CSYV’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah Twinning Program

The Canadian Society for Yad Vashem Twinning Program provides a Bar/Bat Mitzvah child with a unique opportunity to mark the occasion in a meaningful educational experience.

Twinning with a child that perished during the Holocaust is an opportunity for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah child and their family to do something that has a much larger significance. To remember someone who perished in the Holocaust and was not able to celebrate a Bar/Bat Mitzvah means, to understand that they were unique individuals with a family, a community, friends, likes and dislikes, goals and aspirations. It also means to understand what happened to them during the Holocaust: how they coped with the harsh daily realities, responded to anti-Jewish policies, resisted death, created art and attempted to preserve their human dignity despite the humiliation and suffering inflicted upon them.

By “twinning”, you are doing the mitzvah of keeping that individual’s memory alive, especially during this milestone in your Jewish life – the day of your Bar/Bat mitzvah.

CSYV provides the Bar/Bat Mitzvah child with a Page of Testimony of a child Holocaust victim and a certificate signed by the National Chair and the Executive Director of the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem.

The Canadian Society for Yad Vashem invites its friends to support the Twinning Program with a donation. A gift to CSYV in honour of this milestone is a lasting and meaningful way to celebrate a special occasion. Donations can be designated for general support or to specific programs and giving opportunities.

To register to the CSYV’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah Twinning Program:

Please fill out the attached form and save it on your computer.

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Next, please submit your application here:

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Child's Name (required)*

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Your Message (optional)

Simply attach your application here and press submit!

“Throughout my experience with the Yad Vashem twinning project, I have discovered and learned many new things. I have learned about a young girl’s life in the Holocaust and how things might have felt for her. I also learned a little bit about my family during the Holocaust. I made connections between her life and my great grandparents. Seeing these connections showed me how much the circumstances for Jews in Europe were very similar and how terrible it was. It also made me appreciate how blessed I am and in what a fortunate world and time I live in.”

Rachel Tanenzap

“I decided to participate in the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem’s twinning program so that I could better understand the experiences of children during the war. I decided to twin with Miryam Judith Natanson because we share the same birthday. By participating in the program, I’m helping to keep Miryam’s memory alive. Researching her life was very interesting and made me feel connected to the events of the Holocaust in a meaningful way.”

Yael Jackson

“I enjoyed this experience very much. It taught me that we can never forget how fortunate we are and to be thankful for that. I learnt a lot about Heinrich Eisenstaedt, and shared his information with my family so he will never be forgotten. Thank you so much for this opportunity to learn about the past.”

Tyler Patterson

“I did this project because Kubish never got to have a Bar Mitzvah and I thought it’s a really nice thing to do. It is also because I come from a family that has Holocaust survivors and I wanted to learn more about it. I learned a lot from my bubbie and then my mom helped me search for Kubish and his family using the online tools. While researching Kubish, we found a record of the testimony that my great grandmother Dora Riseman made in Israel after the war.”

Josh Levitt

“The Twinning Program was an amazing experience that made me realize how lucky I am to be living in such a great place and time. It gave me the opportunity to share my Bat Mitzvah with someone who never got a chance to have one. Even though I never met my twin, I feel really connected with her.”

Lexi Kleinman

“While participating in this program, I had an unexpected life-changing experience! The Canadian Society for Yad Vashem provided me with a copy of the Page of Testimony that had been submitted to them about Eva Kozower who perished in the Holocaust as a child. Through my research in this program, I discovered Eva’s first cousin who and survived the Holocaust and lives in Maryland. We connected and he was truly speechless to hear what I was doing in honour of his cousin. I am honoured to have photos and other documents about Eva and her family, so that she can be remembered.” Read Adina’s full story…

Adina Fridman

“The story of Asher Bivas was vital to me because I believe that we all have to remember stories like these and tell them to our children and grandchildren. We must raise awareness through memories like this about what terrible things have happened in the past, so that they don’t happen again in the future. We have to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself. Most importantly, CSYV’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah Twinning Program allowed me to do something with real significance. It’s hard to put into words how I feel about honouring Asher Bivas, a boy who was probably just like me. I am so thankful for everything I have, and everyone I have”.

Mason Davis

“Helena Feld was one of the 1.5 million Jewish children who died in the Shoah. She is one of the 1.5 million children who did not enjoy life as we do. I am truly thankful that the CSYV’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah Twinning Program exists.  I was honoured to share my bat mitzvah with Helena, learn about her, her life and her experiences. It was also an opportunity for me to learn about and commemorate the children who died in the holocaust with a moment of silence at my Bat Mitzvah. I am honoured that I was able to tell Helena’s story and keep her memory alive”.

Hannah Taylor