Though the town of Trochenbrod may be long since gone, Avrom Bendavid-Val adroitly resurrects it through a multitude of firsthand testimonies and a complete description of its history and development. Trochenbrod was once a thriving farming town in Western Ukraine that was expunged by the Nazi regime. It was a haven to many Jewish settlers who hoped to find freedom from the Czar’s oppressive fist. Bendavid-Val himself is the son of a resident of the town of Trochenbrod who managed to escape the small town’s destruction. Yet, the small remains of his father’s past was not enough to quench his yearning for more information to help complete the larger enigma of Trochenbrod and its arcane past. Bendavid-Val adeptly meshes an eclectic collection of firsthand memories and reflections into one encompassed spectrum that helps unveil the clouded history of Trochenbrod. Bendavid reflects on his 1997 trip to the area that once marked the town’s location. He ventured through the remainder of the town and interviewed many of whom he encounters. Though about only 60 of Trochenbrod’s residents survived the terrors of the Nazi’s. Bendavid- Val’s composition differs from a history textbook in that it comes from his heart and his pure desire to revive the spirit of a once vivacious town. It is a genuine resurrection of yet another lost memory of the Holocaust. Bendavid- Val illustrates to his readers that something intangible may vanish, but in the end it is the honest memories that keep it alive.
Michael Weiss, or Mikey, as everyone knows him as, is currently a senior at the North Shore Hebrew Academy High School. He is an avid reader and writer, holding the role as a weekly writer and editor for the North Shore Notes (the newsletter). He loves playing Ultimate Frisbee, playing piano, listening to music, spending time with his older brother, and needless to say, reading. During the summer of 2010 and summer 2011 Mikey enjoyed a unique experience as an intern at the Jewish Book Council. He is truly grateful for being able to work under the tutelage of such genuine people.