SARASOTA, Fla. – Over 150 staff, students and their families recently attended a ceremony to honor children lost during the Holocaust and to remember a loved one by planting fruit trees in the ‘Remember Me’ organic orchard at Temple Beth Sholom Schools (www.tbsschools.org), a Sarasota preschool to eighth grade private school.
A total of 18 trees, which are all native to Israel, were dedicated from families, students from the March of the Living program and students from Temple Beth Sholom Schools (TBSS), ranging from preschool through eighth grade, during the ceremony on Friday, Dec. 19.
Rachel Saltzberg and her family chose to remember her grandfather’s brother Yehuda Weinstein, who was lost during the Holocaust, with a red pomegranate tree. Saltzberg’s grandfather kept hidden during the war, staying in the forest and with nearby neighbors in attics or pigpens. Weinstein, the youngest of four children, stayed behind with his mother and died at age 10. Saltzberg’s 92-year-old grandfather, who currently lives in Israel, kept a detailed journal of the entire experience, which she hasn’t been able to bring herself to read.
“This orchard is unique to Temple Beth Sholom,” said Saltzberg, the interim director of business and development at TBSS. “It’s important to have a local and tangible place to remember those who died during the Holocaust. While it’s a reminder that Yehuda died, it also reminds us of the good and righteous people who helped save my grandfather.”
Rabbi Michael Werbow spoke along with students. Following the dedication ceremony, the older and younger students joined together in the Sanctuary for a joint Shabbat celebration.
Ed and Betty Rosenthal and Mitch and Colleen Blumenthal and their families founded the orchard.
The March of the Living program is an annual educational program, which brings students from all over the world to Poland in order to study the history of the Holocaust and to examine the roots of prejudice, intolerance and hate.
About Temple Beth Sholom Schools
The mission of the Temple Beth Sholom Schools (TBSS), a Sarasota preschool to eighth grade private school, is to prepare students of all faiths to impact the world through academic excellence, global citizenship and compassionate action. A small, independent day school for students in Early Childhood through Grade 8, TBSS offers a rigorous, project based academic program in a diverse and vibrant learning environment rooted in the Jewish values of honesty, integrity, mutual trust and respect. Since 1974, Temple Beth Sholom School’s highly personalized, academically accelerated program has prepared graduates to succeed in the region’s most competitive college-preparatory high schools and colleges. For more information, visit www.tbsschools.org.