International Holocaust Remembrance Day Commemoration
Holocaust Survivor Ralph Preiss
Presented in partnership with the Jewish Federation & the Roth Jewish Community Center
Join us on January 24, 2021 as we observe International Holocaust Remembrance Day and remember the innocent six million Jews and millions of other people who fell victims to Nazi persecution.
This date was chosen by the United Nations in recognition of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.
At the same time, we remember the people who courageously and heroically expressed the very best of the human capacity for compassion and justice by risking their lives to save their families and fellow human beings. They demonstrated that in the midst of evil, human beings can perform remarkable acts of decency and dignity.
One such story is that of how the Philippines became a place of refuge for over 1200 Jews fleeing the Nazis. Ralph Preiss, a Holocaust Survivor, will share his personal account during this live virtual event.
We will pay tribute to the millions of lives lost, through a candle lighting and a commemorative reading of the names of concentration camps, dates of liberation, and powerful words of inspiration by local students.
This reading will serve as not only a reminder of the magnitude of the atrocities, but even more so—the power of unity to liberate our communities from anti-Semitism and all forms of prejudice and bigotry.
Rabbi David Kay will conclude the event with the reciting of the Mourner’s Kaddish.
You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Jan 24, 2021 03:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
About Ralph Preiss
Ralph was born in Breslau, Germany in 1930. (It is now Wroclaw, Poland).
His father was a Jewish physician working under socialized medicine in a little farming town, Rosenberg O/S (now Olesno). When Hitler came to power in 1933, he fired all Jewish professionals (teachers, lawyers, doctors, dentists, engineers, scientists) working for the government. But since there were not enough replacements available, his father did not lose his job till the spring of 1938. By then, the Jews that had managed to get out of Germany before then had used up the quotas of immigrants to other lands so that there were only openings in Shanghai and the Philippines. More than 400 people applied for permission and Ralph and his family were lucky to receive visas and they arrived in Manila March 23, 1939.
The family was not allowed to bring money out of Germany. Having an expired German passport permitted them to live out of Japanese concentration camps during the war. They survived liberation by joining guerillas on Mt Banahaw for a few months. Ralph will share their harrowing story of survival and triumph.
Ralph will be introduced by his nephew, Keith Dvorchik.
Born in Gainesville, FL and growing up in both Harrisburg, PA and Philadelphia, PA, Keith received a BS in Accounting and an Masters of Education in Counseling from the Pennsylvania State University before returning to Florida where he ran the Hillel at the University of Florida for 15 years before going to Seattle, WA to head the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle in 2013. In October 2016 he took over as the CEO at the Roth Jewish Community Center of Orlando and in 2018 he also became the Executive Director of The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando.
While at UF Hillel, Keith built a world class Hillel including a capital campaign to build the beautiful Norman H. Lipoff Hall, a 23,000 square foot iconic facility, located directly across from campus. In Seattle, Keith oversaw the reimagining of the Federation to address 21st century needs. Now in Orlando, Keith is excited about the role of the JCC in our community and the Federation as the architect for the Jewish future.
Keith has been married to his wife Alison for 22 years and has two sons, Evan, age 20, and Matthew, age 18.
Thank you to our partners!