Holocaust Survivor Irene Weiss set to speak in Howard County

In a Stand Against Violence in Israel, Irene Weiss to Share Her Testimony at Chabad of Howard County

Ellicott City, MD – Amid war in Israel and a heightened state of alert for Jewish communities around the world, the Chabad Lubavitch Center for Jewish Life will host Holocaust survivor Irene Weiss on Sunday, October 29, 2023. She will share her life’s story in a dialogue aiming to enhance Holocaust awareness and to highlight the fight against antisemitism.

With a recent uptick of antisemitic incidents occurring nationwide and especially in the wake of the war in Israel, the event seeks to educate and foster understanding by drawing lessons from the atrocities of the past. Mrs. Weiss will deliver a powerful testimony about her childhood in Europe, the horrors of her experience in Auschwitz at the tender age of 13, and her subsequent journey to rebuilding her life as a proud Jew in America. Alongside her narrative, she will present photos from her time in Auschwitz, preserved in the renowned ‘Auschwitz Album’.

“We asked the other prisoners when we would see our families,” Irene remembers. “A woman pointed to the chimney and said, ‘Do you see the smoke? There is your family.'”

Making the discussion all the more impactful, Mrs. Weiss’s daughter, Lesley Weiss will moderate the dialogue. Notably, in 2022, Lesley was appointed by President Biden to the United States Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad. With her current role as the Deputy Director of the National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry, Lesley has been at the forefront of initiatives that promote the restitution and preservation of Jewish communal property, combating antisemitism, and bolstering Holocaust awareness internationally.

“The importance of firsthand accounts of the Holocaust cannot be overstated,” says Rabbi Yanky Baron, director of the Chabad of Ellicott City and organizer of the event. “We are living in a time of heightened fear and antisemitic violence, so it’s crucial to educate people about the atrocities of the past to ensure they are not repeated.”

Open to the public, this is an opportunity for Howard County residents, especially for families, to ensure that stories of the Holocaust are passed down, fostering understanding and vigilance against prejudice.

With inclusivity being a core tenet at Chabad, an ASL interpreter will be present to assist attendees at the event, ensuring that the message is accessible to all. There will also be live broadcasting with captioning. If you have any specific accessibility requests, please feel free to reach out in advance so we can accommodate.

“With the number of Holocaust survivors dwindling every year,” Rabbi Baron notes “It is crucial to take advantage of every opportunity to engage with them and share their stories.”

Pricing is set at $15 for young adults and $25 for adults.

CONTACT: Rabbi Yanky Baron – (443) 676-3837 – rabbi@chabadellicottcity.com

WHERE: Chabad Lubavitch Center for Jewish Life – 770 Howes Lane, Columbia, MD 21044

WHEN: Sunday, October 29, 2023, from 2:00 pm

MORE INFO: For more information and to register for the event, please visit Chabadellicottcity.com/tools/events/register_cdo/eventid/15485

ABOUT CHABAD OF ELLICOTT CITY: Chabad of Ellicott City is at the heart of the Jewish Howard County community, providing a seamless network of Jewish services and programming for every Jew, regardless of their age, affiliation, or background. Whether through preschool programming, adult education, Shabbat and Holiday programming, nursing home visits or any of the other extensive services we provide, Chabad of Ellicott City maintains an individualistic approach to connecting each Jew with their community, with themselves and with Judaism. For more info about Chabad of Ellicott City visit chabadellicottcity.com