Seven Survivors

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Syosset High School welcomed seven survivors of the Holocaust for a day of reflection and respect for one another on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Coordinated by Social Studies Administrative Assistant Thomas Fusco, Library Media Specialist Lynn Ortlieb and teacher Richard Cafiero, Holocaust Remembrance Day brought tenth-graders together to listen to compelling presentations and testimony from speakers/survivors Annie Bleiberg, Gloria Gantz, Sam Hersley, Mordechai Miller, Werner Reich, Irving Roth and Mireille Taub. Some of the speakers brought images of the Holocaust to help illustrate this tragic time in world history. Miller even brought a model of a barn, which replicates the real barn he hid in from the Nazis during their occupation of Poland.

The event had special meaning to sophomore Jacob Hersley, a student organizer and grandson of speaker Sam Hersley. Three generations were on hand to listen to the elder Hersley’s account of Auschwitz, as Jacob’s father Mark Hersley was also present.

Each speaker emphasized the importance of respecting others, including those of different ethnic and religious backgrounds. Pictured are student organizers, flanked by Cafiero and Ortlieb, with speakers Miller, Hersley, Bleiberg and Taub seated. Jacob Hersley and Frank Hersley are standing behind Sam Hersley.