Yonat is a Third Generation Storykeeper who grew up in Beachwood, Ohio just outside of Cleveland, and lives in New Rochelle, NY with her husband and three children.
- Which workshop did she take? Safekeeping Stories of the Holocaust Workshop led by Ellen Kaidanow in 2020.
- Who did she write about? Her grandmother, known in the family as “Bobby,” who was from Strobochova, Czechoslovakia. After the war, Bobby lived in University Heights, Ohio just outside of Cleveland.
Yonat Assayag had just finished crafting the final Slice of her grandmother’s Holocaust story when she learned that a swastika had been painted on the University Heights corner where her grandmother had lived for years. “My first thought was a sigh of relief that she wasn’t around to see this,” Yonat explained. “My second thought was that my kids would.”
But then she realized, “Now that I’ve finished our story, I can actually do something — share it.” Using excerpts of her grandmother’s story along with her own reflections, Yonat quickly drafted an article that put a human face on this hate crime. It wasn’t long before the article was published.
She also sat with her three children, read them their great grandmother’s story, and told them about the swastika on the building. “My kids had experiences with antisemitism so it wasn’t the first time we’d talked about it,” Yonat commented. “It’s what brought me to the workshop. I wanted to be ready to teach about the Holocaust whenever something like this happens.”
Yonat’s great Uncle Joe, also a Holocaust survivor, shared his story in the local schools when she was growing up. “He’s 92 now and can’t go out and speak. I want to carry the torch for him and share our family’s story in schools. It’s so important.”