Today was one of those days that caused me to sit back, reflect, and say WOW.
The reason for this time of self reflection is that that I had the distinct privilege of getting to hear a testimonial first hand from Betty Gold <--(check out this recent piece about her from The Plain Dealer) at The Maltz Museum, a survivor of The Holocaust, who lives right here in Cleveland. Ms. Gold told me and my fellow LeadDiversity classmates the compelling story of how her town of Trochenbrod, Poland was destroyed by the Nazis during WWII, which drove her and her family into hiding in the woods for more than two years in a constant battle to survive. Ms. Gold informed us that recently she was interviewed by CNN on a piece regarding the high incidence of cancer in holocaust survivors. She also is currently working with a crew to tell the story of Trochenbrod in a documentary.
If you are like us and feel like Trochenbrod sounds somewhat familiar - this may very well be a result of either reading the book Everything is Illuminated or seeing the film. In this story, the main character sets out to Treochenbrod after his grandmother had just died, who was from there. He goes back to try and find that town and in turn learns a lot about himself and the human spirit. It is a beautiful book, written by Jonathan Safran, and a great film, directed by Liev Schreiber while starring Elijah Wood. Having seen the film and read the book, it made Ms. Gold's story all that more compelling for me.
This was the second time that I have been to The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in the last week and my 3rd visit overall. There is such a wealth of information inside this museum you cannot possibly digest it all in one visit. If you have never been there, I strongly urge to to learn about the strong impact the Jewish Community has had on shaping the great history of Cleveland.
Bonus: View the Trailer of Everything is Illuminated