A Snapshot of Yom Hashoa

On Yom Hashoah, which took place yesterday, Berman students joined Jews around the world to commemorate the approximately six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.

Berman teachers prepared age-appropriate material to help students of all ages learn about this important and tragic period in Jewish history.


Middle school students were honored to hear from survivor and Berman alumni parent and grandparent Nathan Lewin (above) about his family’s experience escaping Lodz, Poland, during the war. Mr. Lewin’s family was saved by Righteous Gentile Chiune "Sempo" Sugihara, a Japanese Diplomat. Mr. Lewin spoke about the difficulties Jews faced obtaining travel visas and how his family had to travel to many places before being allowed to immigrate to the United States. Thank you to Mrs. Elikan for arranging the meaningful presentation and to students Tehila Halbfinger and Maytal Polonetsky for introducing their remarkable grandfather.

Read more- How my grandmother’s chutzpah helped Japan’s consul save thousands of Jews


Ms. Norma Johnson's tenth grade students created very moving bulletin boards displaying powerful stories from the Holocaust. 

"Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future." Ellie Weisel

The Toah Mitzion Kollel and the bnot sherut ran a special program with the US in honor of Yom Hashoah. The program included prayers and psalms, a dvar Torah from Rabbi Levitt, and excerpts from diaries of survivors. We also lit six candles in memory of the six million Jews.


In the lower school, Kindergarten discussed how Hashem saves the Jewish people in every generation. First grade and second grade read the picture books The Tattooed Torah and The Butterfly. Third grade students read the book Willy and Max, a story about the friendship between a Jewish and non-Jewish boy during World War II. The students also discussed where their families came from and what connections their families have to the Holocaust.

Fourth and fifth grade students focused on some of the heroes who helped save the lives of Jewish children. Fourth grade students watched Miracle at Moreaux, a movie about a church that helped three Jewish children escape the Nazis. Fifth grade students watched Miracle at Midnight, a movie about the Danish Jews and how they escaped Denmark while it was under Nazi control.


One middle school’s Holocaust memorial created over 13 years ago still resonates today. Rabbi Uri Topolosky, Rav Kehillah, co-led a trip commemorating Yom Hashoah to the Holocaust memorial built by students of the Whitwell Middle School in Whitwell, TN. The students collected 6 million paperclips to honor the memory of the Jews who died in the Holocaust. Their project was made into the documentary Paperclips, which was produced by Berman parent and alum Ari Pinchot. Berman students Elyon and Itai Topolosky and Paula and Meshulam Ungar, joined the group which included participants from the Beth Joshua Congregation of Aspen Hill and Tikvat Israel Congregation.

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