“Thank You for Not Forgetting Me”

On February 8, our Jewish community participated in the final mitzvah for Mark Olin, a Holocaust survivor of blessed memory. Mr. Olin, nearly age 95, endured great tragedy and trauma in his lifetime. A widower for 20 years, he passed away with no local family; Jewish Federation and our Holocaust Survivor Program (HSP) were his lifeline for many years. Since 2015, Federation provided support for his daily needs through HSP, the Claims Conference, grants obtained to support survivors, and our Lifelines program. The dollars are immeasurable; the impact was life-sustaining. “Thank you for not forgetting me” were among his last words to his HSP care managers. We share heartfelt gratitude with these community partners – some whose service touched Mark’s life as he aged, and some whose service ensured the mitzvah of a Jewish burial: the HSP team of Jewish Family Service San Diego, the Jewish Collaborative of OC, Rabbi Hazzan Marcia Tilchin, the Board of Directors and Solomon Society of Jewish Federation, the Beth Jacob Congregation Minyan, OC Sheriff-Coroner Don Barnes, Malinow and Silverman Mortuary, Harbor Lawn-Mt. Olive, Congregation Shir Ha-Ma’alot, Chabad of Irvine, AEPi Fullerton, City of Irvine Senior Center, Meals on Wheels, Irvine Police, Older Adult Services, and the OC Housing Authority. In remembering Mark Olin among 30 mourners who came to know him only at his funeral, we were reminded what it means to have, and to be, a Jewish neighborhood for each other. As one observer noted, “he is part of a larger Jewish family that leaves no one behind.”