlicha (Israeli emissary) to teach our community about life and culture in Israel. Last year, Federation’s shlicha, Danielle Asif introduced Zikaron BaSalon (remembrance in the living room), a powerful program for Federation’s Young Leadership Division (YLD) to commemorate Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Memorial Day).

Zikaron BaSalon was launched seven years ago in Israel by a group of young professionals as a way for the younger generations to hear what Holocaust survivors witnessed and experienced. In the intimate setting of a living room, a small group of young adults had the opportunity to engage with a Holocaust survivor. “This format is important to us, as a Jewish nation; we're lucky enough to have survivors telling their own story,” said Ayelet Isaac, Federation’s current shlicha. “It's an incredible way that these memories will live on.”

“To hear from them and talk to them and to get as much as we can from their experience is so important so we can pass it on to our children,” said Rivka Joseph, part of YLD’s Zikaron BaSalon committee.

Today, there are 41 locations outside of Israel choosing this unique way of commemorating Yom Hashoah; it was hosted in 6 homes throughout Jewish Cleveland. “This not only happened in Beachwood or the West Side; it was also in New York, Tel Aviv and London,” said Zikaron BaSalon Co-Chair, Devorah Shiffman. “To know there are young adults throughout the world hearing stories of survivors is a beautiful piece of history that we were a part of.”

There are approximately 1000 Holocaust survivors living in Cleveland, including Leo Silberman, who attended one of the Zikaron BaSalon events. He understood the impact of what this night meant. “Very few Holocaust survivors, especially my age, are still around. The younger generation is our legacy.”

For information on the Young Leadership Division, contact Jessie Bruder at 216-593-2869 or jbruder@jcfcleve.org.

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