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‘Walk the Story’ speakers share Holocaust stories

Posted May 22, 2023 in Articles


Menorah Park and Kol Israel Foundation made Holocaust education and history interactive with their “Walk the Story” event on May 21 hosted at Wiggins Place in Beachwood.

Attendees were invited to view several presentation boards set up throughout the lobby, each with a speaker or Kol Israel docent stationed there to tell the story of their or their family’s survival of the Holocaust.

‘Walk the Story’ speakers share Holocaust stories

Peggy Dorfman, left, tells the story of her parents’ escape from the Nazis to Kathy Solganik, resident Janet Cort and her caregiver Bettie Mosera.

A self-guided experience paired with scheduled presentations in another room, speakers included Alice Shubach telling her late husband, Bob’s experience on Kristallnacht and his escape to Cleveland; Allen Binstock, who was born at a displaced persons camp to Holocaust survivor parents; Peggy Dorfman, who spoke of her parents’ experiences; Stephen Wertheim, who discussed his father’s experiences and survival; and Sonja Schwartz, who survived the Holocaust as a child. Debby Chudakoff, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, and Judy Friedman were also stationed in the lobby to share with attendees.

‘Walk the Story’ speakers share Holocaust stories

Allen Binstock, who was born in a displaced persons camp to two Holocaust survivors, speaks of his parents experiences in the Holocaust at Menorah Park and Kol Israel Foundation’s “Walk the Story” event on May 21 at Wiggins Place in Beachwood.

At the event, Kol Israel’s education director, Lindsay Friedman, told the Cleveland Jewish News that collaborations like this extend the reach of Holocaust education to members of the community.

“I believe Kol Israel can be the go-to education program for all of Holocaust education,” she said. “I’m hoping by reaching out to the community and being part of it, the more people know we’re not just for schools. We’re here for every age or organization that is looking to explore Holocaust education, which is even more nowadays because of rising antisemitism. We think our program is good for all ages.”

‘Walk the Story’ speakers share Holocaust stories

Stephen Wertheim, right, discusses his father’s Holocaust experiences while Laury Gordon, from left, Alice Shubach and Kathy Solganik listen in.

    Rabbi Akiva Feinstein, Menorah Park’s director of spiritual living, told the CJN at the event that hosting the event was “very appealing,” especially since the senior community has partnered with Kol Israel in the past in a “traditional sense” through support and education efforts. So, collaborating in a new way was very “exciting” for Menorah Park, he said.

    ‘Walk the Story’ speakers share Holocaust stories

    Speaker Judy Friedman talks with Menorah Park hospice liaison Hannah Paul.

      “So, it was natural for us to offer some of our residents with those stories and the venue, and that they would bring the concept,” Feinstein said. “I think this is just a model of what we want to do as a campus. Menorah Park wants to link in with more organizations. Times have changed a little bit, so we have to link in new ways. And for some of the residents here, we honored them for Yom Hashoah, and they told their stories and lit some candles. That was more mournful. But this is a commitment to life, that life goes on. This is the Cleveland Jewish community coming to hear their stories. We’re just happy we can do this.”

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