When I was entering Day 1 of MRH, I was under the impression that I was going to go on a trip with a delegation to see firsthand the various concentration camps across Germany and Poland. What I didn’t know, however, was how each individual on our trip was carefully selected to not only bring a unique perspective to the trip but also to help create a sense of family and support as we endured some of the toughest days together reliving some of the darkest times in history.
What changed me the most was hearing the personal stories of a Holocaust survivor, Elly Gotz. Hearing how he was able to get through his hardest days allowed me to learn more about my purpose and goals in my life.
The value that is brought forward through this trip is unprecedented. Aside from being the last generation that has the opportunity to speak to Holocaust survivors, the opportunity to have some of the brightest people in Canada as part of your delegation allowed me to learn so much about others but also about myself.
What still sticks with me today is a conversation we had with Elly on how he was able to be so positive and optimistic after all that he had been through, he responded ” to hate is like taking poison and hoping the other would die”. Hearing Elly’s optimism gives me much hope and reminds me how lucky we are to have met such an extraordinary man and to have been able to be part of the MRH family.
Najva is an MRH 2016 alum, and is currently Senior Advisor, Stakeholder Relations & Operations in the Minister's Office at Ontario Ministry of Transportation.