Hundreds of Holocaust survivors and their families sing

Clip from mass singing event in Jerusalem is released in time for Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Holocaust survivor
Holocaust survivor
Flash 90

Beit Avi Chai, together with Koolulam, a social initiative for mass singing, and Zikaron BaSalon (literally: a memory in the living room), recently organized one of the most moving and unique mass Holocaust memorial gatherings ever to be held in Israel.

Leading up to Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day), six hundred Holocaust survivors and their families, including second, third, and even fourth generation survivors, gathered at Jerusalem’s Beit Avi Chai to unite in recording, in Hebrew, Ofra Haza’s Chai (Hebrew for “alive”).

The unique recording will be posted on social media and numerous websites in Israel and abroad in time for Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day, which falls on Thursday, April 12, 2018.

The song Chai was specifically chosen for this event. It was written by the late Ehud Manor and composed by Avi Toledano for the 1983 Eurovision Competition in Munich.

Manor noted that the words were written as an expression of defiance and victory of the Jews, directed at those who made every attempt to destroy the Jewish people. Indeed, the song proudly declares that the Jewish people are very much alive: “This is the song that our grandfather sang yesterday to our father, and today, I, I am able to sing it.”

As the song was being recorded, many of the survivors were overcome with emotion. Hands shaking, some with concentration camp numbers visible on their arms, yet hands planted firmly on their Israeli children and grandchildren, they described their memories of the horrors – and survival. Many family members arrived from all over the country, some from abroad, to join their grandparents and great-grandparents in this unique event.

According to Dr. David Rozenson, Beit Avi Chai’s Executive Director, this is a unique project in terms of commemorating and preserving Yom Hashoah.

“By uniting in song, we celebrate not only the miracle of survival, but the next generations of those who have been born and who are, together, continuing the great miracle of the Jewish people in the Jewish State. We draw great hope and inspiration from them – and will never forget their strength and victory. The Jewish people are one nation that beats with one heart and there is no greater expression of this than our unity,” he said.