Holocaust survivors tell their stories


Marion & Aaron Gural JCC members Bernie Igielski, 91 and Marvin Jacobs, 97, both Holocaust survivors, shared their stories at the UJA-Federation of New York’s Yom HaShoah commemoration on May 1.

“Until my retirement, I shied away from it,” Igielski said at the Holocaust remembrance event. “I never spoke about it. I never wanted to meet another Holocaust survivor … I was lucky, I lived; most people died. I had a life full of miracles.” Last year, Igielski met the nephew of the man who saved his life four times at Auschwitz.

More than 300 UJA-Federation employees, including CEO Eric Goldstein heard Igielski and Jacobs recall their tales of survival. The IJA is a prime program sponsor of the Cedarhurst-based Gural JCC that also operates the Harrison-Kerr Family Campus in Lawrence.

“It is our duty to ensure that humanity never forgets, as we stand together against the scourge of anti-Semitism,” said Cathy Byrne, the Gural JCC’s associate executive director for Older Adults and Special Needs.