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Chapman News

Holocaust History Rodgers Center

Chapman Holocaust Library Artifact Connects a Son to His Father’s Story.

A wallet made from a Torah carries the weight of history and reflects Mitchell Raff's commitment to remembrance.

By Stace Dumoski

The item in the display case caught Mitchell Raff ’s attention the moment he saw it. The wallet, aged and battered, with Hebrew writing on it, had clearly been made from a Torah. One of the many ways Nazis desecrated the sacred objects they stole from Jews was to turn them into utilitarian things. Though there was no identifying information with the wallet, Raff recognized it immediately.

“This was my father’s,” he said.

Raff was touring Chapman University’s Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education, accompanied by Marcia Rosenberg, a longtime supporter of the Rodgers Center who was eager to share the experience with Raff. Both are children of Holocaust survivors — they call themselves “2Gs,” for second generation — who never suffered the horrors of Nazi concentration camps directly but have lived with the aftermath all the same.

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Mitchell Raff is the director of Clothing the Homeless. He has been volunteering his time since 2016. He has the most giving heart and truly desires to treat everyone with dignity and respect. We believe this is why our partnership works so well. Mitchell and his team of volunteers come out every fourth Saturday to do a giant clothing distribution. We have so much fun when they are onsite and it is always a joy to witness the way he serves our patrons.

— The Hub OC

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