Commemorating Yom HaShoah this week; honoring and supporting Survivors every day of the year
By Laine Bermansohn, MA, LPCC • Senior Services & Mental Health Support Services Program Manager
Yom HaShoah is the day on which people and nations around the world take a moment to remember the loss and honor the heroism of the people who died and those who lived through one of the greatest atrocities in human history. This year, Yom HaShoah will be held from sundown April 7 until sundown April 8. While commemorating this day is of great importance, Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis (JFCS) and Jewish Family Service of St. Paul (JFS) honor Survivors and their descendants every day of every year through our Survivor Support programs and community legacy initiatives.
With the liberation of Auschwitz occurring in January 1945, it is no secret that the number of Holocaust Survivors is dwindling, and those who remain with us are aging and need increasing in-home supports. JFCS and JFS have made a commitment to ensuring this special population receives the compassionate care they deserve.
As a descendant of camp Survivors myself, there is no higher honor than doing my part to ensure Survivors have the services and funding to allow them to age comfortably and with dignity in their own homes. The dedicated staff of JFCS and JFS connect Survivors to in-home personal and home care services, as well as provide them ongoing personal connections to care coordinators that support their health and well-being. We also provide comprehensive caregiver services for family members who care for Survivors.
Beyond the services provided by our two agencies, we have the great fortune of having an engaged community of surviving spouses, children and family members of Holocaust Survivors who dedicate their time, energy and talents to ensuring the legacy of their loved ones and other Survivors in our community are never forgotten.
The Transfer of Memory Project and members of our community associated with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum work to gather the stories, documents, and personal items to ensure these stories live long past those who experienced them. If you would like to donate to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, you can connect to a curator directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
In an era in which history itself is challenged by some, the importance of remembering the individuals, families, and community that survive beyond the Holocaust may be more important now than ever. Please take a moment on this day of remembrance to consider how each of us can honor Survivors and keep this history alive.