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JFCS donates local survivors’ stories to Yad Vashem

Susan Kasle of Jewish Family & Children’s Services presents Yad Vashem docent Robert Eden with books of stories by Southern Arizona Holocaust survivors, Nov. 3. Photo: Jon Kasle

Susan Kasle is vice president of community services at Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona, which coordinates services for Holocaust survivors living in Southern Arizona. For Kasle, a highlight of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s recent interfaith mission was representing JFCS during the mission’s Nov. 3 visit to Yad Vashem — The World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem.

Kasle hand-delivered copies of the books, “To Tell Our Stories: Holocaust Survivors of Southern Arizona,” published by JFCS.

“I felt humbled and honored to bring the Holocaust survivors’ testimonials to Yad Vashem — personal individual stories that will be part of collective remembrance,” Kasle says.

“We know of at least 268 people who survived the Holocaust and made Southern Arizona their home at various points in their lives,” she notes.

The first volume of “To Tell Our Stories,” published in 2015, includes 36 stories; the second volume, published in 2018, includes another 45 accounts, all translated from Russian. The third volume, published in 2018 at the request of Russian-speaking survivors, includes 46 stories in Russian.

The books are available for purchase at JFCS and on Amazon. In addition, the survivors hold frequent, well-attended readings in the community. The next reading is Jan. 10 at 2 p.m. at the Joyner-Green Valley Library. For more information, visit