This article appeared in the July 20, 2006 Jewish Advocate.


Holocaust Survivors gather at Temple Emeth for Cafe Europa event

By Susie Davidson

Advocate Correspondent

Over 350 people responded to an invitation from the American Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors to attend the 2nd annual Cafe Europa social event at Temple Emeth on July 16. The event was made possible by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany ("Claims Conference") with additional funding from the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany.

AAJHS President Israel Arbeiter welcomed the crowd and noted the presence of Consul General of Germany Dr. Wolfgang Vorwerk and the consulate's Liaison for Holocaust Issues Monika Dane, as well as Ellen Fishman, Director of Holocaust Services at the Jewish Family and Children's Service; Julie Hock, the N.E. Regional Director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington; and Deborah Donig, JCRC Community Relations Associate.

The Pledge of Allegiance, led by Steve and Mary Ross, was followed by Abraham Webber's singing of Hatikvah with the assembled.

Guests enjoyed a full catered meal prepared by Chai Catering, a subsidiary of the Butcherie. As the 5-piece band Kadimah performed lively versions of traditional Jewish and swing music, as well as a medley from Fiddler on the Roof, attendees vigorously filled the dance floor.

Arbeiter expressed appreciation to several survivors in the crowd who had coordinated the event, AAJHS Vice President Hannah Lushan and committee members Rosian Zerner and Aaron Raboy, who also served as doorman.

Arbeiter praised the younger audience members: "It warms my heart to see you here. You didn't come for a good meal, but to be with your elders and the other Holocaust survivors," he said. He called for them to continue to pay tribute, and hoped that in the future, there might be an event for survivors that they themselves might sponsor.

Holocaust survivor and AAJHS Past President Brenda Wluka, who congratulated both Joseph and Ruth Wasserstein and Israel and Anna Arbeiter on their upcoming 60th anniversaries, began the singing of "G-d Bless America" to close the event.

To great applause, Arbeiter thanked the Claims Conference for helping to make the event such a success. "An occasion like this is of great benefit to the survivors, in that they get to see one another and socialize," he said.