This year's Holocaust assembly featured Mrs. Ruth Follman, who was born in Hungary during the Holocaust and survived with her family through the kindness of neighbors who hid them in their attic. She spoke to a hushed audience of over 600 students.
The students were riveted as Mrs. Follman told of one of her best friends spitting at her the first time she came out wearing a Jewish star.
Yet, she reminded her audience, through the terrible times, there were always good people who were willing to risk their own lives to save Jews.
The speaker told of sending this family gifts after the war, thanking them for saving their lives, and of testifying at Yad Vashem to have them officially designated as the Righteous Among the Nations, an honor given to those who rescued Jews despite the danger to themselves and their families.
Teachers and students alike were deeply moved as they were reminded that Mrs. Follman's story of rescue was a rare one, and that of the 105 members of her family, only 9 survived, and millions of others did not.
Her message was one of thankfulness to those who helped her, and appreciation of her faith, which guided her father and the family through the terrifying times, determined to survive and to tell their story to others. Mrs. Follman, at 85, continues to speak to young people, and her Teaneck High audience, raptly attentive throughout, was a testament to how well her message was received.