Photos by Zach Le
L’Dough V’Dough, a program of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (LAMOTH), partnered with the Glazer Institute for Jewish Studies to come to Pepperdine’s Fireside Room last Thursday. At L’Dough V’Dough, students had the opportunity to meet and hear the personal narratives of child Holocaust survivors Harry Davids, Lea Radziner and Ruth Birndorf while making Challah bread, a traditional Jewish braided bread generally eaten on the Sabbath and other Jewish holidays.
“A lot of survivors speak at events like this because they feel they have a responsibility to speak on behalf of those that can’t,” said Rachel Fidler, Righteous Conservations Programs manager at LAMOTH.
Students sat at tables and braided bread, coating it with toppings such as chocolate chips and brown sugar, while Davids, Radziner and Birndorf shared their testimonies at each of the tables.
“Resources were very limited during the war,” Birndorf said. “It was a big problem to cover your body, especially if the family didn’t have older children, because no matter what, you grow, so you just had to put something together.”
Once the Challah was placed in the oven to bake, the students and survivors formed a large circle for an open discussion, where students shared their thoughts on the testimonies they just heard. Many students were inspired by the way people risked their lives to save children during the Holocaust.
“It’s individuals’ responses to decide that they don’t want to be bystanders, that they want to be and active part of the change to save lives,” junior and staff writer for the Graphic Amelia Dal Pra said. “It’s not just one individual or one hero, it’s so many people that helped save lives and it’s encouragement to all of us to be a part of that force.”
Other students shared their thoughts on the testimonies the survivors shared with them.
“It’s amazing hearing all the different perspectives because we know the history, but every person has a different, unique story and it’s important to know the people as well as the books,” junior Amber Rosche said.
For many students, it was their first time hearing about a Holocaust experience through the eyes of someone who was a child at the time.
“At one point, Lea shared with us how they had to hide her from the Germans and as a 4-year-old she understood what was going on and knew why she had to be quiet,” junior Ruth Wong said. “It was an interesting perspective to hear.”
The child survivors openly shared their testimonies and engaged in group discussion with the students.
“You have to grow up really fast in that type of circumstance; you become an adult as a child,” Fidler said.
L’Dough V’Dough has come to Pepperdine every semester since fall 2014 and intends to continue working with the Glazer Institute to return next fall.
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