In Memory of Michael Herskovitz
We mourn the passing of our Holocaust survivor speaker, HAMEC Board member, and dear friend Michael Herskovitz on May 30th 2021. Michael was born in Czechoslovakia in 1929. At 15 years old in 1944, Michael and his family were taken in cattle cars to Auschwitz-Birkenau where he was separated from his parents and four siblings. He unfortunately would not be reunited with his parents, as they were killed at Auschwitz. Michael spent six months in Auschwitz and the remainder of WWII in the concentration camps Mauthausen and Gunskirchen until liberation in May of 1945.
and the 1956 Sinai War. In 1959 Michael immigrated to the United States and settled in the Philadelphia area. Arriving in the United States with a limited education and speaking no English, he worked long hours acquiring a trade as an automobile mechanic and teaching himself English. Soon a representative from Gulf Oil approached Michael to purchase and run a franchise. Three gas stations, two parts stores, four shoe stores in Philadelphia and Miami, later Michael established himself as a self-made successful businessman – a shining example of the American Dream.After the war Michael moved to Israel and fought in both the 1948 War for Independence
Michael dedicated the last 30+ years to educating students about the Holocaust. Michael was an instrumental part of our remarkable growth in the number of school programs served over the last 12 years. Michael reached tens of thousands of eager young people with his amazing story of survival and his positive attitude about life. He has told his story across the country and all over the world to students with the advent of Skype and Zoom. We at HAMEC are so grateful that he devoted his time to educate so many students over the years about what happened to him and his family because of unbridled hatred he faced as a young man. Michael inspired so many to become upstanders against prejudice and hatred.
We send our condolences to his wonderful wife and teammate on his mission, Tonya. We will miss him, and we will honor his life and memory by continuing to tell his story.
8339 Old York Road
Elkins Park, PA 19027