Cedars-Sinai’s Yom Ha’Shoah Holocaust Remembrance Day Program – 4/11/2018


Yesterday at 10:00 AM Israel-time entire Jewish communities stopped what they were doing no matter where or what they were doing to remember that Hitler’s Nazi regime murdered about 6,000,000 MILLION Jews for no other reason than Aryan supremacist beliefs that Germans are a superior race and Jews are among the most evil sub-species of humans on earth. THE BELIEF IS JEW-HATRED POPPYCOCK!

 

Here is an excerpt from the Times of Israel including a two-minute video of the occasion:

 

Israel came to a standstill at 10 a.m. Thursday as sirens wailed throughout the country in memory of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis during World War II.

 

Buses and cars halted on streets and highways as Israelis stepped out of their vehicles and stood with heads bowed.

 

The sirens were followed by ceremonies marking Holocaust Remembrance Day in schools, public institutions and army bases. …

VIDEO: https://content.jwplatform.com/players/JDTAPW6g-U4CTA3JQ.html

In the wee hours of yesterday morning, Ari Bussel shared an email of his remembrance of the Holocaust.

JRH 4/13/18

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Cedars-Sinai’s Yom Ha’Shoah Holocaust Remembrance Day Program – 4/11/2018

 

By Ari Bussel

Sent 4/12/2018 1:00 AM

 

I am the son of Holocaust Survivors, but this story is not about my parents, rather about their generation, about those who survived the Holocaust.

 

My father’s mother left one day, and did not come back.  One of the Polish neighbors informed the authorities.  The Poles did not only “follow orders;” the atrocities were not perpetrated only by the Nazis and at their direction.  The Poles were willing and often eager participants.  If I were in Poland today, such pronouncements would be punishable by law, for according to the new law, the Poles were themselves just innocent victims of the Nazis, nothing more.

 

Display of Holocaust Era Family Photo

 

On this Remembrance Day to the Holocaust and the Bravery (as it is called in Israel), we remember my grandmother on my father’s side (both seen in the picture above), my grandfather on my mother’s side and the entire extended family who perished during the Holocaust.

 

Yesterday you received from me a reminder of Cedars-Sinai’s Yom Ha’Shoah Holocaust Remembrance Day Program that took place today, April 11th, 2018.

 

I wrote that to me, Dr. Joel Geiderman’s 34th annual program is likely the most significant of all.  Doctors (MDs), nurses, staff, the general public and Holocaust Survivors gather year after year, for three and a half decades, to hear a lecture, have a box lunch, witness Survivors lighting six candles commemorating the Six Million Jews who perished during the Holocaust in WWII (1939-1945) – among which were more than one million children – and hear the recitation of Kadish [aka Kaddish] and El Maleh Rachamim (“God Full of Mercy”) prayers.

 

Dr. Geiderman graciously gives credit to others, but it is his program, and the generosity of an enduring gift by the Feintech family that enables this program.  Will it survive after Dr. Geiderman?  What will happen when there will be no more Survivors still living among us?

 

Today, Dr. Guiderman asked the children of Holocaust Survivors to stand up.  We stood and looked around – there were many of us; as many as the number of Survivors when I started attending this program so many years ago.

 

We gathered to bear witness, promising “Never Forger; Never Again.”

 

Yom Ha’Shoah 2018 at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles.

 

Beverly Hills, Jerusalem of Gold and Holocaust Survivor Max Webb

 

Prior to the start of the program, members of the Jerusalem of Gold Committee (the official celebration in 2017 of “The City of Angels Saluting the City of God” marking 50 years of the Reunification of Jerusalem, Israel’s capital) presented a proclamation issued by the City of Beverly Hills to Max Webb, a Holocaust Survivor.

 

The City Council headed by (then Mayor) Lili Bosse issued 100 individual proclamations to 100 Holocaust Survivors who were still alive at that time, vowing and promising “We Will Never Forget You!

 

Max Webb, who was unable to attend at that time, received his Proclamation today.

 

Holocaust Survivor Max Webb received his Proclamation 2018

 

Members of the Jerusalem of Gold Committee:

 

(Standing) Dr. Pablo Nankin, Susanne Reyto, Marina Waks, Zohreh Mizrahi (Seated) Ari Bussel, Max Webb, Shahla Javdan

 

Max Webb is either the last or one of only two or three surviving members of the 1939 Club.  Years ago, when Pastor John Hagee (the most famous Evangelical Christian supporter of Israel and the Jewish people, founder of CUFI) was still not known, the Israel Christian Nexus hosted his visit to Los Angeles.  We had three events scheduled in his honor.  A morning event, followed by a meeting with the Board of Rabbis at the Jewish Federation of Greater LA (where Rabbi Kravitz, the father, of Jews for Judaism, asked Pastor Hagee about proselytization attempts; Pastor Hagee did not blink as he replied:  “Teach your young ones; and then nothing will succeed to sway them from their beliefs” and added unequivocally “we support you, no strings attached; we do not want to proselytize your children”).  From there we continued to the Hillcrest Club, where the 1939 Club hosted a reception for Mrs. and Pastor Hagee.

 

I remember as we arrived with the guests and entered the hall where the reception took place, the members of the 1939 Club were already waiting for us.  The picture in my mind is of “small” and frail people, who were already “old” at that time, very old.  Alas, memories of a young man.

 

Max Webb, as you can see from the pictures, looks fantastic, although he has passed the 100 year mark either a year or two years ago!

 

In Israel, in each university, there is at least one building with his and his wife’s name on it.  He has always given most generously.  As he told Shlomo z”l and Frida Rosenblatt long ago:  “I have, so I am giving.”

 

This spirit of given has not diminished.  Its meaning is magnified when one learns (as I did from Mrs. Rosenblatt, herself and her late husband both Holocaust Survivors) that at home, before WWII, Max Webb’s family was extremely poor.  When he was walking to the Cheder (place of learning, the equivalent of elementary school), as he was lifting one foot after another, the water was pouring out from the bottom of the shoes (I am not sure if they even had soles).

 

Nate Shapell z”l

 

As a kid, I knew of Nate (Nathan) Shapell, for he used to underwrite the State of Israel Independence Day official Consulate reception in the Beverly Hills Hotel.

 

He and brother David (also deceased) have supported Israel in numerous ways.  The Beverly Hills annual extravagance was not even the cherry at the top; it was simply something they most generously did.

 

For members of the Israeli community, it was the most coveted invitation at that time, likely similar to receiving an invitation to the Oscars today.  I was fortunate to accompany my father year after year (as my mother shies away from such events).

 

Shapell continued to underwrite the reception until Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a world-wide directive to all its diplomatic missions prohibiting individual sponsorships of official events.

 

Several years ago, one of the leaders of the local Israeli community passed away.  General Shimon Erem founded and headed to his last day the Israel Christian Nexus, on whose founding board I had the privilege of serving (until Gen. Erem’s death).

 

Shimon’s wife Danielle, who will be 98 on September 22, 2018, has given me much of Shimon’s very extensive library, which we distributed among Jewish and Christian community- and religious leaders.

 

Among the books were two copies (second printing, 1974) of “Witness to the Truth” by Nate Shapell.

 

1974 2nd Printing Witness to the Truth by Nate Shapell

 

Here is an excerpt from the jacket to the book:

 

Nathan Shapell was 17yo when he Germans occupied his hometown in Poland.  Ordinary life vanished from the face of Europe; there was only survival and horror or death to choose between.  Shapell fought with every weapon at his command – his ingenuity, his resourcefulness, and his incredible courage – not for himself but for the lives of his family and friends.

 

After managing to outwit the Nazis hour by hour with his fellow Jews in the ghettoes, he was taken at last to Auschwitz, and from the summer of 1943 on, he endured was two few lived to tell.  He survived Auschwitz, death marches, and two more concentration camps.  Then his story, and Witness to the Truth, begins.

 

The book tells that story, and it also conveys a vote of thanks to those ordinary American soldiers and officers who found themselves in an unexpected role.  He bears witness to their humanity and decency; he also bears witness to eh survivors and to the silent dead.  Finally, he reaches out to all people, especially young Americans, to show them that a man can go through the worst hell imaginable, survive it, still love his fellow men, and even go on to become a part of what is now called “the establishment.”

 

Nate Shapell’s daughter, Vera Guerin, participates in the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day Program, until this year as the Chair of Cedars-Sinai board of directors.  So today I brought a copy of the book to her.  I suspected she has many copies at home, but she was grateful to have it.

 

Her aunt (Nate’s sister) was Max Webb’s wife.  Nate z”l and Max are brothers-in-law.  A small world indeed.

 

[Dr. Geiderman:  I do not have Vera’s or Max’s e-mail addresses; kindly please forward this to them.]

 

This is the story of One Proclamation, One Book and a ceremony in its 34th year, a commitment that keeps on going.  It seems that by design, they are all connected.  Likewise, in life, we – the Jewish People – are all connected; and we – the Saturday and Sunday People, Jews and Christians – are all connected.  We are one, all created in the image of our God the Almighty.

 

Always,
Ari Bussel
bussel@me.com

Ellie and Dr. Pablo Nankin, Dr. Nepune Mizrahi, Esther Hezghian

 

Susanne Reyto, Janet Kirt

 

Beverly Hills Synagogue (YINBH) Cantor Nati Baram singing El Maleh Rachamim 

 

Lighting Six Candles [Representing 6,000,000 Murdered Jews], remembering the Six Million Jews who perished during the Holocaust [1 & 2]

 

 

Suzee and her mother, Holocaust Survivor Lili Markowitz

 

 

Esther Blaugrund, Zohreh Mizrahi and Shahla Javdan, a prominent leader of the Jewish Iranian community

 

 

Zohreh Mizrahi, Cantor Nati Baram, Dr. Pablo and Ellie Nankin

 

 

Below picture is from March 2, 2017, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Los Angeles Dinner “What You Do Matters:  Celebrating Max Webb’s 100th Birthday with a special tribute”

 

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Minor editing by John R. Houk

Source links are by the Editor embedded for non-Jewish understanding.

 

© Ari Bussel

 

Ari Bussel Bio via BeverlyHills.org

 

Ari Bussel is Vice President of Operations at Saybrex International, a privately held family business specializing in the distribution of fine wines and spirits. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company and has held various positions in the company since 1993.

 

Prior to joining Saybrex, Mr. Bussel served as First Lieutenant in the Center for Systems Analysis at General Headquarters of the Israel Defense Forces, where he led the implementation of the Logistics War Doctrine in the Computerized Wargame Program.

 

Mr. Bussel is involved in a variety of philanthropic and civic activities. Mr. Bussel completed the Team Beverly Hills Leadership Program and served on the Environmental Sustainability Topic Committee of the City of Beverly Hills. He was a member of the Steering Committees of former Beverly Hills Mayor MeraLee Goldman and the current Beverly Hills City Treasurer, the Hon. Eliot Finkel. Mr. Bussel also completed and participated in the Community Emergency Response Training Program of the City of Beverly Hills as well as the Crisis Response Team of the Maple Counseling Center.

 

Mr. Bussel was among the founding members and served on the boards of Gen. Shimon Erem’s Israel Christian Nexus, the Western Region of Friends of Israel Firefighters and the Israel Institute for Alternative Energy Advancement. He completed the Salvin Leadership Program of the Anti-Defamation League.

 

Mr. Bussel writes regularly. For the past decade, his weekly columns appeared in print in Israel Jewish Life, Shalom LA, Muslim World Today and Israeli Week. Mr. Bussel’s articles appear on numerous websites, including Canada Free Press, Free Republic, NewsBlaze, SlantRight and OpEdNews. He is a member of the Los Angeles Press Club.

 

Mr. Bussel received a Master of Science in Operations Research from Stanford University and Bachelor’s degrees from UCLA in Applied Mathematics and in Economics with a specialization in Computing.

 

Mr. Bussel was an avid runner who completed the 2005 and 2006 Los Angeles Marathon.

 

Mr. Bussel divides his time between Israel and the United States, writing about the social, political, military and foreign policy fabrics of the two countries. Mr. Bussel is a member of the foreign press corps in Israel. Since 2008, Mr. Bussel has cooperated with award winning investigative journalist and author in a series of essays “Postcards from America – Postcards from Israel,” and since 2011 in a series of radio broadcasts “Conversations Eye to Eye.”

 

Kristallnacht, 2016


kristallnacht

Intro to Kristallnacht, 2016

Edited by John R. Houk

By Ari Bussel

Posted November 13, 2016

 

Have you heard of the Kristallnacht? My guess is if you are younger than a Baby Boomer (and probably a significant amount of Boomers too), you have no clue what the word Kristallnacht represents.

 

Kristallnacht is German for “NIGHT OF BROKEN GLASS”. That horrendous night came on November 9, 1938 aimed at Jews:

 

… violence against Jews broke out across the Reich. It appeared to be unplanned, set off by Germans’ anger over the assassination of a German official in Paris at the hands of a Jewish teenager. In fact, German propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and other Nazis carefully organized the pogroms. In two days, over 250 synagogues were burned, over 7,000 Jewish businesses were trashed and looted, dozens of Jewish people were killed, and Jewish cemeteries, hospitals, schools, and homes were looted while police and fire brigades stood by. The pogroms became known as Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass,” for the shattered glass from the store windows that littered the streets.

 

READ THE REST (THE “NIGHT OF BROKEN GLASS”; United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

 

Now that those of you who were unaware are updated this submission by Ari Bussel should have more meaning. Ari is a descendant of Holocaust Survivors. He attended his first remembrance event at annual conference held in California on the anniversary of Kristallnacht.

 

Ari writes of how few Holocaust survivors were at this annual event largely because of age. He notices that some of the other attendees were quite inconsiderate to the few survivors in attendance as if they forgot the significance of the reasons to remember that around SIX MILLION Jews were slaughtered by Nazi Germans.

 

Ari also spends a little time pointing out there is NO moral equivalence between Jews fleeing the Nazis and Syrian Muslims fleeing ISIS/Assad. The Syrian refugees are primarily Sunni. They may be fleeing the effects of war, but they are fleeing from a regime that hates their existence as the Jews did fleeing Nazis. Leftist err in vainly trying to make that moral equivalence.

kristallnacht-explained-2

JRH 11/13/16

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Kristallnacht, 2016

 

By Ari Bussel

Sent 11/9/2016 5:10 PM

 

And you will be mad of the sight of your eyes which you will see” (Deuteronomy 28:34)

 

And your life shall hang before you, and you will fear night and day and will have no assurances of your life.  In the morning you will wish it be evening, and in the evening you will say may it be morning, for the fear of your heart which you will fear and the sight of your eyes which you will see.”  (ibid:66-67)

 

It was a November night in 1938, a night that would be remembered ever after as the Night of Broken Glass.  Jews were no longer safe in Europe.

 

The 1939 Club – Members Now Extinct

 

Some years ago, Jews and Christians working together in defense of their shared values had an event at the exclusive Hillcrest Country Club in Los Angeles.

kristallnacht-event-ca-11-9-16

The event was held by the Israel Christian Nexus and sponsored by the 1939 Club (today the 1939 Society).  I remember entering the room designated for our event, alongside Pastor John Hagee of Christians United for Israel.

 

Our hosts, members of the Los Angeles based 1939 Club, were seated at tables.  What I clearly remember are not the individual faces, just the fact they were all very old, very frail and dressed up so elegantly as if they came from a different world.  I do not remember canes or walkers, but the image of people hardly able to stand or walk has been etched deeply in my mind.

 

Small people.  People who, if one dares touch them most gently, might turn to dust or fog and disappear.  Appearing as a figment of imagination, or perhaps a prop?  Clearly, they did not seem real, making the entire event both surreal and holy.

 

The 1939 Club was supporting many causes at that time and doing so most generously.  Their money had to be put to good use, and they were there observing, stewards and guardians.
They were not checking, micromanaging or overseeing and gave most generously, no questions asked.  Rather they were a living testament to an awful era, and their task, with plentiful means was:  Do whatever is necessary to ensure such evil happens “Never Again!”

 

I saw small, little, frail individuals from whom intense will and determination emanated.  Powered by the means to do good, educate, influence, teach, instill courage, fight and ensure continuity, they focused on the task at hand, for it was apparent to everyone that time was of the essence.  Time was running out, yet the obligation was as formidable as always.

 

These were the survivors, and I am told not one of them is here with us today.  How is it possible?  Simple:  My parents were young children during the Holocaust.  The members of the 1939 Club were at least 20 years older, thus, they would be nearing 100 today.

 

Like them, other survivors are all disappearing.  On October 28th, Sol Berger z”l, would have turned 97.  He passed away on Rosh Hashana, three and a half weeks earlier.  His younger friend, Joe Davis celebrated his 96th birthday on November 7th and his wife turned 92 on the very same day.

 

Sol z”l, a member of the Partisans, and Joe and his wife are three of several Holocaust survivors I know and dare to call my friends.  Julius with a number tattooed on his hand and Leslie, saved by Raul Wallenberg, are two other survivors.  They all reside at the same “retirement home,” and I am privileged and most blessed to be with them every Shabbat.

 

Remembering the Holocaust – Annual Events

 

Year after year, my friend Lily Steiner invites me to the annual Kristallnacht Commemoration event at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.  Year after year I promise to go, but something always comes up, and I never had; until this year.  Lily came back from Australia especially for me to join her, and I am so grateful I did.

 

The 10th annual event now joins Dr. Joel Geiderman’s annual event at Cedar Sinai Medical Center as a “must attend” event on my calendar.

 

Dr. Geiderman is the co-chair of the Emergency Department at Cedar Sinai and for some three decades has brought thousands of doctors, nurses and staff, alongside community members and Holocaust survivors for the annual lunch-and-lecture.

 

At Loyola I discovered some of the same elements:  faculty and staff, community members and students.  Students, young, oh so young and impressionable, yet eager to hear and learn.

 

While at Cedar Sinai the number of survivors dwindles down every year, there are still some.

 

Sol z”l, Joe and his wife, Leslie and Julius, as well as Irene (“I am 94, I survived the Holocaust and I am blind!”) all reside two blocks away from the hospital, yet there has been no effort to send someone and bring them and other Holocaust survivors who are alive and live nearby to the event.  Apparently this extra effort is beyond necessity.  It will be a “feel good” and fulfilling event anyway, so why bother.

 

At Loyola I found no more survivors.  The Director of Jewish Studies responsible for the ten annual commemoration events explained that the date was set a very long time in advance and happened to clash with a long weekend for Holocaust survivors, who were too exhausted to attend.

 

There was, though, one elderly woman with a walker who fit the age.  The intensity of her look convinced me she was a survivor, but I did not ask.  When the film screening started, she was unable to see from the place she was seated.  It was too far away.

 

I brought two chairs for her and her companion, likely her daughter.  A lady from the back came toward us, shouting, “you cannot sit here we will not be able to see!”

 
Not only was she very far back, the elderly lady could not have blocked her line of sight.  To be at a Holocaust memorial event and show not the tiniest iota of kindness begs the question, why does one even bother to show up?

 
The lady without compassion could have moved her chair two inches to the right or the left, as there was so much space.  But she decided to be confrontational toward a person much older and so much more fragile than she.

 
And we ask ourselves, how could a nation so intelligent, so cultured and advanced as Germany in the early 1930s become so evil?  We wonder if it can happen again, if we could have partaken in the same madness.

 

The answer apparently is yes.  As human beings we do not find in our hearts to be kind, to try, to overcome the urge to “go and make a scene,” “complain!” and insist “she must not sit in front.”  Instead, we behave in such an inconsiderate and loathsome manner.

 

Such untoward behavior at a Kristallnacht Commemoration event is tragic.  Oh, the person must be so proud!  She disappeared quickly before the last credits were shown, skipping the reception.  I was actually looking for her, to take her picture.  How people who look “normal” and “cultured” can turn so ugly and evil.

 

Refugees

 

Following the screening of “Jan Karski & the Lords of Humanity” about the Polish Karski who was assigned to inform the world of the Nazis exterminating the Jews, a panel response with the director allowed Q&A.

 

In a most vivid discussion about refugees, the survivors and the world’s reaction to them were compared to the modern-day Syrian refugees crisis.

 

Remember, my friend Lily and I were seated among some 120 people we did not know.  I am among the very few children of Holocaust survivors who were in the audience, and my friend Lily is a fierce fighter for Israel and the West.

slawomir-grunberg-and-lily-steiner-visiting-from-australia

I am thinking about the students, those young, impressionable minds, who experienced no war or real threat in their lifetimes, hearing from two prominent and very respected individuals (a professor and a film director) that Holocaust survivors, like my mother who managed to arrive illegally to Palestine then under British Mandate, or my father who managed to arrive to Israel after the formation of the modern state, are very like today’s Syrian refugees in Europe or those being admitted to the USA by the Obama administration.

 

I am livid.  I am ready to explode.  I boil.  Just moments earlier we all watched footage from the Warsaw Ghetto.  My father was there until his escape.  And now, I am told that he is very much the same as those purportedly escaping their brethren in Syria?

 

Those who are dressed nicer than I am?  Who demand where they prefer to live?  Many among whom rape and grope German women?  Or perpetrate horrific terrorist attacks against their new home countries?  Who have fake passports and ulterior motives to infiltrate and overtake Western civilization?

 

Or maybe the “similarities” can be found in the fact that the Arab world, other than Jordan, does nothing to aid the Syrians?  Indeed, the Jews of America during WWII behaved in much the same way.  But how can anyone compare the Muslims to Holocaust survivors?

 

Lily raised her hand, was given a microphone and very politely but powerfully contested the corrupt “moral equivalency” presented.

 

The same fake equivalency was shown in Spielberg’s movie “Munich.”

 

And the same has happened time after time when the world compares Israel and Gaza’s Hamas.  “So many dead among the Gazans; so few among the Israelis – Israel is at fault!  Israel is the evil-doer, not Hamas and the non-stop, non-discriminating barrage of rockets it unleashes against the Israeli population!”

 

Celebrating the Holocaust, Appeasing Our Senses

 

It seems that seven decades after the end of WWII, as Holocaust survivors are disappearing and their voices become too frail and hard to hear, we are creating our own notions of the Holocaust.

 

We have annual commemorations where we forget the most basic decency.

 

We bring politics and similar baggage to higher education institutions, and professors utilize the classrooms and their students as breeding grounds for indoctrination.
We allow anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiments, so prevalent nowadays, to pervade every fabric of our being.  Many of the detractors are Jewish.  Some even are Israelis.  And we do not really need any enemies.  The Arabs understood it all long ago, a simple lesson:  Leave the Jews to their own bidding, and they will destroy themselves.

 

Apparently, we will continue to “celebrate” the Holocaust, with more movies and stories, now done by members of the second generation who were not there but only witnessed the Holocaust via their parents or grandparents, the living remnants of the Holocaust.

 

We do not do the simplest deed that requires effort, like going out of our way to bring a Holocaust survivor, since we live in a different day and age.

 

Today the Holocaust does not really matter, except when we see a movie that manages to touch us, and we leave convinced “we remember,” and even that “we did something good by simply watching a movie.”

 

Can the same evil happen again?  Undoubtedly.

 

So what was Kristallnacht in 1938?  What happened in Europe from 1933—1945?  What started on September 1st, 1933?

 

Judging by the behavior of too many…a whole lot of nothing.

 

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This is the latest in the series “Postcards from America – Postcards from Israel,” a collaboration between Zager and Bussel, a foreign correspondent reporting from Israel.

 

Ari Bussel and Norma Zager collaborate both in writing and on the air in a point-counter-point discussion of all things Israel-related.  Together, they have dedicated the past decade to promoting Israel.

© Israel Monitor, November, 2016

 

First Published November 8, 2016

Contact:  bussel@me.com