The Ransom Everglades Jewish Students Association invited Rabbi Sholom Lipskar to speak to the upper school student body in honor of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. The founder of The Shul of Bal Harbour, Lipskar was smuggled as a baby in a suitcase over the Soviet border to a displaced person’s camp in Germany, where he lived for five years.
Lipskar reflected on the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust, and also provided historical perspective on the plight of the Jewish people over centuries. “There’s not a single century in history when you can’t point to some massacre of Jewish people,” he said.
Introduced by Jewish Student Association President David Dubovy '22, treasurer Jessica Weinstein '22 and faculty advisor Gila Aloni, Lipskar offered a somber reflection on Jewish history, stating up front that he would not open with a happy story or a light-hearted joke given the seriousness of the occasion.
“I’m not putting blame on anyone, but if you think about the reality of history, it’s a chilling reality,” he said. “In reality, a Jew, just being a Jew, is a target on some level to somebody.”
Said Lipskar: "The real question is why?"
During his talk in advance of Yom HaShoah on April 27-28, he also explained what he understood to be a Jew's mission, purpose and obligation. Lipskar said Jews draw inspiration from the Bible and the prophets, who outlined their calling. "The objective of the Jew," he said, "Is to bring the light of holiness into [the world]."
He concluded by encouraging students to be a light for others.
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.