Brookdale’s Jewish Student Union and The Center for Holocaust, Human Rights, and Genocide Education (Chhange) at Brookdale hosted Holocaust survivor Ruth Rosenfeld on May 8.

Chelsea Becourtney, president of the Jewish Student Union, said the club “tries to bring Judaism to campus as much as possible by holding different events.”

Each fall, the club holds a Menorah Lego build where students create a Menorah out of Legos. It is later donated to Riverview Hospital. In addition, the club invites Holocaust members to speak on campus a few times a year.

“I consider it my sacred obligation to share my story,” Rosenfeld said. During the Holocaust 1.5 million Jewish children were murdered by the Nazis, but Rosenfeld and her sister were saved because they were hidden by the families of two sisters.

“Each sister had a large family of her own, and we were able to be passed off as nieces from a bombed out city,” said Rosenfeld. “We saw each other every day as she tended the goats and I tended the chickens.”

After the war, the sisters were taken to an orphanage in France. They spent about three years in different orphanages in France before they were adopted by an American couple, Eleanor and Sam Banker.

“My story is about the compassion, the courage and the morality of the people who saved my life,” Rosenthal said.  “I believe each one of us has the power to make a difference.”


Photo caption: Holocaust survivor Ruth Rosenfeld shows the audience a picture of the house she hid in during the Holocaust.