Sheva Tauby, 28

Remembering the forgotten survivors

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Growing up in Flatbush, Sheva (Frank) Tauby didn’t hear many stories from her American-born parents about the Holocaust even though many relatives on both sides of the family had perished.

Today, she hears stories all the time.

As founder and director of iVolunteer (iVolunteer.com) she and her husband, Rabbi Tzvi Tauby, arrange for volunteers to visit and assist isolated Holocaust survivors. They meet survivors, screen volunteers, conduct training sessions, raise money and run an array of social events and Shabbat-holiday programs.

And they still visit several Holocaust survivors each week.

The emphasis is on survival, says Tauby, who has visited survivors since she was a teen. “They’re the most upbeat people in the world.”

The Taubys are Lubavitch, but iVolunteer is nondenominational. And few of the participants are Orthodox. Many of the volunteers aren’t even Jewish.

“We want to attract all kinds of people,” Tauby says.

At iVolunteer, she teaches volunteers to accompany the survivors and help with shopping and tasks around the home. She promotes the group through social media and e-mail. There’s a waiting list for volunteers, mostly young professionals.

For the survivors, many of whom have no children, the volunteers are often their only social contact, the first person to contact for an emergency, she says. “It’s like a grandkid coming over.”

Make me a match: Tauby is a natural matchmaker; she’s responsible for two marriages between volunteers. “I love connecting people,” she says.

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Staff Writer

Comments

Whenever we stand up to those who deny or minimize genocide we send a critical message to the world. As we continue to live in an age of genocide and ethnic cleansing, we must repel the broken ethics of our ancestors, or risk a dreadful repeat of past transgressions. We know from captured German war records that millions of innocent Jews were systematically exterminated by Nazi Germany - most in gas chambers. These facts have been proven repeatedly through countless thesis and dissertation research papers. Virtually every PhD in the world will stake their career on known Holocaust facts. Despite this knowledge, Holocaust deniers ply their mendacious poison everywhere, especially with young people on the Internet. Such deniers have only one agenda - to distort the truth in a way that promotes antagonism against the object of their hatred, or to deny the culpability of their ancestors and heroes. Museums and mandatory public education are tools to dispel bigotry, especially racial and ethnic hatred. Books and films can also establish the veracity of genocides, such as recent Holocaust films. They help to tell the true story of the perpetrators of genocide; and they reveal the abject terror, humiliation and degradation resulting from such blind loathing and prejudice. It is therefore essential that we disclose the factual brutality and horror of genocide, combating the deniers’ virulent, inaccurate historical revision. We must protect vulnerable future generations from making the same mistakes. A world that continues to allow genocide requires ethical remediation. Books, films and required public education about genocide can help to reduce such unacceptable behavior. We must show the world that religious, racial, ethnic and gender persecution is wrong; and that tolerance is our progeny's only hope. Only through such efforts can we reveal the true horror of genocide and promote the triumphant spirit of humankind. Charles Weinblatt Author, Jacob’s Courage http://jacobscourage.wordpress.com/

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