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  • Writer's pictureLiya S

Remembering Our Past - Defending Our Future

Today we went to Yad Vashem and to a military training experience. Going to Yad Vashem made me very emotional. Although I have learned about the Holocaust, this made it more meaningful and intense for me. Seeing graphics and hearing stories made it very real, but on top of that, I was there with my grandparents.

My great grandparents on my dad’s side survived the war, but their parents didn’t (my great great grandparents). When my babushka saw her babushka’s name at the museum, someone she never met, it was very special. On the other side of the family, my grandpa found the name of the person he was named after whom he had never met. Finding all of these names made the Holocaust feel more real. Although I didn’t like that feeling, I knew it was important to feel that way and understand it more.

At the end of the museum, I was twinned with a girl named Lea Finham from Moldova. She was murdered at 10 years old along with her family when they were trying to escape. She was not given the opportunities I have and was not able to have a Bat Mitzvah or celebrate holidays. That is why my family and I will work hard to keep her memory alive because she deserved a good life as much as I do.

After our emotional experience at Yad Vashem, we went to a Fauda Training Base where we learned about the Israeli secret service and trained with former military officers – we did krav maga (Israeli self defense) exercises , learned how to shoot weapons, and how to go undercover. It was a good way to end the day because it showed me that so many people are fighting for this country to make sure nothing like the Holocaust will happen again.

Tonight was our last night with the whole family. I am so happy everyone could come celebrate my Bat Mitzvah and join me in this special trip

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