Couple on a mission to photograph Holocaust survivors
NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) – On the Upper West Side, John and Amy Pregulman photographed their latest subject. Sol Rosenkranz, 101, is the 871st Holocaust survivor they’ve photographed. The couple, who live between Memphis and Denver, is on a mission to capture the faces of living survivors before it’s too late.
“We do feel a sense of urgency because we’re losing some every day,” John Pregulman said.
He started photographing survivors five years ago as a favor to a friend who asked him to take some pictures at a Chicago museum.
“I spent three full days in the museum, and became just completely enthralled with the amazing attitude of these people, their outlook and ability to get past what had happened to them during the war,” he said.
The words of one of his subjects stuck with him.
“He said to me, it was very important to them that someone was going to remember them,” John said. “That their stories will not be forgotten.”
Since then, he has traveled to 39 cities across four countries, meeting his future wife Amy along the way. She began to join him and three years ago, their project took on a new purpose.
“After visiting a survivor in Orlando and having her tell us she had to choose between getting her AC fixed and groceries, we realized we wanted to learn more about the issue,” Amy Israel Pregulman said. “Something needed to be done.”
They formed the organization Kavod, a Hebrew word for dignity, honor, and respect. So far, Kavod has raised enough money to provide aid to more than 1,200 survivors, which they provide in the form of gift cards.
“Over one-third of the up to 80,000 Holocaust survivors living in the U.S. are living in poverty and that’s the issue,” Amy said.
The survivors, like Sol Rosenkranz, who was born in Poland and survived six concentration camps, are grateful for the attention.
“It’s greatly appreciated,” he said.
The Pregulmans say the honor is all theirs.
“It’s a privilege,” Amy said. “Truly it is.”
The Pregulmans are photographing about 100 survivors in the New York City area on this trip before heading to Houston.
They plan to return to New York. Any survivors interested in being photographed can contact them through kavodensuringdignity.com.
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