When the siren went off in the hallways and classrooms of the Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls on Thursday, April 28, students and teachers stood in silence, reflecting on those who had lost their lives in the Holocaust. Adding to the solemnity of the day, posters and original student art depicting the World War II war years were on display throughout the school.
The Yom HaShoah program commenced in the SKA auditorium with heartfelt words from SKA Principal, General Studies, Mrs. Bluma Drebin, whose father was on the Kindertransport. A documentary describing Jewish life before, during, and after the war left the students with an acute sense of our incredible loss and an inspiring message of the strength of the human spirit as the survivors rebuilt their lives.
In a poignant segment of the program, SKA faculty members Mrs. Beaty Menchel, Mrs. Joan Sherman, Mrs. Barbara Martin, Mrs. Suzy Libin, Mrs. Sheila Leibtag, and Mrs. Idella Goldenberg, whose family members went through the war, lit yahrzeit candles in memory of their loved ones who were killed and in honor of those who lived and survived.
This year, the SKA Yom HaShoah program was beautifully organized by the Ninth Graders with the assistance of Mrs. Kayla Bach, Mrs. Tzippy Calm, Mrs. Sheila Leibtag, and Mrs. Arielle Parkoff. Survivor testimony and original student artwork, drama, and poetry were presented by the Freshmen to each of the other grades.
The SKA program was dedicated to the victims of the Shoah, whose legacy lives on for many of their granddaughters and great-granddaughters enrolled in the school. For the students of SKA, Yom HaShoah was not an abstract history lesson.