This Purim, we were busy with various celebrations, including one special event for Holocaust survivors held at Jerusalem City Hall. Barry and Batya attended and brought gifts for everyone. Batya shares:
"After many grey, cold days with clouds and wet streets, Tuesday arrived, the day when 200 survivors were invited to a Purim party at Jerusalem City Hall. It was a beautiful, sunny morning, and the flowers were blooming all around.
At the entrance to the building, a big table was set with goodies for breakfast. We donated a buffet spread of hot and cold foods and drinks. It was wonderful to meet the survivors face to face. We met some of them at the ambulance dedication at the Millennium Center, and they thanked us again for that event, which they remembered favorably. The atmosphere was joyful and the survivors came with a youthful spirit, dressed up for the holiday.
In the main City Council Hall overlooking Jerusalem's exquisite skyline, we were welcomed by a klezmer band that played happy tunes for Purim and beautiful Hassidic music. The survivors enjoyed the music so much that they started dancing with joy, and the atmosphere was amazing.
We were asked to open the event with a few words to the dear survivors. We told them how happy and excited we were to be with them on Purim, celebrate with them, and give them the little we can. We talked about the survival story of the Jewish people throughout the generations and about the fact that they survived the worst of it all, and that thanks to them, we celebrated victory over evil in the free and democratic State of Israel. As we suffered in the past from Haman's hatred toward the Jewish people, we continue to suffer from unjustified hatred in each generation.
Barry also spoke about his father, an esteemed officer in the U.S. Army during WWII. Serving in an elite unit, he participated in five battles, inflicting significant damage on the Nazi enemy. Many members of Barry's family were lost in the Holocaust, and he described the privilege he feels to have made Aliyah as a lone soldier and raise a family in Israel.
The excitement peaked when the mayor of Jerusalem came in to greet the guests, calling them "our heroes.”
At the end of the event, we left feeling happy for the opportunity to honor and give joy to these dear people — to bless them, embrace them, and show them how important they are to us."