Mimica Tsezana Hyman is carrying forward the torch as she tells her story of being a second-generation Holocaust survivor to audiences in our county, country, and world.
On February 8, 2023, Ms. Tsenzana Hyman shared the story of her family with the entire 12th-grade student body at Washingtonville High School. For the past 10 years, Mimica has presented her family's story of the survival of all 275 Jewish community members on the Greek island of Zakynthos during WWII. Along with an edited version of the documentary “Song of Life” by Toni Likouressis, Mimica shares the personal story of how her father and his family were protected from the Nazis by the bishop, the mayor, and other residents on the island. It is an essential story of courage, friendship, hope, and resilience that intimately moves her audience.
“I strongly believe that this presentation matters greatly and that the story should become known worldwide,” states Ms. Tsezana Hyman.
Mimica’s hope is that after hearing this story, “people in the audience will be inspired to go out and do good in whatever way they can.” She told the students in Washingtonville, “As you graduate and continue with your life, choose your leaders well because these people listened to their leaders. Keep your friends, because it was their friends and their neighbors who had saved them.”
“There is not a more valuable experience than to provide an account of history from someone who has experienced it or whose family has experienced it,” said Brian Connolly, principal of Washingtonville High School.
Mimica concluded her presentation by telling the students, “You are very important, very special and you are not invisible, you matter.”
In December 2022, Mimica also shared her story with a senior class at Valley Central High School. Mimica embodies the true meaning of Zachor and we here at Federation are grateful for her time and commitment to our initiative.
The Zachor Antisemitism Initiative provides quality essential Holocaust and Antisemitism programming to Orange County Schools and the community. If you would like more information about our many program offerings, or if you have a story you might like to share on behalf of your family or yourself about the Jewish experience please contact Zachor@jewishorangeny.org.
Kathy Kimball-Wurster, Director of the Zachor Antisemitism Initiative presented the American Witness project to the 10th grade Social Studies classes in Valley Central High School. The American Witness project is a series of posters with audio accompaniment that describes eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust by American soldiers during World War II. The American Witness project is on loan to the Jewish Federation of Greater Orange County through the United States Memorial Holocaust Museum and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the United States Military Academy.
In addition, the Holocaust in History class welcomed Mimica Tsezana Hyman, a Board Member of the American Friends of the Jewish Museum of Greece. Ms. Hyman presented the documentary, “Song of Life” by Toni Likouressis. The film details how the entire Jewish community of the Greek island of Zakynthos was protected by the bishop, the mayor, and residents from the Nazis. This is the island that Ms. Hyman’s family lived on during World War II.