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November 22, 2013     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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November 22, 2013

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PAGE 14A By Susan Mitchell The second meeting of the Holocaust Center's Religion 201 series, "held Oct. 22, presented another unique opportunity to talk about how different faith communities view the world and its mean- ing. The Rev. Kathy Schmitz, moderater of the course, introduced the topic for the evening, "How Can a World of Love and a World of Suffering Coexist?" Each of the present- ers gave a brief explanation of how his faith addresses that difficult question. Nav Khalsa, speaking for Sikhism, explained the teach* ing of his faith. The gurus, he said, tell us that suffering HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, NOVEMBER 22, 2013 i Holocaust, zter Religion 201: How can lot e aT00 suffering coexist? can be a gift from God, a way to build strength that cannot be achieved in any other way. Rabbi Joshua Neely ex- plained the complexities of Talmudic debate over suffer- ing: some scholars wanted to find a relationship between wickedness and suffering as well as between righteousness and prosperity. Other sug- gested that perhaps suffering has been given out of love. But after decades of debate and reflection on what we can see of human experience, Neely said that evidently suffering and God's will simply cannot be understood by the human mind. Steve Boemler, represent- ing the Baha'I faith, quoted the stories of mystics who explain that suffering is part of a necessary journey to reach God, and would make sense only when seen from a distance of place and time. Members of the audience raised questions about differ- ent types of suffering, talking particularly about the distress of seeing children suffer. There was also strong interest in looking at suffering caused deliberately by others as op- posed to the random suffering of injury, disease and death. Religion 201 presentations are head at the Holocaust Cen- ter, 851 N Maitland Ave. They start at 7 p.m. and last about two hours. They are open to the public free of charge and Rabbi Joshua Neely speaks with audience members after Religion 201 presentation at the Holocaust Center. reservationsare not required, the program is available on holocaustedu.orgorbycalling Further information about the Center's webs.ite: www. 407-628-0555. Survivors talk a00,()ut Kristallnacht By Susan Mitchell This year marks the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the "night of broken glass" that scholars identify as the beginning of Hitler's Final Solution. Arts and cultural groups throughout Central Florida have worked col- laboratively throughout the year to provide an im- pressive array Of programs that explore the impact of that night. These programs included exhibits, films, concerts, and lectures, each planned to remind us of the devastating cost of prejudice and intolerance. Hundreds of people, many of whom have never visited the Holocaust Center or had an opportu- nity to think about how the Holocaust took place, are now more aware of the im- portance of remembrance. Of all the events presented at the Center and elsewhere, one of the most touching was a program at the Center on Oct. 27, a panel of three lo- cal people who survived the Kristallnacht pogrom--Eva Ritt, Harry Lowenstein and Sonia Marchesano--along with panel moderator Richard Gair, provided a standing- room only audience of more 120 with peisonal accounts of the night that changed their lives. Eva Ritt was a child in Hamburg, Germany on Kristallnacht, Nov. 9-10, 1938. She told about that city's history of destruction of synagogues and closing of schools, deportations, and death. She and her family survived that night, and wer able to escape in May 1940, sailing on the last ship to leave Europe; They left be- hind family members, many of whom died in Auschwitz. "It came so close," she said. "When we left we took the train to the border. The Germans told my father that riliTirllrn[rl ................................................................................................................................................................................................. iiiiiiiiiiii iiiii_.. i .ii,.i IN CELEBRATION ' )] A Simcha To Remem00'er SPECIAL CELEBRATION ISSUE JANUARY 31, 2014 Hundreds of different parties will be held in the Jewish community throughout the coming year. HERITAGE readers will be in need of a variety of products and services, including hotels, hair salons, clothing stores, jewelers, printers, florists, restaurants and many others. You can reach this exclusive buying market by placing your advertising message in the HERITAGE Special Celebration Issue. Don't let those weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, and other simchas pass you by. Make sure your business is included on our readers' shopping lists. ...... For More Information, Call: 407-834-8787 ! i, i '!, ........................................................................................................................ Shown here (i-r): Sonia Marchesano, Harry Lowenstein and Eva Rift share their memories of Kristallnacht at the Holocaust Center. his papers were not in order. The Italians said we could go. There were so many ways that we might not have made it. If we had left the next day, it would have been too late." Harry Lowenstein, who now lives in Kissimmee, was born in Westphalia, Germany. Troubles began for the family in 1935 with limits on his father's business. In spite of increasing restrictions under the Nazis, his recollection was that most people in his village were not at all anti- Semitic. On Kristallnacht the destruction was done by outside agitators, Lowenstein said, breaking windows and confiscating items of value in their home. Lowenstein's father was taken to Buch- enwald, but was allowed to return about six weeks later. The synagogue, which had served just seven families in the town, was burned to the ground. Sonia Marchesano's family owned a store in Frankfort, Germany. The store was taken away from them prior to Kristallnacht, and the family had to leave the apartment above the store where they had been living. On Kristall- nacht, Sonia's mother was in the hospital giving birth to a new daughter and Sonia was staying with an aunt. She remembers clearly the men who invaded the home look- ing for her uncle, who had been warned by neighbors that trouble was imminent. Furniture was overturned and possessions thrown out of the window and destroyed. "I was only six," Sonia said, "but I can never forget it. It was horrendous." Her father was taken to Buchenwald, was let go after 10 weeks. The family managed to flee--with no possessions--to England, where they lived until the end of the war. The recollections of these survivors, whose families managed to escape, provide a poignant reminder of the need to be vigilant. The sto- ries of their childhood, where danger was so near and the losses so great, should help us understand why the promise of "never again" must never be forgotten. The Traditional Mohel for the Modem Family Rabbi Dr. Israel J. Barzak, CMP, DM Gentle Certified Mohel Specialist Endorsed by the Greater Orlando Board of Rabbis Medical & Client References Faithfully serving for 25 years: North-Eastern, Central & Western Florida "Treating every baby as my very own with love compassion and TLC" Study- 386-673-5535 Cell- 386-290-8833 Email-