The History of Sheérit HaPleitah of Metropolitan Chicago

After the Holocaust, many survivors settled in Chicago. While they tried to build a normal lives, raise new families they had a need to be involved in organizational work. So as the years progressed, in the late 1950’s and 1960’s, these same survivors started to create cultural groups.  These groups included organizations like

Dr Janusz Korczak B’Nai Brith Midwest Chestochover Society
Hofesh Chapter NA’AMAT USA New Citizens Club
Jewish Lithuanian Club of Chicago Workman’s Circle
Laor Organization United Chicago Jews of Hungarian Descent, Inc.

The groups fostered an environment that allowed people with similar histories to get together. The groups became extended families which allowed the members to celebrate their lives and accomplishment while at the same time lament and talk about the tragedy that they endured. Survivors and their families also participated in an annual memorial service in memory of the six million Jews annihilated by Nazi Germany. The annual ceremony was co-sponsored by various Jewish organizations. Additionally, the group’s activities included charity work with the understanding that it was important to give back.

In the mid 1970’s The Zionist organization of Chicago announced that it would no longer sponsor the annual memorial Yom HaShoah commemoration.  Sheérit HaPleitah of Metropolitan Chicago was formed which translates to “Remnants of the Leftover of the Destruction” [the survivors of the holocaust] Sheérit HaPleitah of Metropolitan Chicago became the umbrella organization for all of the other groups with a pledge to continue the annual memorial service.

Sheérit HaPleitah of Metropolitan Chicago’s mission has been to offer survivors monthly programs much like the groups did in addition to having 3 large events a year:

  • The annual Yom Hashoah Ceremony
  • A Yom Yerushelaim luncheon
  • The annual celebration of life luncheon

Today Sheérit HaPleitah is very appreciative to the younger groups like the Association of Descendants of the Shoah-Illinois which includes children & grand children of survivors. Together we continue with the same mission to allow survivors of the Holocaust a place to talk about what happened and to enjoy each other’s company while at the same time making sure that the world never forgets man’s inhumanity to his fellow man.

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