Experiencing Yom HaShoah in Israel

This post is by Sarah Padway, participant on the Career Israel Internship Program. Graduate of  the University  of Wisconsin ( BA in Journalism and Mass Communications and History).  Sarah’s internship in Tel Aviv is in government and politics.

The Pesach Holiday served as the beginning to a number of Holidays in Israel. On the evening of April 18, we participated in a Holocaust Remembrance Seder for Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. Members of our program, along with a few other MASA programs read poems, sang, and shared stories in memory of those who were killed in the Holocaust and the courageous gentiles (non-Jews) who risked their lives to save members of their respective communities. At 10 the next morning, there was a siren throughout Israel marking a moment of remembrance of those who perished in the Holocaust. Nina, Julie and I decided to take a walk down the street next to the beach in Tel Aviv during the time of the siren. During the siren everything, and I mean everything stopped. The birds didn’t move, the dog near us didn’t move, even the wind seemed to stop. When the siren stopped, everyone went back to their daily lives. It was as if to say (and this is completely my opinion), we must honor and remember the tragic events of the Holocaust, but we must also continue moving forward, using their memory as a reminder of our duty to do all we can to never allow something like this to happen again.

Participants on Career Israel internship program on Yom HaShoah (photo by Nina Baker)

For Shabbat, I was invited to Efraim, one of my boss’s, house for dinner with his family. He has two boys, so it felt very much like being at home with my younger brothers. Noam, one of his sons asked me if high school in America was like the movies. It was a nice break from everyone asking if Wisconsin is like That 70s Show, haha. I enjoyed being able to just sit around the dinner table and talk, like we do at home.

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