Friday, October 19, 2012

Holocaust Museum & Study Center Honors Shluchim

By Steve Lieberman, The Journal News

The Holocaust Museum & Study Center will honor six people on Sunday for their contributions to the Spring Valley educational institution.

The center will present awards to New City businessman Steve Gold and his wife, Helene Gold, Rabbi Shmuel and Devorah Gancz of Chabad Jewish Center in Suffern and Rockland residents Linda Suss and Brian Bassuk.

The awards will be presented at a fundraising brunch at 11 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza in Montebello.

Steve Gold, president of a poultry business, recently lead JCC Rockland’s efforts to convince the International Olympic Committee to hold a minute of silence at the start of the games in Great Britain this summer in memory of the 11 Israelis murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics. The effort came as Gold chaired the opening and closing ceremonies of this summer’s JCC Maccabi Games.

The Golds garnered unwanted attention last month when someone spray-painted a swastika on the street in front of their New City home of 20 years. Steve Gold’s parents and other family members survived the Holocaust. He said the leadership award given by the Holocaust Museum & Study Center is a tribute to all the people killed during the Holocaust.

“At the age I asked my father why he had a tattoo on his arm it was the first time I was exposed to the atrocities my father, mother, aunt and uncle endured,” Gold said. “What I came away with was the importance to my father of making people sure they never forget. He made me promise right there and then that I must continue teaching whoever would listen to make sure we never forget.”

Helene Gold is a national account manager for Premiere Networks, affiliated with Clear Channel Communications. She coached at the JCC Maccabi Games and was assistant delegation co-chair.

The keynote speaker Sunday will be David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee since 1990.

Rabbi Shmuel and Devorah Gancz are the directors of the Chabad Jewish Center of Suffern. Rabbi Gancz, born in Rockland, and his Chicago-born wife Devorah, have partnered with the museum for Holocaust educational events such as Beyond Never Again, a six-week-long adult education class.

Suss, a longtime Rockland resident, has worked as a teacher, mentor and professional developer in the New York City school system. She volunteers as an educator at the Holocaust Center.

Bassuk, a 45-year Rockland resident, taught special education, including serving as director of the White Plains school district. He volunteers for Meals On Wheels, the Rockland Jewish Family Service, and as an educator at the Holocaust Center.