30 October 2009

Miami: Reunion story, Nov. 1

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Miami has a heartwarming reunion story to share at its Sunday, November 1 meeting. Success is always great, and it inspires others to never give up!

It all begins at 10am, Sunday, November 1, at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, 4200 Biscayne Boulevard. NOTE: There is now extra security for the free parking (see below). Bring ID with you.

The speakers are Aaron Bernstein, the American Society for Yad Vashem's Southern Region director, and JGSMiami member Toby Leven. Bernstein helped Leven locate a missing cousin in Israel.

Toby Leven says:
For years, my brothers and I tried to find out what happened to my father's family in Europe during the Holocaust. We joined the JGS and they helped identify the town they came from. That was the first and most important step. We tried many websites for years, but in September I went to the Yad Vashem website and typed in the name of my father and the town. Thankfully, a page of testimony had been submitted by the only survivor of the family. I now had the name and address of my cousin in Israel. I learned there was a local Yad Vashem office in Aventura and Aaron Bernstein made the first contact. When I spoke to my cousin, Shalom Rosenblatt, I told him my brothers and I were coming to Israel to meet him. We had a marvelous reunion October 1, 2009.

In May 2009, Bernstein - a Florida native raised in Israel who served in the Israel Air Force - joined the American Society for Yad Vashem as director of the new Southern Region (Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and as far as Texas).

An active speaker - as an Israel Hasbara team member - on Israeli culture, business, and politics, he is past chair of the Atlanta-Ra'anana Sister City Committee and is involved in numerous civic causes.

Join the meeting on Sunday to hear the full story. Arrive early and join the Early Bird shmooze session at 9.30am. Guests are always welcome, according to JGS president Joan Parker.

Security Note: The gate is now permanently closed and there is a yellow security box on the left side. Press #001 for Security. Announce you are there for the JGS meeting, the gate will slide open and close after you have gone through.

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