The Holocaust Museum & Center for Tolerance and Education’s annual benefit brunch is set for Sunday, September 15, at 10 a.m., at the New City Jewish Center. It will honor Judy Josephs. Jules Stern will receive the Elie Wiesel Memorial award and Rabbi Steven Weil will be the keynote speaker.
The museum is hosted by Rockland Community College and receives funding from the Town of Ramapo, Rockland County, and the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Rockland County.
Judy Josephs was born in Lublin, Poland in 1928, the youngest of five children. Lublin’s Jews were the first victims of “Operation Reinhard,” when two million Jews were murdered following ghetto liquidations and deportation to death camps. Her sister, Bronia, is believed to be among the first Jews killed in Belzec. Judy survived by passing as a Polish gentile; the rest of her family was killed in Nazi camps or by Poles in the countryside. She worked in a German slave labor camp and as a maid on the farm of a virulently anti-Semitic Polish family. Judy met her husband, Rubin Josephs, z”l, at a DP camp in Germany; eventually they came to the United States and settled in Monsey. Rubin became a builder, and Judy insisted that she had to be able to walk to shul on Shabbat from their new house. That insistence led to the creation of the Monsey Jewish Center. Rubin was a founder of the Holocaust Museum and Judy is a member of its Hidden Children group.
Jules Stern, born in New York City, learned from his parents to care deeply about the state of Israel, Jewish life and education, and the victims and survivors of the Shoah. He and his wife, Lila, z”l, married in 1951, and together, as community activists, supported Jewish causes in Rockland County, across the United States, in Israel, and beyond. They worked with agencies including UJA, Hadassah, Israel Bonds, Meals on Wheels, AIPAC, and Operation Exodus, where as a co-chair, Jules helped raise more than $2 million. He also dedicated the Jewish Meditation Room at Good Samaritan Hospital in memory of his and Lila’s parents.
Jules began as a member of the ad-hoc committee that founded the Rockland County Center for Holocaust Studies, where he remains a supporter of the museum as it has evolved over the last 30 years. The Liberators Wing in the new museum will be dedicated to the memory of Jules’ and Lila’s parents when it reopens in the near future.
Rabbi Steven Weil of Teaneck is the Orthodox Union’s senior managing director. A popular teacher and lecturer, he has given invocations for many notable public figures, including President George W. Bush, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and former House Speaker John Boehner.
All proceeds of the brunch will benefit Holocaust and tolerance education programs. The ad journal deadline is August 24. For information, call (845) 574-4099, email HolocaustRCC@gmail.com, or go to holocauststudies.org.