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Survivor Story At Temple Sinai

“I feel like I was born in Roslyn.”

So says longtime Roslyn area resident Julius Eisenstein. On Friday, Nov. 8 at 6:30 p.m., Eisenstein will address a special Kristallnacht service at Temple Sinai of Roslyn, where he will talk of his dramatic life story, one that has made him a grateful citizen of the United States and happy resident of Roslyn.

Eisenstein is, in fact, a founding member of Temple Sinai. When he moved to Roslyn from Brooklyn in the early 1950s, services were held at a local community center. Eventually, a temple was constructed on Roslyn Road and Eisenstein enrolled his two children in Temple Sinai’s religious school.

For much of his time in Roslyn, Eisenstein was quiet about his past. Then, in the mid-1980s, he began to give talks at schools, colleges and universities in both New York and Florida. The purpose was not just to tell about his Holocaust survivor story, but to also make sure that such a tragedy can never happen again.

At Temple Sinai, Eisenstein will recount both his story of a survivor and his “joyful embrace” of life in the United States.

A native of Tomaszow, Poland, Eisenstein was one of five children. For five years during World War II, Eisenstein, along with his brother and future wife, survived both the Auschwitz and Dachau concentration camps.  

“[I have] no answer,” he told The Roslyn News on how he survived those five years. “[It was] up to the sky. [It was] up to God. I feel like I was born in Roslyn.”

On April 28, 1945, Eisenstein was liberated from the Dachau camp by American soldiers. In 1950, he emigrated to the United States, living in Brooklyn before settling for good in Roslyn. At first, he operated a bakery in the village before becoming a real estate agent, a job that he still works at.

“I want to make sure the younger generation knows what happened to me,” he said. But just as important, he wants young people to realize how fortunate they are to live in a country where people are free to speak their mind without fear of censor and intimidation.

“Julius is an articulate speaker whose recall of detail is crystal clear,” temple officials said. “His compelling testimony is important for all to hear first hand.”

Temple Sinai is located at 425 Roslyn Rd. For more information, contact Ethel Liebeskind at 516-621-6800 or visit the website at www.mysinai.org.