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Temple Sinai to host Holocaust survivor speaker series

The first of the four part series will be held Aug. 21.

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The Holocaust was a devastating moment in history. And as time goes on, the number of survivors who bore witness to those tragedies has diminished. 

It leaves Jewish organizations with an important task: deciding how to share history with their followers. Temple Sinai will share that legacy with attendees with a four-part Holocaust survivor speaker series beginning Aug. 21. 

The series — put together in partnership with the Holocaust Speakers Bureau of The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee — gathers Holocaust survivors in the Sarasota area who will speak about their experiences.

The first of the free series will feature Poland-born survivor Felicia Liban, who lived in hiding with a Christian family when she was a child. Subsequent events will be held on Sept. 18, Nov. 13 and Dec. 11. 

Amanda Eiffert, director of communications and programming for Temple Sinai, began asking Holocaust survivors if they’d be interested in participating in a speaker program last year. She also contacted the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, which often brings Holocaust survivors to schools and events.

“Students (who have heard Holocaust survivors) have said it's a life-changing experience for them,” Eiffert said. 

She notes that many of the survivors' stories are harrowing and not recommended for young children. But Eiffert notes that the value it can have for people to understand history through firsthand accounts in the hopes of making sure it never happens again.

“It’s a somber service,” Eiffert said. “It’s remembering a tragedy. It’s important that we remember.”


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