GC resident speaks at Holocaust Memorial event

two women sitting in chairs speaking

Garden City resident Renée Kann Silver (right) with producer and columnist Daniella Greenbaum Davis.
Photo courtesy of the Consulate General of Israel in New York.

Consulate General of Israel in New York Asaf Zamir and Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine recently welcomed Holocaust survivor Renée Kann Silver, 91, of Garden City to the consulate’s inaugural Zikaron BaSalon program. In English, Zikaron BaSalon roughly means “remembrance in the living room,” and it’s the name for the growing practice of hosting survivors in private homes to tell their stories. The event was held in honor of Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The program featured an hour-long discussion, where Silver addressed a small, intimate crowd of friends, journalists, influencers and elected officials.

Ambassador Zamir also welcomed Deputy Manhattan Borough President Aya Keefe, as well as Councilmembers Shaun Abreu and Erik Bottcher, who attended the event.

“The latest ADL report doesn’t just report a rise in antisemitic attacks in New York and nationwide,” Ambassador Zamir said. “It also shows frighteningly high numbers of Americans who know little to nothing about the Holocaust. There’s even a scary number of people who actually believe Jews were responsible for the Holocaust.

“So we need more events like we had at my home on Wednesday night. We call it Zikaron BaSalon in Israel, and this is where Holocaust survivors tell their stories in an informal, personal atmosphere. In this case, I hosted Holocaust survivor Renee Kann Silver to tell her story to dozens of New Yorkers, including Manhattan Borough President Mark Levin.”

Daniella Greenbaum Davis, an Emmy-award winning producer and columnist, moderated the event. Greenbaum Davis added a personal touch to the conversation by mentioning her grandparents’ survivor journey to America, creating an emotional atmosphere for everyone in the room.

Silver, a Holocaust survivor who was born in the German state of Saarland in 1931, recalled her experiences living as a Jewish child among the culture of German Nazism and French patriotism. Eventually, her family was deported to the Gurs concentration camp in southern France, where her mother made the decision to send Silver and her sister to hide in the Protestant community of Le Chambon. She also described her family’s reunion and escape to Switzerland.

Silver was introduced to the consulate by the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County.

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