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A Moving Yom HaShoah

A Moving Yom HaShoah

By: Sima Kelner
Director, SINAI Shalem HS at Ma'ayanot

We are always so proud when a student steps out of her comfort zone and tries something new and difficult for her.  This can often be a particularly big hurdle for a young person with an intellectual or cognitive difficulty, like many of our students here at SINAI’s Shalem High School for Girls at Ma’ayanot. 

A couple of days before Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah), I told our students what the program within Ma’ayanot would be, and how, as usual, they would be included with all of the girls in the mainstream school.  I was really impressed when one of my students, a soft spoken girl in her first year with us, spoke up.  If the Ma’ayanot girls would be telling the stories of members of their families, she asked, could she also speak during the program, about her great grandfather who had survived the Holocaust.

Of course the coordinators of the Ma’ayanot high school program were encouraging, and they immediately incorporated my student into the program.  She had never spoken in front of such a large crowd, but courageously and confidently stepped up in front of the entire school to share her great grandfather’s story.  Although she is usually so quiet and reserved, everyone there—students and teachers alike—-hung on her words.