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Survivor Gives Federation Volunteers Lesson on Teaching Holocaust to Kids

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Nazi forces began invading the town of Strassbourg, France in May of 1940. Gilbert Lachow , who was just a boy at the time, was sent to a number of internment camps before narrowly escaping on the last ship to the United States. Four months later, prisoners at the internment camps where Lachow resided were sent to Auschwitz. 90 percent of the prisoners were gassed upon arrival.

Lachow spoke about his experiences to a crowd largely made up of volunteers who read to children at Palm Beach County elementary schools.

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The volunteers joined school representatives at the Literacy Volunteer Appreciation Brunch on Monday, February 17 at the Hilton Hotel Singer Island. The literacy program is an initiative of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County.


Lachow explained to volunteers about teaching a heavy subject like the Holocaust to young children. He is a firm believer in the book Terrible Things, written by Eve Bunting. It explains the Holocaust through the use of animals and bullying.


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Following Lachow’s harrowing and poignant story, several volunteers shared their own inspirational anecdotes from experiences reading to and teaching children, led by Regina Sablo, Volunteer Coordinator from Cross Pointe Elementary School.

Entertainment at the event included Casey Welte, a student majoring in vocals at Bak Middle School of the Arts, and musician Herbet Moore and his producer Philip Weatherspoon.

Also in attendance were Sheri Siegal, Coordinator for Federation’s Literacy Program; Amy Dujon, principal at Acreage Pines Community Elementary School; and Dr. Luis Fleischman, VP of Federation Palm Beach’s Jewish Community Relations Council, who delivered the closing remarks, expressing Federation’s deep gratitude to the volunteers for the important work they do to help make the world a better place.

The award-winning Anne and Sam Klein Jewish Coalition for Literacy, initiated by the JCRC of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, is a reading partner program to help public elementary school children improve their reading skills. Reading partners provide the gift of reading in more than 50 public elementary schools, helping 3,700 students from Jupiter to Boynton Beach.


In the Jewish tradition, few things are more important than education and keeping alive the memory of our ancestors. Federation volunteers are the backbone of the work that Federation does to ensure a bright Jewish future.


Contact Sheri Siegal at 561.242.6694 or email to become a Reading Partner.

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