Beit Lehiyot is a unique municipal educational enterprise set to promote awareness and study of the Holocaust. Holon’s municipal education administration youth department operates this program.
Youth acknowledge the Holocaust generation
Holon’s youth met with Holocaust survivors and few of the righteous of the nations, benevolent Gentiles, all citizens of Holon. This rare and exciting campaign offered Holon’s youth the opportunity to listen to many personal Holocaust stories and archive them. Young participants prepared “love vow testimony” given to each survivor as a symbol of power of life and strength of survival emphasizing the bond of hearts of survivors and the younger generations.
Four volumes titled “Lehiyot” were published with stories of approximately 2,000 survivors and six of the righteous of the nations, benevolent Gentiles, all citizens of Holon. “Lihyot” publication editor is Tzipi Kichler - a former teacher and mother of three, Holocaust survivors’ daughter, born in Bergen-Belzen, citizen of Holon and a member of Yad Vashem council.
Holon’s mayor, Mr. Moti Sasson, wrote in his opening note: “As much as we have discussed the magnitude of the national catastrophe, we haven’t discussed much the state of the few survivors. The new and proud Israeli, the thorny entity who grew here in Israel, hasn’t shown much sympathy to the exiled, persecuted and exhausted Jew arriving all worn out to the promised land… Me and my friend wish to express our regret of the silence we have compelled upon the few survivors.”
"Lehiyot" first volume was given upon publication to former president of the state of Israel, Mr. Ezer Weitzman, and to former president of the United States, Mr. Bill Clinton, both of whom expressed their appreciation in a letter to the mayor accenting “the excellent work done in promoting this important issue.”
“Lehiyot” strikes roots
"Lehiyot" volumes’ publishing was accompanied by planting a forest during Arbor Day (15th of Shebat holiday) in honor of Holocaust survivors. Holocaust survivor and six of the righteous of the nations, benevolent Gentiles, all citizens of Holon, each planted their own “tree of life” together with their children. A public park was named in honor of the six of the righteous of the nations, benevolent Gentiles citizens of Holon and each was presented with Holon’s mayor personal appreciation record.
The home of "Lehyiot"
The home of “Lehiyot” was launched on May 1998 and is managed by Tzipi Kichler as a center of Holocaust awareness and study enhancement.
The home of “Lehiyot” operates various activities such as:
- Memoirs writing workshop
- Support group
- “How to tell?” workshop – learning to tell the personal story
- Students-survivors encounters – 1st grade to seniors
- Students’ preparation seminars prior to the journey to Poland
- Junior high-school students meeting sessions incorporate film screenings, survivors’ encounters and related dilemma discussions
- Teachers-survivors encounters
- Holocaust survivors' second generation’s theatre workshop led by Ezra and Irit Dagan
- Kindergarten oriented special activity
- Cultural sessions – introduction to life before the Holocaust trough folklore, music, food, etc
- “Testimonies evening session” conducted annually in collaboration with Holon Theatre, prior to Holocaust Remembrance Day, attracting a large audience among the citizens of Holon
- “They all have names” special annual memorial service held on Holocaust Remembrance Day
- Excursions and recreation activity incorporating the study of various aspects of the Holocaust
- Soldiers sessions – survivors encounters and discussions conducted in collaboration with IDF Executive Education Officer
A Memorial Service
The home of “Lehiyot” is establishing an expanding testimony library storing numerous books and videotapes of survivors’ stories. Likewise, psychological assistance will be available to survivors and their children through special collaboration with “Amcha” organization.
Moti Sasson, Mayor of Holon, personally accompanies the home of “Lehiyot” program and had initiated a unique ceremony held in May 1998 in Villa Venze court in Berlin, gathering hundreds of survivors and their families to declare: “The people of Israel will live forever more.”
The home of “Lehiyot” has already left its mark on Holon’s formal and non-formal education systems and it is certainly a most significant and unique education center.