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Bearing witness and sharing memories


In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, American Family employee Ilana Sullivan shares the story of her godparents, Henry and Sylvia Zyndorf.

My godparents, Henry and Sylvia Zyndorf, were an important part of our close Jewish family.

Before I was born, their daughter married my mom’s cousin. Henry and Sylvia lived next to my grandparents until I was five, and we saw them a lot. They owned a deli and a Jewish bakery, and when they moved to Florida, they opened another bakery. I remember eating their delicious bagels and getting Challah and Russian tea biscuits shipped from their bakery in Florida. We also saw them when they returned to Ohio for visits.

I always knew they were Holocaust survivors, but they never talked about it because it was so painful.

Even their children didn’t know their story until they were adults. Eventually, Henry and Sylvia felt an extra sense of responsibility because there aren’t many survivors left. They decided it was important to share their history.

Read the rest of Ilana’s story on