Wednesday, October 20, 2010

An Emotional Journey - Yad Vashem's Bar/Bat Mitzvah Twinning Programme

My name is Jodi Margolis and I will be celebrating my Bat Mitzvah in December this year. I heard about the Yad Vashem Bat/Bar Mitzvah twinning programme, which gives me the opportunity to link my Bat Mitzvah with a girl who died in the Holocaust, and bring her name to life. This girl’s name is Lusia Margolis who died at the age of twelve. Her name had been given to Yad Vashem by her two first cousins, Edith and Rose, who survived the Holocaust. We managed to trace them and unbelievably they are both still alive and living in America! We took a chance and phoned them and they were overwhelmed when they heard the reason for our call. It was an extremely emotional phone call and I was particularly moved when they said that this was the first time they had heard Lusia’s name mentioned since the Holocaust. They are now 93 and 89 years old and I am honoured to be able to be in contact with them. Edith and Rose sent me a copy of the only photo they had of the whole family, which helped to bring Lusia to life. I talk about her on a daily basis and I really feel as if I know her. I regularly email Edith and Rose and they really are such wonderful ladies, who are so full of life.

This has been a very emotional journey for me, and there are some aspects of it that I just can’t put into words. When I started the twinning process, I never in my wildest dreams thought that it would have come this far and be so much more meaningful and special than I had originally anticipated! I really feel as if there is some connection between Lusia and myself, and if it weren’t for Edith and Rose putting her name forward to Yad Vashem, I never would have been blessed to honour Lusia’s memory. There is so much more to this wonderful story, including aspects from Edith’s and Rose’s sides, but I have only given a brief overview of my perspective. In the meantime, this is an ongoing story!

For more information about twinning in the UK, contact the British Friends of Yad Vashem, linda@yadvashem.org.uk

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