From Holocaust to Revival is not just a slogan – it is a unique reality, as experienced this week by twelfth graders from OTS Derech Avot Junior High and High School for Boys, who embarked on a moving journey from destruction to redemption.
The journey began in the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp – but here in Israel, as the students experienced a tour through the “Triumph of the Wind” site, which performs a 360-degree virtual tour of the terrible place where our people were exterminated. Next stop was the Khan Shaar Hagai, also known as Bab al-Wad. There, through an exciting interactive tour, the students experienced the story of the fighting and heroism of the gateway to Jerusalem. At the Scroll of Fire memorial, in the Jerusalem hills, the students and educators connected the Holocaust and the resurrection in an inextricable bond that will never be forgotten, and then traveled north and ended the busy and meaningful day with in-depth dialogue circles.
The second day of the “Holocaust to Revival” journey began in Acre Prison, where the British imprisoned members of the underground before the establishment of the state, and which today serves as a museum that tells the story of the heroism and determination of the fighters for Israel’s freedom in its country. A particularly moving moment was recorded when students and educators sang Hatikvah together at the gallows on the very day of the 76th memorial for the four Irgun fighters who were executed there on April 16, 1947 – Dov Gruner, Mordechai Elkahi, Yechiel Drezner and Eliezer Kashani.
The connection between the Shoah and the resurrection continued with a visit to the Museum of the Ghetto Fighters, singing Hatikva and Ani Maamin, and the significant spiritual and Zionist infusion with which the students and educators returned home.
With a generation like this, hatikva – the hope – is not just an anthem. It’s a reality.