The TRIP.

Reflections from Steph Mather:

This concludes our journey on the March of the Living, It has been an amazing trip, full of all kinds of emotions and experiences. Although our time in Israel has come to an end, I think I speak for all of us when I say that our March of the Living experiences will continue to impact us for the rest of our lives.

One thing that has remained in my mind throughout the trip is the Hebrew verb zachor- to remember. This word has been important to me coming from Poland to Israel because it symbolizes everything this journey stands for. To me, it serves as a reminder of all the experiences I’ve shared with my new (and old) friends. It is imperative to always remember the stories we’ve heard even as we integrate back into our daily lives As one of the Holocaust survivors Irene shared with me, her generation is dying off, and it’s even more important to keep her and everyboy else affected by the Holocaust in our memories. We are the last generation who will hear the firsthand testimonies of survivors.

Zachor symbolizes the importance of remembering the darkness of Poland so that we will never repeat our tragic past; however, it also represents the light of Israel we will never forget. Learning about how the state came to be deepened my appreciation and understanding of Israel. I will never forget the importance of this country to my  people. I will never forget my roots, I will never forget the bonds I’ve made with my new friends, and I will never forget the six million.

-Steph Mather, Sycamore HS

During our journey, we’re sharing a few highlight photos per day in our daily blog, yet to see ALL of our photos (many per day), go to our shared album here. https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0SJqstnBJ10BQS

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Last Day, Yom Ha’Atzmaut! (Day14)

As Jonah mentioned earlier, taking part in the saddest day of the year in Israel to then  celebrating the happiest day of the year (Israel’s Independence day) was quite the contrast.  By being here for both of these holidays, we were able to see it all, which ranged from being apart of memorial ceromonies and talking about the struggles of losing someone who has fallen to dancing around in the streets and enjoying each others company . Last night, we walked around the streets in Jerusalem, including Ben Yehuda Street, and listened to people sing and dance and we were in awe about how the country could change so fast. We had a discussion about this and came to the conclusion that ,yes, we need to remember all those who risk their life for the land of Israel but we also need to celebrate the fact that we have this beautiful country today.

Continuing on the fun we had last night, we took part in the second march of this trip with our spirits high. This march was entirely different than the first one. With that being said, before the march, there was a concert where all the delgations were singing and dancing  and just indulging in the culture of Israel. We weren’t thinking about the terrible atrocities of the death camps in Poland, but rather the fact that we are able to march in our own land, a land that celebrates the Jewish people.

 

We then went on to our final event of the trip, the Mega-Event at the Latrun, one last time for all the delegations to come together. Here, we ate dinner, mingled with other delegations, and watched a closing ceremony. The Mega-event was a perfect way to end off our wonderful jounrey. From here, we headed to the airport and said our goodbyes to our fantastic tour guide Boaz and security guard Adam. Even though our journey is coming to a close, it doesn’t mean we won’t cherish the memories and friendships that have become of this wonderful experience.  -Sydney Miller, Sycamore HS

During our journey, we’re sharing a few highlight photos per day in our daily blog, yet to see ALL of our photos (many per day), go to our shared album here. https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0SJqstnBJ10BQS

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Yom Hazikaron into Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Day13)

Reflections from Jonah Goldwasser and Zoe Price…

Jonah: Today was Yom HaZikaron, Israeli Memorial Day, until sundown. It was absolutely amazing to witness and see the contrast between the American Memorial Day and the Israeli. When the bomb sirens sound off for a moment of silence, the whole country goes silent. It’s absolutely amazing to see. The amount of respect for fallen soldiers and victims of terrorist attacks is amazing. In Israel, everyone knows someone who has fallen. I was given the chance to be part of the ceremony for Yom HaZikaron in Netanya. To be able to be part of such an important ceremony and respresent Cincinnati was an unfathomable honor. Walking down in front of a thousand people to lay down a wreath of flowers and pay your respects for a country you don’t evem live in is a huge honor. Last night we also got to spend the night with our host families in our sister city Netanya. It was fun to see the city on our own and explore with someone who knows the place and loves it as well. Today we woke up with our host families, had breakfast, and headed to the school to start our day. We did another Yom HaZikaron ceremony at the school and started doing short activities such as asking questions and charades with the Chaverim who will come to Cincinnati next year and our host familes. Soon after doing these activities it was time to say goodbye to our families and go to the beach. The beach was very hot and the water was very cold so it was a nice balance. We stayed there for about two hours and then we moved on to Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, we went out on the town as it became Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day, and the entire country went from being sad to celebrating the biggest party of the year. Memorial Day and Independence Day are celebrated back to back here to rememeber the fallen soldiers and to keep the two connected and know that without one we wouldn’t have the other.  The streets were jammed packed. It was amazing to see how a whole country could go from sorrow and depression to the biggest party of the year.

-Jonah Goldwasser, Loveland HS
Zoe: Last night we arrived in Netanya and met our host families, I was nervous but excited. With last night and today being Israeli Memorial Day I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, how people were going to act, and if this holiday would be hard on my host family. After meeting the we had dinner and went to a ceremony. At the beginning of the ceremony there was a siren and everyone was silent. That was a special and memorable moment. Then for the next hour was people speaking and Liz (my host) had to translate things so I could understand better. Today was very similar, we went to a ceremony and had a moment of silence at the beginning, then Liz would translate things to me. We did some mixers to get to know each other better and then we had lunch. We had PIZZA!! Pizza Hut in Israel is so different and so much better than in the states. We all talked and hung out before we said goodbye. I didn’t want to leave them, one night with these new friends was not long enough. We made our way to a beach in Netanya. Some people laid in the sun, while others swam. It was beautiful out. We’re now heading back to Jerusalem to shower and get ready for a long , fun, last night in Israel. We’re gonna be at a festival for Israeli Independence Day! I can’t wait to see more of what the ‘non-tourist’ life is like. It should be fun and exciting before we march again tomorrow! I miss my family and friends, but I’m not quite ready to come home yet.       -Zoe Price, Loveland HS

During our journey, we’re sharing a few highlight photos per day in our daily blog, yet to see ALL of our photos (many per day), go to our shared album here. https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0SJqstnBJ10BQS

 

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Yad Vashem, Independence Hall, Netanya

Reflections from CMOTL Delegate Josh Glynn: 
As our trip to Poland and Israel is coming to an end, it is important that we look back and understand how these two completely different places go hand and hand. Today we went to Yad Vashem. This is the holocaust museum and memorial in Jerusalem. This experience really brought our trip full circle. We started off in Poland, a place that haunts the Jewish people forever. Now, after spending a week in the beautiful country of Israel, we took time to focus ourselves once again on Holocaust remembrance. Although we received information we already knew, we heard it this time from the perspective of our people. We continued to learn just how important the country of Israel is for the Jewish people.

After Yad Vashem, we headed to Independence Hall in Tel Aviv. While this building was small in size, the events that took place there enormous. This building (Independence Hall), is where Israel declared themselves a country on May 14th, 1948. We traveled back in time and were able to hear what it sounded like on that glorious day. It was incredibly powerful.

We ended our evening in Netanya. Immediately after getting off the bus, we met up with our host families. From there we went our separate ways and were able to enjoy free time with our host and their family. Eventually we came back together for a beautiful Memorial Day service in the center of Netanya, in which our own Jonah Goldwasser represented Cincinnati in the town-wide ceremony to honor the fallen soldiers. Today, we honored the memory of those who made Israel the country that it is today.

-Josh Glynn, Sycamore HS

During our journey, we’re sharing a few highlight photos per day in our daily blog, yet to see ALL of our photos (many per day), go to our shared album here. https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0SJqstnBJ10BQS

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Shabbat in Jerusalem

Reflections from Cincinnati CMOTL Delegate Sam Scherer…

Belated Shabbat Shalom, blog readers! Today we woke up late “for Shabbat,” and it was lovely. Next went to the park and did morning services, but in a way that I’d never though of before – with yoga. Avi and Steph led the yoga exercises, which were a great and relaxing compliment to our prayers. After lunch, we went the Old City in Jerusalem and to the Western Wall, the holiest Jewish prayer site. The Old City is beautiful. It is separated into 4 quarters for the four different cultes who declare Jerusalem their holiest place. It’s sad to know that the beautiful city is separated solely by religion, but c’est la vie. The Western Wall in the Jewish Quarter is huge; many of us wrote down prayers and put them in the cracks in the wall, among the millions which were already there. To conclude shabbat, we visited Peppi’s apartment where we talked and ate Peppi’s choice of Israeli food (I loved the guacamole). In the evening, we first had a Havdalah service on the street in front of the hotel. This may sound odd to some, but nobody even batted an eye as we sung the prayers in the Jewish State. We then went to the market on Ben Yehuda Street, which was lined with performers, artists, and shops which had opened since the end of Shabbat. Speaking of which, the streets of Jerusalem had been nearly empty all day prior to 8p.m. – which is the opposite of what Cincinnati looks like on a Saturday. Tomorrow we leave Jerusalem, and I’m definitely going to miss it, but it’s good thing we are coming back to celebate Yom HaAtzmaut!

-Sam Scherer, Lakota West HS

During our journey, we’re sharing a few highlight photos per day in our daily blog, yet to see ALL of our photos (many per day), go to our shared album here. https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0SJqstnBJ10BQSIMG_5374IMG_5407IMG_5460IMG_5475IMG_5507IMG_5517

Sunrise Masada, Mt. Herzl & the Shuk (Day 10)

Reflections from CMOTL Delegate Zoe Price:

Last night we stayed in the Bedouin tent which was crazy. I personally hate bugs and they were EVERYWHERE! After a very short night sleep we woke up around 4 am to prepare to climb Masada. It was so amazing and beautiful, but such a tough hike for someone who doesn’t exercise on a regular basis at that intensity. Although it was tough, it was worth the 20 minute struggle. When we got up to the top, it was right as the sun was rising. Breathtaking is the only word I can think of to express my feelings of that sight. Learning about how King Herod lived and the thought behind the architecture, they are so much smarter than I would have thought. After walking around and seeing those gorgeous views, we hiked back down Masada. That was insane. As much as you wanted to look up at the scenery, we had to watch the ground. If we didn’t, then we’d trip on loose rocks or miss a step. I’d look up every once in a while and it was a perfect view every time. I wouldn’t change a thing about it.

When we finished our hike, we headed to breakfast. After a delicious breakfast, we then hopped on the bus and slept for a while before arriving to the Israeli military cemetery, Mt. Herzl. Their tombstones were something I’ve never seen before and they all looked the same. We learned about a specific fallen soldier named, Michael Levine. He was an American Oleh (someone who makes Aliyah) and hero. He learned about the IDF on a trip visiting Israel and decided that’s what he wanted to do with his life. He moved from Philadelphia to Israel and served until his life was taken. He chose to go fight with his friends instead of staying with his family longer, and then his life was drastically taken in combat. I’m so glad I learned about him, he was just like me and my friends on this trip. I couldn’t even imagine doing what he did. Leaving the cemetery we headed to a shuk in Jerusalem! So many people getting ready for Shabbat. My group headed to lunch and got some hummus, which I never liked in the states but it’s delicious here. We shopped around for a while, and then headed back to our hotel for dinner and a small Shabbat service. Now we have some free time and I’m definitely ready for some sleep! Overall, this day and this trip has been amazing and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m so happy I came and it’s been so life changing.
Lilah tov and Shabbat shalom!

~Zoe Price,  Loveland HS

During our journey, we’re sharing a few highlight photos per day in our daily blog, yet to see ALL of our photos (many per day), go to our shared album here. https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0SJqstnBJ10BQS

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Tzfat, Dead Sea, Camels & the Beduin Tents (Day 9)

Reflection from Jessie Gallop:

Waking up in Israel this morning was such an amazing, comforting feeling. The air is warm, the landscape is breathtaking, and the overall mood is light. I have been to Israel once before, but this time it is different. Being in Poland prior to this has made me way more appreciative of this unique and welcoming country. In Poland, we were constantly learning about the dehumanization and mass murder of the Jewish people, but now being in a country where the majority of the population is Jewish has made me realize that the Jewish people are here and will be forever.

Today, we started off the day in Tzfat, the birthplace of Kabballah (Jewish mystcism). First we started by walking down the most narrow passageway in the Middle East. Then, we went to the first Kabballah synogogue followed by the market. After that, we went to the Dead Sea which is 1500 feet below sea level aka the lowest elevation on earth. We all applied mud to our bodies and floated in the sea. Although the salty water stung a lot to say the least, it was very cool.

After we were done at the Dead Sea, we drove through the Negev Desert to the Bedouin tents. When we got to the tents we rode camels. When the camels stood up and sat down it was pretty nerve wracking. Follow the camel rides, we got to experience a traditional Bedouin style dinner. We at laffa bread, hummus, couscous, and several other foods. Next, we went to visit a Bedouin house lady who taught us all about the Bedouin lifestyle. We learned that men can have up to 4 wives and that coffee plays a significant role in their social lives. The Bedouin woman who spoke to us was unique. She traveled to Germany and made her own movie, “Against All Odds.”

Lastly, we all had a campfire and met Phil’s brother! He also likes Fiona the hippo. We sang campfire songs, made smores, and had a great time. Israel is so much fun.

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Beduin Tent & Camels (Day9)

During our journey, we’re sharing a few highlight photos per day in our daily blog, yet to see ALL of our photos (many per day), go to our shared album here. https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0SJqstnBJ10BQS

Israel… at last!!!!! (Day 8)

From Poland to Israel… dark to bright, cold to warm, heavy to light, sad to elated, (what felt like) holding our breath to exhaling… we have arrived in Israel! The contrast from there to here is astounding, and not lost on us. We truly couldn’t be any more grateful to shed the extra layers needed there (physically and emotionally), and be here. Even though we flew overnight, didn’t sleep on the plane, and arrived before 5am to just change clothes and go straight into our day… today was an amazing, energized, empowering day.

Reflections from Danny Niedermann and Daniel Moss…

Daniel M.: I have been to Israel around 10 times in my life. I have a lot of family here and I consider it my second home. When we got off of the bus today, I took one look at the Israeli sand and started sprinting towards the sea. It was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen after a heavy week in Poland. It felt like a breath of fresh air that was a must need. Going from such sad stories and experiences to the freedom of the Jewish State of Israel is indescribable. Throughout the day we went to the Baha’i Gardens in Haifa, The Grottos in Rosh Hanikra, and then we went on a Disco boat on the Kinneret. It’s safe to say that this has been one of the greatest days of my life and I am still smiling as I type this. I can’t wait to see the other side of this great country that I have not seen before.  -Daniel Moss, Walnut Hills HS

Danny N.: Yesterday, we woke up in a land that symbolizes the darkest time in our people’s history, a land that still struggles with remnants of the Holocaust 70 years later. Today we woke up in the homeland of the Jewish people. A land that has been a safe haven for Jews being persecuted and humiliated around the world. We started the day with the beautiful roman aqueducts of Caesaria. The ultra fine sandy beach and Mediterranean Sea serving as our inaugural step in our journey through the promised land. Following that we went to the port city of Haifa to see the beautiful Baha’i Gardens and learn about the Baha’i people. We then went to the Israeli-Lebanese border and the city of Rosh HaNikra. We saw the beautiful caves looking out onto the Mediterranean and then partied and danced on the Sea of Galilee.

In less than a day we went from the horrors of the Holocaust to the sights and wonders of the State of Israel. What a difference. Even though I’ve been to Israel before, today, on my birthday, I saw Israel in a completely new light. The last week has really shown me just how precious life is, and now I get to spend the rest of the week celebrating life in a truly magnificent land with truly amazing people. For that, I’m so grateful.  Am Yisrael Chai!  -Danny Niederman, Mason HS

During our journey, we’re sharing a few highlight photos per day in our daily blog, yet to see ALL of our photos (many per day), go to our shared album here. https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0SJqstnBJ10BQS

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Disco boat on the Kinneret

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The Children & Krakow, last day in Poland (Day 7)

Reflections from Sam Scherer & Reily Boss…

Sam: Here we finally are, about to board the plane to Israel. This week has been a roller coaster of emotions, filled with laughing, crying, cheering and hugging. We have learned so much about the tragic Jewish history in the Holocaust.  I didn’t expect to cry myself, but managed to break down today while looking at the letters from my family which have flown thousands of miles for me to see them. Tomorrow we wake up in Israel, the land of milk and honey, where we will learn so much more about our heritage while becoming so much closer on the journey.

-Sam Scherer, Lakota West Hs

Reily:

To start off the day, we traveled to a forest called Zblitowska Gora. Never would I have believed a beautiful forest, such as this one, was a previously horrible place. If it wasn’t for Peppi, our tour guide, I wouldn’t even begin to imagine the horrific scenes that took place here. We visited the ditches where the Jewish people were murdered into ditches. The one that really spoke to me was the first ditch we walked up to. 800 children murdered by hand grenades, bayonets and bullets lied there. I couldn’t even begin to fathom how the Nazis could do this to such innocent people, my people, our people. After taking a moment for ourselves to comprehend what we were standing in front of, Peppi shared some stories of survivors. One woman, by the name of Rivka Yosselewska, witnessed the deaths of all her family members with her that day, including her own baby who was ripped from her hands and thrown into the pit. She survived that inconceivable experience by crawling out of those pits after the Germans left for they did not know the bullet they shot at her had only grazed her head. Bodies and bodies had fallen on top of her yet she still managed to make her way out. Another woman, who has remained unnamed, wrote a beautiful, sorrowful letter to her daughter who she had to give up to someone else in order to save her daughter’s life. The letter spurred so much sadness inside of me, because I luckily have the chance to grow up with my real mother, when this little girl didn’t. I can’t even imagine not having my mother in my life. Throughout my entire life, she has taught me so many lessons and loved me unconditionally. My appreciation and gratefulness towards her has reached a new level. Everyone needs a mom no matter who you are…

I really realized this when we received letters from our families on the bus after the forest. Once my letter was handed to me I immediately started crying. We all didn’t know who the letters were from, but I can recognize the handwriting that wrote my name anywhere, it was my mom’s. I opened up the letter with such joy and happiness for I haven’t seen my family in a week and I miss them very much. Opening that letter made me the most emotional I had ever been on this trip so far. Everything has been building up inside of me and it was all released at that moment. This trip has really opened my eyes and helped me realized how lucky I am to have them.

Eventually, my tears dried up and my spirits were lifted again as we went to the Jewish Quarter in Kraków to visit many old synagogues. They dated as far back as the 1600s, and some are still functioning today. The architecture of the buildings were absolutely stunning. Many were very tall and prominent in the streets. Inside, some had prayers written all over the walls. The prayers were used as decorations, but also for those who did not have enough money for a prayer book. Other synagogues had church like features (like stained glass windows and an organ although it was never played) really intrigued me. This intrigued me, because I am half Christian and it was interesting to see the Christianity influence on these historic Jewish synagogues.

After a day of emotional highs and lows, we were able to release our tensions through shopping and eating at Old Town in Kraków. Going through a week of the same food over and over again, I needed something I could end my time in Poland with a bang. Searching all over the town, I ended up at Hard Rock Cafe with some other people from our delegation. Feeling good from divulging on American-related food, we headed to the market place in the middle of the square. Many trinkets and t-shirts were being sold there and my group and I got some good stuff! With our full stomachs and goodies we headed back to the bus to end our very last day in Poland. Now we begin our new chapter in our trip at the Polish airport where we leave for Israel. In Poland I learned more stories about Jewish survivors in one week than I could ever have during all my years in school. Peppi taught us the significance of every historical holocaust building, monument, museum, building, etc. I am so thankful to have been given this opportunity to experience a trip like this which I will never forget. Like how I will never forget the holocaust. Am Yisrael Chai.

-Reily Boss, Wyoming HS

During our journey, we’re sharing a few highlight photos per day in our daily blog, yet to see ALL of our photos (many per day), go to our shared album here. https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0SJqstnBJ10BQS

 

Today, WE MARCH! (Day 6)

Reflections from Abby Whayne, Hannah Guttman and Austin Rudd…

Abby:

Something life changing happened today. Thousands of Jews from all around the world came together, in one place. The place where MILLIONS of Jews died. Normally, Auschwitz is full of sadness and gloominess but today it was full of life and high spirits. It almost sounds weird that the place that destroyed millions of people and families was full of joy; pure joy. And yes, tears were shed but most were happy tears. The tears that something so horrible and so wrong can bring together thousands that share the same feelings and emotions. Being with the other Jews from around the world almost makes me feel whole again. We have the privilege to enter AND exit the horrendous camp that our ancestors were not able to. We walked today for our ancestors. In their honor and memory.

After a long day of visiting the Kraków Ghetto and the Plaszow Labor Camp our feet and backs were aching. We were tired, hungry, and sad. When I was marching from Auschwitz to Birkenau I thought to myself, “there is no way I can do this. I am too tired, I want to sleep. My back kills from holding my backpack and my feet from standing and walking all day.” Then I realized there is no way I or anyone else marching can complain. The pain we felt is incomparable to the pain felt by the ones who suffered in the camps. We have to push; we are strong, just like our ancestors.

My spirits lifted as we got in place for the March. On the way to Auschwitz it started to rain. It was cold and gloomy out, just as it was yesterday when we visited Auschwitz. As the Cincinnati delegation entered the camp and stood waiting and talking the sun peeked out. All of the layers we once had on were shed. Everyone started laughing and meeting other delegations. Seeing everyone happy in a sad and depressing place is weird. I used to think that no one should ever laugh or smile in a place so disgusting and horrid as this place, but today was different. Jews, LIVING Jews were there. Jews that live great lives and Jews that are so different yet so similar. Trading with the other delegations was such an astounding feeling, one that barely anyone can experience. Jews that are all proud of where they come from all hug and love together. This experience is one I’ll never forget. I never want to forget this. Everything seen today is stuck in my head. Nothing will leave. I have always known evil is real but all these experiences have made us witnesses. Our greatest responsibility is to remember. The things we see can’t be forgotten. Going from 700 marchers at the very first March of the Living to over 8,000 this year is incredible. So many proud Jews that live in no regret and no fear of where they come from is so real and powerful. We have strength that we gained from our ancestors that we are proud of and will love and cherish forever.          – Abby Whayne, Lakota East HS

Hannah:

Today was THE MARCH. Thousands of Jews wearing the same blue MOTL windbreaker, all in the same place. Marching for and celebrating those who couldn’t. This was the most amazing experience of my life. Amazing isn’t appropriate for what this experience actually is. I truly believe that I will never do something or be a part of something so special, so powerful, meaningful, and important as participating in the March. This was so significant for me, and I’m sure for thousands of others, because about 77 years ago, the Nazis truly believed and obsessively hoped that we wouldn’t be here. BUT WE ARE and we’re not going anywhere. Today we celebrated the 6 million whose lives were stolen in the Holocaust.
I have never felt more proud to be Jewish than today. To be surrounded in a flood of Jews for as far as the eye could see (literally) was such a comforting and empowering feeling. It reminds me even more that Judaism will live on forever, and the memory of the fallen will never be forgotten. We listened to many speakers, but the one who stood out the most for me and brought me to uncontrollable tears was a survivor named Edward Mosberg. He was wearing his black and white stripe uniform and cap that was given to him when he was in the Mauthausen Concentration Camp. I’ve had the privilege of hearing many holocaust survivors speak, but he is the only one who said he cannot forgive. He saw his entire family murdered and turned into ash. When he spoke, the podium was shaking and had to be held down by his escort. His granddaughter had to hold onto him because the passion in his voice caused him to lose his breath and balance. His speech really made me sit up straight and realize how recent the Holocaust was and at that moment I promised myself that I refuse to let anything like this happen again. Whether it’s ignorance at school or a protest against Jews on a college campus, I will not be a bystander nor will I let anyone be a victim. I will never forget so that a Holocaust never happens again. #NeverForget #NeverAgain                  -Hannah Guttman, Cincinnati Country Day HS

Austin:

Hello everyone. Today we started the day with a short amount of time in the Kraków ghetto. Followed by about an hour in a concentration camp called Plaszow. We learned that Plaszow was different from other camps, in that there was only Jews in the camp as opposed to other camps that had polish people and people of other ethnicities. After we left Plaszow we drove to Auschwitz. Once we arrived we walked into the camp. Immediately, I noticed a difference from yesterday. Yesterday, when we walked through the camp we all had a huge range of emotions, ranging from straight faced and trying to keep it together to extremely sad and in tears. But today I walked into the camp and at least five minutes had passed and I turned to Danny Niedermann and said “I just realized, we’re in Birkenau!” I FORGOT THAT I WAS IN A CONCENTRATION CAMP!!!!! I know that that sounds terrible but I have never see so many Jews being Jewish in the same place at the same time. The entire time that we were marching I’ve never felt more Jewish in my entire life. When I started this trip I started it with complete strangers but by the end of the third day I already knew that I would end this trip with a new family that I will always be able to count on.          -Austin Rudd, Little Miami HS

 

During our journey, we’re sharing a few highlight photos per day in our daily blog, yet to see ALL of our photos (many per day, including more detail of this preserved camp), go to our shared album here. https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0SJqstnBJ10BQS