By: Fern Sidman
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, founder and president of Hineni, the internationally renowned Torah outreach organization will be addressing audiences at the United Nations in New York City on Thursday, January 27th on the occasion of Holocaust Memorial Remembrance Day. This most special event is being sponsored by the International B’nai Brith organization to commemorate the legacy of those who perished during the Holocaust and as a forum to address escalating global anti-Semitism and racism.
In an interview granted to the Jewish media, Rebbetzin Jungreis disclosed the salient points of her upcoming address by saying, “The scourge of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial is growing at an alarming rate. The real tragedy is evidenced by the “screaming silence” of the international community, just as we heard during the nightmarish years of the Holocaust.”
Rebbetzin Jungreis said that she’ll be speaking about her own personal experiences as a young child and that of her family during the Holocaust, when they were expelled from their home in Szeged, Hungary by the Nazis and deported to the Bergen Belsen concentration camp. “We often ask ourselves, how could a mass genocide of such monumental proportions take place during the 20th century in a place like Europe which epitomized the zenith of civilization; including the arts, culture and education. How could a scenario arise in which human beings could sink to a level of moral depravity that was lower than a ghastly beast. The world turned its collective back on the Jews and today we are witnessing the very same ominous signs once again,” she intoned.
The Rebbetzin said that she’ll be exhorting her audience at the UN, “to maintain the highest level of vigilance in the face of the egregious and widespread manifestations of contemporary Jew hatred. Nowadays it is not politically incorrect to espouse classical anti-Semitic rhetoric, so the purveyors of hate cleverly disguise it in the use of the trendier and more socially acceptable term of anti-Zionism. It is incumbent on all of us to take moral responsibility and to summon up the courage to get involved in the battle for the future of humanity. We must take charge of the world that we live in and assume a pro-active posture.”
“Hitler’s goal was the total annihilation of the Jewish people and he was quite open about it. Today we confront such maniacal despots as Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad whose message of Holocaust denial is being embraced by purportedly civilized people. He, too, openly states his intentions of obliterating the State of Israel and all of its inhabitants, as his uranium enrichment programs aimed at building a formidable nuclear arsenal continue unabated,” the Rebbetzin ruefully observed.
Speaking of the unwavering faith of her family in the densest moments of darkness in Jewish history, the Rebbetzin said, “As I faced the unspeakable horrific evil of the Nazi Holocaust, what kept me going was the genuine faith and trust in G-d that my holy father and grandfather taught me. This has been the secret of Jewish survival during exceptionally adverse times since time immemorial. We never abandoned our faith; we never turned away from G-d and Torah and that is the primary lesson that we must learn today.”
Subsequent to her speaking engagement at the UN, Rebbetzin Jungreis will be traveling to South Florida, where she will be the featured speaker at a Shabbaton in Palm Beach from February 4-6. From there the Rebbetzin will be speaking in synagogues in Boca Raton, North Miami and throughout South Florida. A group of Jewish women from France who had heard the Rebbetzin speak while on a European tour were will be making a special trip to the South Florida area to join Rebbetzin Jungreis, as they were so incredibly inspired by her words.