by Petra R., NFTY-EIE Spring 2013 Student

DSC_8542 Today is Yom Hashoah, the remembrance day for the Holocaust. This day is a very emotional and heart wrenching time for Israelis, as many have family members who were in the Holocaust or are survivors.

On the Kibbutz there are quite a few survivors and to show support to those who were affected there was a short service last night for all the Kibbutznicks. We were invited to the service as well, but it almost seemed odd for us to be present. There we were, 85 teenagers dressed in white standing in the back of the room, and we stuck out like a sore thumb. Though it was a little uncomfortable in my eyes, I am glad we had the experience, and were able to get a slight glimpse what Yom Hashoah means to Israelis on our Kibbutz.

Then today at ten o’clock the siren went off throughout the entire country. Every person from Haifa to the Negev stood still for a minute of silence. It’s such a powerful idea that every single person is doing the exact same thing, and shows the immense sense of community within the country.