To mark Yom HaShoah, below are a series of family stories from our team members relating to the Holocaust.
Whenever I was asked to choose my hero, I chose my grandfather.
And why was he a hero?
My grandfather was a Holocaust survivor, he was born and raised in Poland. He spent his childhood in the forests. He did not talk much about the war and his childhood in Poland.
The only things we knew were about the time before the war. About surviving in the forests and about his father Binyamin being a Jewish partisan and his numerous attempts to reach the land of Israel by any means. One time via the Tehran train, but chose to get off the train so that they would not separate him from his cousin, and another on the Exodus ship.
He finally managed to immigrate to Eretz Israel and there he built a home, a life, and a large family, in a country he loved so much. My grandfather always said we were his victory, and that wherever we go we should always keep our heads held high.
The memory of his family members who were murdered in the Holocaust he chose to honour by naming his four children.
My grandfather is no longer alive but he serves as my compass for my choices.
Today it is our duty as a community to remember and tell the story of those 6 million Jews who did not survive to tell it.
There's no doubt that the Holocaust weighs heavily on my Jewish and familial identity, with many of my grandparents and great-grandparents having been directly affected by it.
Amidst the heinous persecution they suffered however, courageousness - embodied both by themselves and other remarkable individuals - proves a common theme in their stories.
When remembering the Holocaust, I am often reminded of my paternal grandma, Nicole Mozis. As a young child, "Nicky", her brother and parents were sheltered in a small mountainous town in eastern France during Nazi rule by a Catholic couple. Lucie and Louis Hermine, the latter being town mayor, secretly volunteered to save them, providing them with false municipal ID documents. This was soon after Nicky's grandparents were arrested during an SS raid of their shared family apartment in the city of Cannes (later murdered in Auschwitz). My grandma only avoided the raid by chance, as her parents had taken her and her brother out on a walk in a nearby park when it happened.
Lucie and Louis were posthumously awarded the title of "Righteous Among The Nations" by Yad Vashem in 2014, in an incredibly moving ceremony I attended in the town my grandma had once been sheltered in. Thankfully she lived to witness this moment, passing away only two years later.
She also wrote a book around that time documenting her experiences of the war, with the research she conducted helping piece together the evidence necessary for the award. In her book, copies of which are now kept by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, she also chronicles the incredible bravery of her parents, who chose to serve as medics in the French Resistance despite being Jews in hiding.