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Pascack Valley Daily Voice serves Emerson, Hillsdale, Montvale, Park Ridge, River Vale, Washington Township, Westwood & Woodcliff Lake

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Holocaust Survivor Inspires Students In Woodcliff Lake

Bernie Gola recently told sixth-graders about his experiences, through the Holocaust and beyond.
Bernie Gola recently told sixth-graders about his experiences, through the Holocaust and beyond. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Valley Chabad

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. -- "Number B-3078. That was my number when I arrived in the Treblinka death camp. Once they gave you that number, you were no longer a person."

Holocaust survivor Bernie Gola, who along with his wife Bernice, lives in Washington Township, visited Valley Chabad's Hebrew School to share his story of survival with the sixth grade.

Gola was born in Poland, and he'll be 90 in January. Despite losing his entire immediate family in the Holocaust, he's still a happy, cheerful person -- and he inspired the students to make a difference in the world.

"We live in the greatest country with enormous opportunity," Gola told them. "Be the best you can and be an active member and support the Jewish community and causes."

He told them of how he came to the United States with nothing and built a successful uniform business in Paterson still operated by his family.

"The Hebrew School class was lucky to hear his story in preparation for the Jewish new year of Rosh Hashanah," organizers noted.

For more information about Valley Chabad, visit its website or Facebook page.

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