By Debra Rubin/JNS.org
Aviva Sufian was just 8 years old when her mother took her to an American Gathering of
Jewish Holocaust Survivors event in Philadelphia in 1985. She remembers survivor after survivor standing up and announcing, “My name is, and this is where I’m from.”
Sufian, whose grandparents had come to this country shortly after World War I, says her parents “placed a primacy on my understanding the world they came from,” including understanding the devastation of the Jewish people under the Nazi regime.
“I had a close relationship with Holocaust survivors in the community I grew up in,” said Sufian, 37, who lived in Houston, studied Yiddish in high school and college, and as a student at Columbia University in New York conducted interviews with survivors for the Shoah Foundation.
Sufian’s career has since focused on the elderly, both in the Jewish communal and government sectors. Named in late January as the first special envoy for U.S. Holocaust survivor services, she will be combining her background in the field of aging with her knowledge of Holocaust survivors. READ MORE .