The Jewish Gift Place, an online Judaica dealer, is spreading Chanukah spirit by donating to The Holocaust Resource Center of Temple Judea in Manhasset proceeds from a menorah inspired by Janusz Korczak.
Korczak was a famous Jewish pediatrician, educator, author, radio host and children’s rights advocate who ran an orphanage for Jewish children in Warsaw, Poland during World War II. On the menorah, his likeness is depicted leading a line of children, symbolizing their march toward the train to the Nazi extermination camp at Treblinka. It’s a scale model of a sculpture of Korczak outside Temple Judea.
“That would make a great menorah,” Risa Borsykowsky, owner of the Long Island-based Jewish Gift Place, recalls her husband saying when they saw the sculpture during a bar mitzvah at the temple.
She agreed. Borsykowsky and Irving Roth, a Holocaust survivor and director of The Holocaust Research Center, worked with renowned Judaica artist Gary Rosenthal to design the menorah. Their goal is to raise $25,000 for the center. So
far, they’ve raised about half that amount.
“Our mission is two-fold: to raise money for Mr. Roth’s Holocaust Resource Center, and to raise Holocaust awareness through the life story of Janusz Korczak,” Borsykowsky said.
“In the 20th century, children were to be seen, not heard,” recalls Roth. “[Korczak’s] position was that children have opinions, the child has a voice, the child can express himself and the adult needs to listen.”
The mission of the center is to educate young and old on the evils of prejudice, to teach the lessons of the Holocaust, and to combat ignorance, hatred, and violence. The Korczak sculpture outside the center that the menorah is based on is believed to
be one of only two in the nation, Borsykowsky said.
The menorahs, which come in two designs, are made from copper, brass, steel and fused glass. They can be personalized or purchased per their original design at jewishgiftplace.com.