Hundreds Attend Funeral of 'Anonymous' Survivor

Over 500 people attended the funeral of a Holocaust survivor whom they did not know Thursday morning, after an alert on Facebook.

Yaakov Levi ,

Jewish funeral
Jewish funeral

Over 500 people in Ashdod attended the funeral of a Holocaust survivor whom they did not know Thursday morning – after a message on social media went out Wednesday night appealing to the community to help make a minyan (a prayer quorum) to properly lay the 82 year old Binyamin Schlesinger to rest.

Schlesinger, who came to Israel after a harrowing experience in Nazi concentration camps in Europe, came to Israel and married, but had only one child, and his family was very small. Neighbors who heard about his passing and were afraid that the minimum number of people needed to recite the kaddish prayer, traditional at funerals, would not show up.

Putting out a call on Facebook and other social media, the neighbors spread the word about the funeral, stressing that “ironically, we are talking about a Holocaust survivor who is to be buried on Holocaust Remembrance day, just a few minutes before 10 AM, when the siren sounds and we stop to contemplate the victims of the Holocaust.” The message included the time and place of the funeral, to which over 500 people – from the neighborhood and points beyond – came to participate.

Speaking to reporters, Olga Ohayon, a family member, expressed gratitude to the community and to those attending. “This is proof that the Jewish people do care for one another. Hundreds of people, even police and soldiers, came to honor Binyamin. There is no more honorable way to lay him to rest.”