20 September 2015 - 7 Tishri 5776 - ז' תשרי ה' אלפים תשע"ו
March of the Living and the meaning of community Print E-mail

For the third year in a row, the Jewish communities of Asia were represented by the Hong Kong March of the Living delegation. On 21 April 2009, the group began the three kilometre march from Auschwitz to Birkenau.

Their trip also included visits to the concentration camps of Triblinka and Majdanek; historic sites in Warsaw that included the Ghetto Memorial, Mila 18, and the Jewish Cemetery; the Jewish Quarter and the Ramah Synagogue in Cracow; and the famous Yeshiva of Lublin.

They marched shoulder to shoulder in a sea of nearly 8000 others all in matching blue jackets. The participants came to Poland from 40 different countries. They leaned on one another as they made their way to the gas chambers of Birkenau.

This year's March of the Living took on new meaning as it was a response to not only the horrors of Nazi Germany but also to the most recent examples of anti-Semitism.

The impact of having thousands of Jews march together as a testimony to our continued  survival increased the impact of the event.

For the Hong Kong delegation, led by Scott Saunders, the cohesiveness of their group defined the experience. Participants were all touched by how supportive the group was of one another.

Though they each came to the March in search of something different and they all left with more than they ever hoped to find.

Also adding to the impact of the emotional journey, was the fact that unlike in past years, nearly every member of the group traveled with family members: Jamie Tadelis shared the experience with his father Victor Tadelis, Haley Goldberg with her mother Sandra Pamensky, April Kaminsky with her cousins from Germany Abraham Rajber and Monica Weidmann, Jeremy Amias with his brother David Amias, his sister Jennifer Gladstone and his mother Ruth Eisenfeld, and Charmaine Zeman with her daughter Marissa Zeman.

Anyone interested in obtaining more information or joining this event next year should contact the Hong Kong Jewish Community Centre's Events Committee (JCCEC). Pleasedirect inquiries to Tara Diestel.

(Issue May 2009)


I had high expectations for the trip, and it did not disappoint. My father's parents were survivors of the Holocaust, with each spending time in many camps, including Auschwitz.

I spent much of my youth hearing about their experiences and felt this trip was an opportunity to honor their memory and perhaps walk in their shoes for just a moment.

The experience was enhanced by the presence of my father, who made the journey from New York. The opportunity for us to share the emotional impact of this experience was profound and life changing.

I was also very fortunate to attend the trip with a wonderful group from Hong Kong that provided constant spiritual support to one another.

It was the single most important journey of my life to date, and both Jews and non-Jews should make it a priority to go.
Jamie Tadelis, Hong Kong


I was always thinking about doing the trips to Poland to see “the camps” and remnants of Jewish life left after the Nazis and Communists left their marks.

There was always an excuse not to go, time, work, bar mitzvahs, money, kids..etc. I finally got honest with myself that half of what was holding me back was fear. Fear of what I would see, feel, hear…

The group of HK people was so wonderful to be with and we all really bonded. Abraham and Monika were also very nice and he treated me for everything.

We laughed, cried, ate and said Kaddish together for 2 days… I am happy and even proud that I found my courage to go on this trip and see everything, good and bad.

It is a life changing experience and I suggest that you all think of going to Poland some day and having your own experience.
April Kaminsky, Hong Kong



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