Posted by Carol Laibson
I had the privilege of attending the premiere showing of a documentary entitled A Promise to My Father on Sunday, January 27. The documentary, produced by the World War II Foundation in Natick, MA, will be aired on PBS throughout the country and features Izzy Arbeiter, a Holocaust survivor and current chairperson of the JF&CS Schechter Holocaust Services Advisory Committee. This is a moving and telling story of his journey back to his childhood home in Poland to search for a pair of silver candlestick holders. Izzy and his brother had buried the candlestick holders in their basement at the request of their father, before the family was deported from the ghetto to the Treblinka death camp. These candlestick holders, a religious artifact, had been passed from generation to generation, and, in the moments before the family was separated, Izzy promised his father to continue the family tradition of passing the candlestick holders to the family’s next generation.
The promise was more than a wish to pass on and share a concrete object. It is symbolic of passing on a family’s history, tradition, and connection.
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