Mazel tov to Holocaust survivor Miriam Schreiber on receiving an honorary diploma from NEJA New England Jewish Academy last Sunday! Miriam, who was only 7 years old when the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, was never able to receive a formal education because of the war. Her family fled their small village of Długosiodło to seek safety in Russia, but were taken to a forced labor camp in Siberia. Miriam recalls the absolute misery of unbearable hunger, the freezing cold, and being surrounded by death. She was not released from the camp until a year after the war ended. When her family returned to their hometown, the antisemitism was so intense that they had to leave again. They made their way to a DP camp in Germany where Miriam met her late husband Saul. The couple moved to Israel and then later to the U.S. where they settled in West Hartford, Connecticut and raised a family. Wherever they went, Miriam learned a new language (six in total!), but she always regretted that she was never able to go to school and receive a high school diploma. Last year, students from NEJA visited Miriam in her home. After hearing her story, the students voted unanimously to have the octogenarian be a part of the 2020 graduating class. Due to the #coronavirus pandemic, the ceremony was cancelled in favor of a virtual graduation in June, but they held a small, socially distant ceremony at the school last Sunday so Miriam could receive her diploma in person. Kol Hakavod! 

Source: American Society for Yad Vashem
Photo: Dexter McCann, @westhartfordite