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2017-05-05 digital edition
TODAY in the Jewish World:

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May 5, 2017  RSS feed

Text: T T T

Author shares parents’ story of triumph over tragedy

(L-R) Author Roslyn Franken, John Sykes, Susan Sykes (L-R) Author Roslyn Franken, John Sykes, Susan Sykes On April 20, the University of Tampa Chabad Jewish Student Union hosted a special event at the Sykes Chapel and Center for Faith and Values.

Author Roslyn Franken shared tales of the horrors her mother experienced in Auschwitz and of her father’s suffering as a prisoner of war in Japan when she spoke recently at the University of Tampa Chabad Jewish Student Union.

Her stories were highlights from her book, Meant to Be: A True Story of Might, Miracles and Triumph of the Human Spirit.

Rabbi Levi Rivkin of Bais Menachem Chabad, who arranged for Franken to speak, said “The goal was to put on an event that would leave guests spiritually uplifted.” Franken, he said, delivered “powerful messages of how we can all learn from the faith, courage and determination that enabled her parents to both survive and thrive beyond their hardships.”

Rabbi Rivkin said the audience “was especially touched when she told of how she turned to her parents as inspiration in her own fight to beat cancer and overcome many other life adversities” and noted that she “made her story very relevant to what is happening in the world today by encouraging a greater sense of interfaith community and unity.”

The event was held on campus in the Sykes Chapel and Center for Faith and Value and attended by John and Susan Sykes, philanthropists and supporters of the University of Tampa student community.

“There is a plan that G-d has for us, as she [Franken] so capably and so subtly said, but we as humans also have choices,” said John Sykes. “We can choose that path which is right, and if we do, G-d will take care of us. What she said was so real in my life because as she experienced cancer in her life, I experienced cancer in my life. And when they said the ‘c’ word, I said to Susan ‘Okay, what do we do? We move forward and we conquer it.’ And thank G-d we did. So we should never say that we can’t do something, and never ever, ever give up. And that was Roslyn’s message tonight, and we as a people should never ever give up. We must enjoy the day G-d has given us, it is a gift.”

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