Holocaust Memorial Center to honor local couple


The Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus is hosting its 27th Anniversary Dinner, Sunday, Sept. 18, at Congregation Shaarey Zedek, 27375 Bell Rd. in Southfield.

The annual fundraising event, which begins at 5:30 p.m., will be honoring Commerce Township residents Lauren and Sam Bienenstock of Bienenstock Court Reporting & Video for their dedication and commitment to the center. Award-winning independent filmmaker and television editor Sharon Rennert, who recently made the documentary, "In Our Hands: A Personal Story of the Bielski Partisans," will deliver the keynote address.

Additionally, four Holocaust Memorial Center staff members will be recognized for their more than 25 years of dedicated service: Membership Director Helen Rosenzveig, Group Scheduler Gail Susan Cohen, Administrator Selma Lahr Silverman, and Head Librarian Feiga Weiss.

Lauren and Sam Bienenstock founded Bienenstock Court Reporting & Video in 1995. The business now has eight offices throughout Michigan and provides services to clients in all 50 states. They have presented at several local and national conferences, including the American Bar Association Tech Road Show, Michigan Association for Justice, Oakland County Bar Association, and American Inns of Court.

The Bienenstocks are members of the Society for the Technological Advancement of Reporting, where Lauren has served as a board member and past president, National Network of Reporting Companies, National Court Reporters Association and Michigan Association of Professional Court Reporters. Lauren and Sam also own Commerce Park Properties I and II, real estate investment companies located in Bingham Farms.

The family's connection to the Holocaust is on Sam's side. Soon after the outbreak of WWII, Sam's father, Abraham, as well as Abraham's father and brother, were sent to Siberia. Although they found their way back home, the Nazis took them again with Abraham spending time in various concentration camps. At the last camp, which was Bergen-Belsen, he found his only surviving sibling, Helena. Following his liberation, Abraham was sent to Sweden, which also is where he met his wife and Sam's mother, Bajla Lewkowicz.

Bajla and her four sisters survived Auschwitz but kept their relationship a secret from their captors. In fact, the siblings were in line on their way to the gas chamber before being abruptly pulled out of line and sent to a Krupp munitions factory. From Krupp, they went to Ravensbruck Concentration Camp where they were eventually liberated. The five sisters were then reunited with their one surviving brother in Sweden.

The 27th Anniversary Dinner will include a raffle featuring opportunities to win one of two mini vacations. The "Grand" prize is a two-night stay at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. The second prize winner earns a two-night stay at the Townsend Hotel in downtown Birmingham. The recipient of the third prize collects a 16-inch strand of pearls. Monies raised at the event will benefit the Holocaust Memorial Center's programming and operations.

Dinner tickets can be purchased for $200 each and $2,500 for a table of ten. Tables will be reserved for purchasers of ten or more tickets. Additional designated open seating will be available for all attendees.

The event will begin with the President's Reception at 4:30 p.m. for purchasers of Scroll of Honor tickets ($360 each) followed by the strolling dinner to officially kick off the event at 5:30 p.m. The program will follow at 7 p.m. A dessert afterglow concludes the evening's festivities.

Reservations for the dinner are required and complimentary valet parking will be provided. For tickets or more information, contact Selma Silverman at either 248-553-2400 (ext. 12), or selma.silverman@holocaustcenter.org.

For additional information on the Holocaust Memorial Center, visit www.holocaustcenter.org.

Published: Wed, Aug 31, 2011