For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Unlike many of my peers of the immediate post World War Two Jewish world, I was brought up totally oblivious of the Holocaust. No, it wasn't a silent, repressed and repressing shadow shading and affecting my life. It just didn't exist, didn't affect my immediate family. My parents' voices and those of the other neighborhood grown-ups were totally American though with Jewish inflections and Yiddish slang. And before you guess wrong, I was born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, New York.
The fathers in the spanking new garden apartment neighborhood of Bell Park Gardens, Bayside, New York, were all United States military veterans. That was a condition of acceptance to the Veterans Authority co-op. I wonder if any sociologists have written their doctorates on why that and other similar housing developments were almost exclusively filled with young Jewish families. BPG was over 90% Jewish and so were the other nearby garden apartments, Oakland Gardens and Windsor Park. The same went for the one and two-family homes in the neighborhood. All of the new, post-WWII neighborhoods in northeastern Queens were Jewish. Churches could only be found in older, pre-World War Two areas.
I first heard about the Holocaust when The Diary of Anne Frank was published. It was featured on television shows, and I probably heard about it in Oakland Jewish Center's Hebrew School, which I attended for five years, three days a week. At that time there weren't many books, especially for children, written about the Holocaust.
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"