Holocaust survivor finally celebrates bar mitzvah
It's an honor that's decades overdue but was put on hold due to a tragic event during WWII.
"This is the first time I've done this," Holocaust survivor Alfred Glogower said.
This is Alfred before he was taken to the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp, he still remembers the horrors he faced there as a child.
"The whole camp was up on this hillside. They were waiting for orders from Berlin to execute and massacre all of us," Glogower said.
That order never came.
Alfred says his half-sister's father was a Nazi and that helped to keep them safe.
Before he turned five-years-old they were liberated.
"The Russians showed up with tanks, and freed everybody," Glowgower said.
Alfred eventually moved to the United States and became a major in the army but he never had his bar mitzvah.
According to Jewish tradition, it should have taken place when he was 13.
Alfred started his at 69 but he was never able to complete it by performing the Jewish ritual of wrapping tefillin.
On Sunday at 78-years-old Alfred was able to complete his bar mitzvah.
"I'm grateful, that's all. Grateful for being alive," Glogower said.
Rabbi Shmully says it was powerful to see Alfred put on tefillin for the first time.
"The feeling Judaism over the forces that try to wipe us out, that feeling was palpable," Rabbi Shmully Levitin, Chabad of Hoboken and Jersey City, said.
Even after all he's been through Alfred says he still maintains a strong feeling about Judaism.
"The Rabbi says it's b'shert. It's b'shert. Everything's b'shert," Glogower said.