Twin with a Survivor is a program designed to help a b’nai mitzvah perform the mitzvah of becoming a witness to those who witnessed the Holocaust. The student will meet and get to know a Holocaust survivor or a child and grandchild of a survivor. The b’nai mitzvah student will include the survivor’s experience in his or her speech, and will recall that survivor at anniversary bar/bat mitzvah commemorations. Because of the circumstances of the Shoah, many survivors never had the opportunity to celebrate a bar mitzvah. None had a bat mitzvah. Survivors have told us that being twinned has given them “a new lease on life.”
This program is usually described as “truly transformative” in its effect on the student and family. It helps students mature and increases their knowledge of the history of World War II, the Shoah, and their Jewish heritage. They learn about human resilience; that one can overcome the greatest trauma and adversity to create a satisfying life and become a valued member of society. Most importantly, students learn that despite all the suffering and losses survivors endured for nothing more than being Jewish, they have chosen to remain part of the Jewish community.
The students are then asked to give back, as we know that the years are getting further and further away from end of the Holocaust; yet we also know that the stories of the Holocaust are so critical to continue to tell. Through a variety of options, or one that the students can create on their own, they are asked to share their survivor’s story with the greater community.
The giving of Tzeddukah is a greatly important component of Judaism. Please consider a tax-deductible donation to the Holocaust Council of MetroWest to mark this special occasion. The Council depends on contributions to enable us to provide programs, including this one. We hope we can count on your generosity to continue our work of remembering the past to ensure a better future.