3GNY Stories Live: WEDU Wednesdays: In this virtual series, grandchildren of Holocaust survivors share their family stories with us. You’ll also learn more about our educational initiative, WEDU, which trains 3Gs to learn and share their family stories in school classrooms.
On March 9, Don Schapira will share the story of his grandfather, Mordechai Gabrieli, or as Don knew him, Saba Motke. Motke loved his family first, and then, closely behind, the outdoors. He loved hiking, fishing, camping. These simple joys of life exemplified freedom for him, and stood in stark contrast to the imprisonment and suffering he endured in three harsh labor camps in Romania during the Holocaust.
Don was inspired by his Saba Motke’s strength, survival, and desire to live a life without persecution, ultimately settling in the Land of Israel.
Don became involved with 3GNY after completing the WEDU program in early 2021. There he learned how to effectively tell the story of his Saba Motke’s survival during the Holocaust, while reflecting on how it helped frame his own life and identity today.
Don has also pledged himself to many charitable organizations in his local community in Calgary, working with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Peer Mediation and Skills Training, Businesses For Calgary Kids and Calgary Jewish Federation and Holocaust Education.
Professionally, Don Schapira, Q.Med, PM, CDS is a Mediator with Fresh Start Mediation, because he believes there is a better way to overcome conflict. He believes that proper communication is key and that there is no better way to communicate togetherness than through our stories.