Remember Together






Rachel Mandula: Remember
Together


Over twenty years ago in Petach Tikva
on the morning of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Rachel Mandula had the spark
of an idea that would eventually lead to the creation of an organization that
uses Jewish history as a source of strength for families trying to cope with
difficult situations.
 On that day, a single word from a passerby spoken after the national
moment of silence in memory of the s
ix million Jews killed in the Holocaust
caused Mandula to begin reading small, lesser known journals and memoirs of
survivors.


Mandula found that “Those who survived not only had  luck, but also
an ability to maintain their dignity. They didn’t focus on what the Nazis
did, but rather the positive moments. They found periods of pride and strength.
They found ways to guard their individuality.”


Four years ago, the spark that was lit years before became a reality and
Mandula together with a few committed friends founded Od Derech Lz’kor,
Another Way to Remember
, a non-profit organization. The 100% volunteer
organization’s membership is comprised of Holocaust survivors, children
of survivors and people connected with the Holocaust.


Mandula was born in 1942 in the industrial-agricultural town of Turda,
Rumania, a town where Rumanians, Hungarians, Jews, Gypsies and a few Armenians
lived in religious tolerance. She was the only Jewish child born in this
town during the War, and she felt herself to be regarded as a symbol of
the triumph of life. After the War, refugees often stayed at the family
home, some sharing their experiences, while others remaining silent on the
topic. In 1963 the family emigrated from communist Rumania to Israel.


Through schools and other alliances the organization provides a short program
that families can do in their homes to motivate discussion about the Holocaust
in a non-threatening manner.  The program focuses on
Chanukah, Purim and Passover, three holidays where Jews remember
and celebrate survival despite the threat of extinction.  
Remember-Together seeks to build Jewish
traditions using games and building on symbolism that can be carried forth
from generation to generation.
The ceremony takes place within the
family to provide a source of power and security and mitigate any sense of
trauma to the children.
It helps to give families the strength
to cope with difficult situations by finding strength in Jewish history.
The program which can
be found at the website is
also distributed through schools, synagogues and community centers in Israel,
Korea, Columbia and Brazil.


Text by Michele Kaplan-Green.





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