An Unexpected Experience

Hi there! My name is Randall Olmsted, and I recently returned from a trip abroad to Hungary and Romania through the JDC and Texas Hillel. After telling friends and family about my travels, I am often asked what the most meaningful part of my trip was. I find this question incredibly difficult to answer, as so many aspects of my journey stick out – seeing the renewal efforts of the Hungarian Jewish community, dancing with special needs young adults, and helping a family move into a new apartment, to just name a few. However, what unequivocally left the greatest impact was the opportunity to speak with Holocaust survivors. Though the language barrier initially presented a few minor obstacles, with the help of translators we were able to listen to their amazing stories. As sad as it may be, the few remaining members of the Holocaust generation are reaching their 80’s, and young people my age are the last to have the opportunity to hear their accounts. Their narratives put a real-life account to the horrors I had learned about throughout my education. My beliefs in the utmost importance of the continuance of the Jewish religion were reinforced after speaking with survivors at a Jewish elderly home.  I will be sure my children too hear these stories and understand the importance of the Holocaust. I am forever grateful and indebted for the opportunity to have embarked on such an amazing journey. 


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March 28, 2013 at 8:45 PM




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