Adult group organizes a March of the Living trip to Poland, Lithuania and Israel

New England contingent plans visit for next spring

BOSTON  – Irv Kempner, son of Holocaust survivors, and octogenarian Sid Handler, a Vilna native and Holocaust survivor, are recruiting participants for a Friends of the March of the Living trip to Poland, Lithuania and Israel. Participants on the April 23 - May 7, 2014 trip must be 21 and older.

To that end, the group is hosting an informational meeting on Monday, Aug. 19, at 7:30 p.m., at Kehillah Schechter Academy in Norwood, Mass.

Guest speakers at the session include Kempner, a resident of Sharon, Mass.; Handler, of Newton, Mass. and Boston City Councilor Michael Ross, the son of a survivor.  Since 1988, some 250,000 teenagers from 40 countries have participated in March of the Living, an emotional journey to Eastern Europe and Israel that commemorates the Holocaust. Marchers visit the remnants of Jewish life including cemeteries, ghettos, mass graves and Nazi death camps. They then travel to Israel, where they witness the rebirth of the Jewish nation.

The Friends of the March of the Living aims to raise $6 million to establish an endowment so that all teens who want to learn about the Holocaust first-hand will be able to do so in coming generations.

This upcoming trip coincides with the annual international program March of the Living trip which, this year, is expected to draw some 12,000 teens from across the globe.

Kempner, who has been on five March of the Living trips and will serve as a docent in 2014, said in a press release issued by the organization, “There is no path to our future without the map of our past.  Having the chance to travel back to Eastern Europe accompanied by a survivor is a rare opportunity … you can travel from the darkness of the death camps to the bright light of Israel on the same trip. The country of Israel is our precious legacy that was only a dream to those imprisoned during the Shoah.”

The reservation deadline for the trip is Oct. 1, or until the trip is filled. For those who cannot travel for the full two weeks, the Israel portion of the itinerary is optional. Each participant is responsible for arranging his or her airfare.

For more information, contact Mel Mann (305-378-0254 or

To reserve a seat at the Aug. 19 meeting, email or visit