Holocaust survivors finally get coming-of-age blessing

Fifty holocaust survivors who were prevented from getting a traditional Jewish coming-of-age ceremony finally receive it during an emotional event at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

The septuagenarians and octogenarians were given bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah ceremonies, which are normally staged for male and female Jews at age 12 or 13, in an event held ahead of Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Day.

The 13 men and 37 women had mostly missed their ceremonies due to the war and its after effects, so Israel’s government organized a joint one at the Western Wall — Judaism’s holiest site for prayer.

Gal Moshe, an 80-year-old who came to Israel from Poland after World War II, said it was an emotional day.

“The memorial prayer moved me particularly as I thought of my family, and especially of my mother. I literally cried.”


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