Chabad Honors Holocaust Memorial Day

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Zelik Sanders wearing his Tefillin during the annual “6 Million Tefillin Wrap” in 2010

In honor of Holocaust Memorial Day, Chabad of Port Washington is sponsoring a program including a “Tefillin Wrap,” brunch and a lecture by Leibel Mangel entitled “From Auschwitz to the IDF: Celebrating Jewish Pride, Strength and Perseverance.”

For Mangel, being the son of a Chabad rabbi and the grandson of one of the youngest survivors of Auschwitz, meant that serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was not a matter of if, but rather a matter of when. At age 19 Leibel left his home in Cincinnati to enlist in the IDF. He served as a machine gunner in the Kfir Brigade, where he took part in numerous high profile anti-terror operations. Even after his military discharge, Leibel has continued his service by fighting for Israel in both mainstream media and social media, and in cities throughout the USA. Mangel was recently nominated for a Jewish People’s Choice Award.

Leibel Mangel while serving in the IDF

The program is sponsored by Marcy and Manny Shurka in memory of Zelik Sander, a survivor who was very active here at the Chabad House and passed away just a few years ago at the age of 97. Sander’s wish was that we don’t forget to teach the next generation about the atrocities of the Holocaust by observing an annual event honoring the memories of those who perished.

Manny and Marcy became close to Sander after their daughter Ashley wrote a school paper based on extensive interviews with him about his experiences. Although they are of Sefardic background, so none of their own family was lost in the Holocaust, they’ve taken a strong interest in the subject these past 10 years. They travelled to Auschwitz, walked on the March of the Living, and even bribed a guard to allow them up to the infamous Auschwitz watch tower where Manny put on his Tefillin. “The feeling was indescribable… the best revenge for Hitler,” he said.

Marcy and Manny Shurka of Sands Point

Chabad of Port Washington invites the entire Jewish community as well as the community at large to come out in support of Israel and to honor the souls of the six million.

“It is no doubt a great joy for these holy souls when we get together, put on Tefillin in their honor, and celebrate Jewish pride and solidarity,” said Rabbi Shalom Paltiel of Chabad of Port Washington.

The program will take place at Chabad, 80 Shore Road, Port Washington on April 15. Morning services begin at 9 a.m., at which time men and boys from the age of 13 years old are encouraged to come and put on Tefillin in memory of the six million of Jews who perished during the Holocaust. Brunch will follow at 10:15 a.m., followed by the lecture.

Admission for the brunch and lecture is $18 per person, and $10 for Chabad members. RSVP by calling Chabad at 516-767-8672 or on the website www.chabadpw.org.

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