Sunday, August 4, 2013


I’m on my way to Hungary with a Combined Jewish Philanthropies (Boston Jewish federation) mission. It’s a great group and I’m looking forward to framing our work and telling the story of what we do in a fascinating and revitalizing community.

But first, I wanted to write down something that happened to me in synagogue yesterday, Shabbat morning.

I took my kids, who played (somewhat noisily, it’s true) at the back of the room with two other kids – whose mom was their teacher at the JCC last year. The mom introduced me to her in-laws, and we spoke in a mixture of Hebrew and English. I knew something of their immigrant origins, and these stories always fascinate me. And they asked me about this trip, and about my work at the Joint.

And, as we said goodbye after the Kiddush, the mother-in-law looked at her husband and said to me, “and of course, the Joint rescued him after the Shoah, and put him through the DP (Displaced Persons) Camp in Europe.”

Then I remembered. Last year, as a favor to the teacher, I had found her parents’ JDC emigration cards in our archives. They had been registered with JDC in Europe after World War II. Her father-in-law was in Ferewalt from 1946 to 1949.

“But you,” I said. “I remember you were also in a DP Camp, no?”

“Yes. Fulda [Germany],” she said. “I was saved by the Joint as well. We were both rescued.”

It was a good start to the weekend.

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