Holocaust survivor celebrates bar mitzvah on Kristallnacht anniversary

Fred Behrend had his original bar mitzvah ceremony 80 years ago in Cuba, where his family had fled from Germany before settling in the United States.

By JOSEFIN DOLSTEN/JTA
November 8, 2019 04:06
The hands of Shalom Shtamberg, a 93-year old Holocaust survivor, are seen during his bar mitzvah

The hands of Shalom Shtamberg, a 93-year old Holocaust survivor, are seen during his bar mitzvah ceremony, a Jewish coming-of-age celebration traditionally marked by boys at the age of 13, in Haifa, Israel August 31, 2017. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

A 93-year-old Holocaust survivor is holding a special bar mitzvah celebration in New Jersey on the 81st anniversary of Kristallnacht.

Fred Behrend is celebrating the 80th anniversary of his bar mitzvah this week at Congregation Beth El, a Conservative synagogue in the township of Vooorhees, CBS 3 Philly reported. He had a party on Wednesday and will have a ceremony in the synagogue on Saturday, which is also the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the 1938 Nazi pogrom that marked a major escalation of the Nazi war against the Jews.

“It’s incredible,” Behrend said of the celebrations.

Behrend had his original bar mitzvah ceremony 80 years ago in Cuba, where his family had fled from Germany before settling in the United States.

At the synagogue ceremony on Saturday, Behrend will recite a blessing over a 200-year-old Torah scroll that survived the Holocaust. He will use a yad, a pointer used to follow along with the text, that his father rescued from a concentration camp, CBS reported.
“I had the feeling as if my father was looking down and saying to me, ‘It’s well done, I’m proud of you,’” Behrend said.


Related Content

Bundestag Vice President Claudia Roth (Green Party), Dagmar Wöhrl (Christian Social Union party)
November 12, 2019
How the German Green party made Iranian antisemitism politically correct - analysis

By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL

Cookie Settings