OCEANSIDE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Dozens of men and women who survived the Holocaust celebrated a special, pre-Passover Seder Wednesday on Long Island.
CBS2’s Scott Rapoport reported Wednesday the annual event was held at the Friedberg Jewish Community Center in Oceanside, which is now in its sixth year.
“It’s wonderful,” Rachel Epstein said. “I am so thankful to be here.”
Eighty-five senior citizens showed up for the event as many still have numbers etched into their skin 70 years later after leaving the concentration camps.
“Terrible what I went through,” Pnina Bliksylberg, who survived the Bergen-Belsen camp, said. “I lost my father. My father went to Auschwitz and never came back. My mother died after the liberation.”
Laura Greenbaum, 98, another Bergen-Belsen survivor, lost four sisters.
“I always feel guilty. How come I survived and they didn’t?” she said.
Six million Jews died in Hitler’s concentration camps during World War II. For many at the pre-Passover Seder, it was a powerful moment of reflection and faith.
“It is beautiful because we all survived and were meant to live,” Johanna Friedl said.
The event was the work of the United Jewish Appeal-Federation, the group Self Help and volunteer Ellen Grossman and her friends, who raised $6,000 to fund the event.
“Many of us don’t know what happened, and don’t understand what they went through” Grossman said.
Almost all of the Holocaust survivors who attended the event currently live in Nassau County.
Event organizers also covered the cost of transportation, getting them to the Seder and back home.