Upcoming Holocaust Commemoration Event 2017

The Jewish Community Council of Teaneck annual Holocaust Commemoration, will take place on Monday, April 24, 2017 at Teaneck High School at 7:30 PM. We will recognized the survivors in our community with a reception before the program at 6:00 PM and mark the seventy-eighth anniversary of the start of the Shoa.

Our keynote speaker for the commemoration will be child holocaust survivor, Mark Schonwetter . Mark was only six years old at the time his father was taken away by the Nazis and he was forced into the harshness of manhood in order to help his family survive. Following the courageous lead of their determined mother, he and his sister fled the only home they had ever known. Escaping through a barbed wire fence to avoid extermination by the Nazis, the three took refuge in the woods, fields and farms for three arduous years. At the time of their departure, their village was home to approximately 1,500 Jews. By the end of the war, less than 50 remained. When the war ended, the family stayed in Poland until 1957, when they immigrated to Israel. Due to a lack of job opportunities, Mark decided to move to the U.S. in 1961, with the backing of his mother's relatives here, and only five dollars to his name. Unable to speak English, he nonetheless obtained work at a jewelry factory, where he swept floors under the supervision of a man who spoke Yiddish. He soon learned English and rose through the ranks in five years to become the factory manager, and within five more years had the opportunity to purchase another jewelry company, Lieberfarb, which he turned into a successful wedding ring and bridal company, and owned and ran for over forty years. He took the American Dream to heart and built a life in his adopted country.

Mark feels blessed to have had a lifetime having survived against all odds. His daughter Ann Arnold has written a book about his courageous escape from death called Together: A Journey of Survival,. and Mark has made it his mission to recall his story of survival so that the world will never forget.