Never forget: honoring the past and ancestors

Lucas Gelfond

Allison Gorokhovsky ’17 held the Holocaust remembrance event Od Avinu Chai, translated to “our forefathers live on” April 23 at the Westside Jewish Community Center.

The event commemorates Holocaust remembrance day April 24. The event was divided into three segments. The “past” segment focused on two Holocaust survivors who told their stories to the group, both who went through Auschwitz as children.

“Their stories are quite remarkable and I’m hoping they will inspire those that attend to really feel a sense of belonging and identity with people who have been through and endured so much so that the students who are there have the freedoms that they have today,” Gorokhovsky said.

The second segment focused on the current leadership of those promoting a sense of responsibility and awareness about Holocaust victims and who create a safe Jewish community now. The last segment will be about the new generation and how they will go on to lead the movement.

The event was inspired by Gorokhovsky after she helped organized Holocaust Survivors to speak to the junior and senior class during class meetings and wanted to create an event for both Harvard-Westlake and non-Harvard-Westlake attendees. Gorokhovsky hoped the event would persuade students on the importance of remembering the Holocaust.

Taking the advice of others, Gorokhovsky traveled to Poland before holding the event.

“A lot of people told me ‘you have to experience Poland before you organize this event because it will change the perspective you will take’ and they were 100% right,” Gorokhovsky said. “This past summer I traveled to Poland on a summer trip, both to Poland and Israel and it changed the way I looked at the Holocaust from pure form to a sense of ‘I need to do something about it’.”

Gorokhovsky said a large focus on the event was making it purely student based.