BOZEMAN - Gov. Greg Gianforte and Rabbi Chaim Bruk lit candles in the Chabad Lubavitch of Montana Synagogue, to remember the six million Jewish lives — and the millions more — that ended during the Holocaust.
Rabbi Chaim recounts the story of his grandfather, who escaped Europe via a Japanese Console General.
“He gave visas so they could get out of Europe, and my grandfather got one of those visas,” Bruk said.
Living in Japan for a short stint of time, then Shanghai, and eventually he got a visa in 1946 to live in America.
“He didn’t want to talk about Hitler, he didn’t want to talk about Poland,” Bruk said, “There was nothing in the world that he loved more than being with his 30-plus grandchildren, that was his life.”
In honor of his grandfather’s six siblings and parents, Bruk struck a match and lit a candle, not before handing the match to Montana Governor Gianforte.
Gianforte, and First Lady Susan Gianforte, came to Chabad Lubavitch for International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“History is important and we need to remember it and that’s what this day of remembrance is all about,” Gianforte said, “Clearly we stand with the Jewish people, and hate has no place in Montana.”
Rabbi Bruk and his wife opened the first Orthodox Traditional Synagogue in Montana. In light of the Colleyville, Texas, Synagogue hostage standoff, Bruk expresses his thoughts on our current state.
“The fact that in 2022, I have to worry about someone coming into my synagogue and taking people hostage is insane, but I can’t say that we as Jews aren’t used to it, we are it’s been our 3,300 years of history is that we’ve always been persecuted,” Bruk said.
Chabad Lubavitch of Montana now has three different synagogues throughout the state, and Bruk is grateful for the kindness and respect the Montana citizens have given.