Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

An Evening with Marion Blumenthal Lazan

Headed to "shower" at Auschwitz, May 1944

We were very fortunate this week to be able to hear author and holocaust survivor, Marion Blumenthal Lazan  Mrs. Lazan was in the Akron area this week to talk about her experiences as a child in a Nazi concentration camp and how she was able to overcome this terrible experience and live a rich full life.

A few years ago, I read The Diary of Ann Frank with my eldest daughter. My sons and I had viewed Schindler's List, but I had not yet approached the topic with my 12-year-old daughter, my baby. When I heard that Mrs. Lazan was coming to speak at our church this week I decided it was time we talked about the holocaust

When I was in the 4th grade, back in the 1960s, our class watched Night and Fog. This is a 30-minute French documentary with English subtitles, but it is very graphic in showing the atrocities of the German concentration camps. Perhaps I was too young to see it as a 4th grader, but it did make a huge impression on me and from that time on I fully understood the evil of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi regime.

Rosie is a 7th grader and has already studied quite a bit of world history. I thought she would be fine to view this film with me today. As I hoped, she had a realistic and full view of what the German concentration camps were and what the Holocaust really meant. I felt she could more fully appreciate the talk from Mrs. Lazan's perspective.

Marion Blumenthal Lazan is a charming woman and an engaging speaker. She spoke frankly and calmly and she gave her audience a full look at what it meant to be a European Jew in the 1930s and 40s. She spoke tenderly about her grandparents and parents and the hardships and then atrocities they had to endure. She discussed what it was like to literally have no food or water and about the little games she played with herself to survive the boring days in the camp. Finding four perfect pebbles was one of those games and was a way of giving herself hope and meaning.

Her life after that, including her 60+ year marriage to her husband, was equally inspiring and hopeful. Marion Lazan's main message, however, was that of kindness, and the power of being kind and considerate in the world and preventing anything like those atrocities for future generations.

For More Information: 
Marion Blumenthal Lazan on Facebook