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“I was 12 when the Nazis invaded my hometown of Gribov, Poland in 1939. And I have not had my Bar Mitzva yet…” — Mr. Lemel (Leon) Shegrin.

During the interview with my father, who runs @The Yizkor Foundation – a project he started almost 30 years ago, interviewing holocaust survivors, and getting their story, mostly in Yiddish. – Mr Lemel (Leon) who lives now in Florida, shared his incredible story of survival, and how BH he was saved – because of a horse.

At multiple times throughout the interview, Mr. Shegrin (born in Oct 1926) expressed how he missed out on having a proper Bar Mitzvah. Getting an Aliyah leTorah, or putting on Tefilin.

After sharing this tidbit with my brother Yossi (who shares passion in my fathers project) he advised him to actually make one for him, now.

After contacting Pinny from @Latest Talks and Rabbi Feldbrand from Kehilas Kedishas Levi of North Miami Beach, they pulled together this incredible event, 3 days later.

I’m honored to have been a part of such an incredible and once in a lifetime experience, and I’m glad to be able to share this experience with the world.

The one thing I, personally, took out from meeting Lemel, is that we should stick together, and not ever let go of our “Yiddish Culture”.

He repeated multiple times how we should not look at how we dress (Levush), but where we come from. Money doesn’t mean anything.
Be Mentchlich, respectful and kind to others, and to keep the Yiddish language spoken.

Thanks for watching, and I hope it was inspiring.

Check out some more fun BTS and commentary, on my instagram highlights.

(Insta: @shimmyrphotography)