Each spring, thousands of young Jews from across the globe converge at Auschwitz for the March of the Living from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Participants come to study the history of the Holocaust and analyze the roots of hatred and destruction. However, equally critical is the exploration of the valiant quests of the Jews of the era to preserve spiritual connections, and to make ethical decisions despite overwhelming horror.
This year, the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) piloted A Tree of Life, a text-based inspiring lesson on faith for a large Canadian delegation of students.
Rabbi Moshe New of the Montreal Torah Center, who led the Canadian delegation, inspired hundreds of youngsters during their visit to the fabled Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva in Poland.
Through the study of a poignant Halachic question from Holocaust-era Responsa of Rav Tzvi Hirsh Meisels, learners got a glimpse into how the Jews of the era maintained an unshakable adherence to their spiritual commitments and ethical values.
The students were fascinated and profoundly moved to read first-hand accounts of this nature presented as thought-provoking material. Discussions are presently underway to offer this program to many more groups for March of the Living 2017.