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Young Lion of Judah Program Inspires Volunteers

Inspire your B’Nai Mitzvah child to demonstrate a commitment to the Jewish community by enrolling in Young Lion of Judah, a program of Federation’s Jewish Volunteer Center and the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach. As part of their Bar/Bat Mitzvah preparations, Young Lion of Judah participants will meet with their peers for programs on Holocaust education. Twenty-five of them have the remarkable opportunity to be matched with local Holocaust survivors, building a new friendship and learning to tell their story, allowing it to be shared for generations to come.

Earlier this year, Ruthie Tessler of Surfside enrolled in Young Lion of Judah and was partnered with 89-year-old Alex Gross, who survived the Munkács ghetto of Czechoslovakia and the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Both Ruthie and Alex were highly moved by their meetings and conversations, and encouraged others to join the program. “It was an honor to meet Alex and his family, and to learn his story,” Ruthie said. “We may be the last generation to talk to him and other survivors, and hear about all that they experienced. The Young Lion of Judah program had a tremendous influence on me.”

Recognizing the importance of sharing his story, Alex urged other young people to become involved in the unique project and to appreciate the significance of Jewish involvement. “We had a very good, meaningful relationship,” he said.

Supporting the Jewish value of tzedakah, each Young Lion of Judah must make a $180 gift to Federation’s Annual Campaign. Completion of the program is recognized by the presentation of a special certificate, along with a silver bracelet for girls or a silver tallit clip for boys, both bearing the distinctive Lion of Judah emblem.

For applications and more information about Young Lion of Judah, contact Jewish Volunteer Center Director Lori Tabachnikoff at 786.866.8680 or volunteer@jewishmiami.org.

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