Dear Irene,                                                                             4/27/2017

Bless you for coming all this way to what turned out to be the "snowy" UP of Michigan to talk about your life and experiences as a survivor of the Holocaust.  What you shared and the way you shared it will impact me for the rest of my life.  You truly have a gift of sharing insight, wisdom, experience and lessons for humanity.  I am still sitting with it all.  Of course we all have been exposed in some measure to this dark history, however you are the first person I have heard speak who can share in such a way that you both rivet the listener and bring them in with you to the experience from your eyes as young and innocent child as well as relax the listener enough to allow the experience to soak in.  You have a way with words and your manner is calming and strong with a blend of humor sprinkled in at times during such a sobering tale of your life.  I am in awe of you and your strength, resilience and ultimate hope.

I left feeling empowered that we CAN make a difference in the fabric we try to build in our own communities to sew seeds of understanding, respect and possibility instead of seeds of mistrust, insecurity, and hatred.  I know that I speak for many others who were lucky enough to hear you at Temple Jacob last night, that we want you to come back and speak with our children in the schools as well as giving more adults the opportunity to hear you.  I know that you have YouTube speeches and you have your book and are probably willing to communicate from afar, however your presence is very powerful.  I would like to see an area wide school assembly with you back up here either this spring or next fall.  I did speak this morning on this "snow day" with our Houghton High School Principle, Mr. Aldrich about this and he agreed that this would be a good thing to do.

We are, as many other communities across our nation, dealing with kids who are treating other kids with less than the full measure of humanity.  I was the person up in the balcony last night who asked you for signs to notice and what to do about it when we do, when we are slipping down that road toward treating each other not with full humanity.  I personally have three daughters who are all teenagers and the way some of the boys at school have been treating them is appalling.  I know that this is the tip of the iceberg for what we are capable of doing to each other.  I want to stop this sort of things in it's tracks and address it right away.  Much damage is already done but I know that with the right tools and ideas, we can end this and instead replace it with mutual respect.  I just need people like you who know all of this in the most painful reality to help communities like ours to see the light and to understand where some of this can lead unless we address it now.

I am so grateful that I came in to Temple Jacob last night even though it was entirely full and I wormed my way into the stairwell of the balcony and listened to your voice tell your personal story.  I am going to be forever grateful to you for surviving and sharing it with as many as you do.  You are a beautiful witness to so many who were never able to survive to share and for us to learn from and never repeat or even come close.

Blessings to you.  Please consider a return trip to the U.P. and we will try to promise better weather!

-- 
Cynthi
​a Drake​



"The best gift you can give others is the resolute embrace of your own truth." - Martha Beck


Cynthia Drake

Openings Life Coaching  

cynthiamdrake@gmail.com

http://openingslifecoaching.com/

http://www.openingslifecoaching.com/blog/

eMerge Life Coach

www.emergecoachingservices.com

www.emergemilitaryservices.org
eMerge Military Services is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization
.




I can not thank you enough for rearranging your schedule, coming here on short notice, and sharing such an important message with our students.  I have had countless students coming to expressing their gratitude and amazement of your story and message.   Students were deeply touched and have a new appreciation for the acceptance of each others differences.  You were a wonderful speaker and easily captivated your audience.  Thank you again very much for your time.  We can not begin to express our gratitude.  

I have discussed with the principal, Don Eastman, and we would love to invite you back next year to speak with a larger crowd.  If you are willing, I will apply for a Distinguished Speaker Grant at the beginning of the year to provide you with a more appropriate honorarium.  Please let me know if you are interested and we will reserve a speaking area which will accommodate a larger crowd.

Becky
(Gull Lake High School, Richland, MI)





....  I am so excited that so many students will have a copy of your book in their hand! I want you to know that your story has inspired several students.  One of which, wants to have a day wherein the students focus on spreading kindness and wants to post sticky notes with positive messages on EVERY student's locker.   I am so honored to have been a part of spreading such a powerful message through your story.  Thank you for everything that you do and for making such an impact on our community.  You truly are an amazing person,

God Bless you!!!!  


Becky  ( teacher in Allegan Middle School )


Dear Irene


I want to thank you so much for participating in our Constitution Day program last Friday.  It was such an honor to meet you and to hear your amazing life story. 

This was our 11th year of hosting this program and I have never seen a group of students so attentive to our speaker.  They were mesmerized by your talk and know that you have planted a seed that they will never forget. 

 

Thank you again for coming and I hope our paths cross soon.

 

Karen

 

Karen Koshen

Court Resource and Program Specialist

Court Administration

Oakland County Circuit



November 7, 2016

Dear Irene Miller,
I would like to say thank you for the wonderful opportunity that you gave us to ask about the
holocaust. It’s not every day that you would get to talk to a survivor, and quite frankly we may never get
to have that opportunity again. So I am really thankful that we got that chance because we got to actually
be able to visualize it, I mean books do a great job at visualizing it but I think you can only truly
understand their thoughts and feelings if you talk to them or you have experienced it yourself and we
students have not experienced it.
I was really able to understand how you must have felt and I have so many
Questions bubbling inside me about that event that I actually would like to study it and see how I could help to
avoid it. And yes I understand that it is hard to talk about some things that have happened in that time but I
think that it really has inspired kids to treat each other equally and to be kind to one another. I know I’ve said
this a lot but Thank You so much because I can’t even put into words of how thankful I am. One thing I will
remember is how you were able to answer all the questions even though it must have been terrible to relive that
time.
Sincerely,
Layla


Dear Irene Miller,
Thank you so much for Skyping with my class and me Friday morning! I loved the lipstick you were wearing! I
think it’s incredible that you go to schools and give speeches or skype classrooms. It’s amazing that you do this
because we are probably the last generation to hear about the Holocaust from somebody that actually
experienced the event. Also, we have no idea how good our lives are now. When you were giving your speech
and skyping us, I was mesmerized. I wanted to grab onto every detail. One of the things that I was fascinated by
was when you were stuck on the border of the Soviet Union. I could imagine the bitter cold and trying to stay
warm. I was also fascinated by how you pursued so many careers, such as teaching. I was the person that asked
you about starting a new life after the war when you Skyped us. I thought it was amazing how you started a new
life after you left the orphanage. From what you told me about the Holocaust, I want to make a positive impact
in my community to make sure something like that doesn’t happen again. I’m definitely getting your book!
Once again, thank you so much for skyping my class and sharing your amazing story.
From,
Regan
 
s ago)

me
Irene, I am excited to see you in Traverse City in a month! 

The positive impact club (which was inspired by a spark you ignited) is called TIGERS Unite and had 60 students attend our first/introductory meeting!  The students already had some excellent ideas to spread kindness and accepted their first challenge of giving somebody a compliment everyday. Two students came up with a word of kindness wall with positive quotes and messages. I was so overwhelmed with the interest and contagion of these small acts of kindness.

You have made a tremendous impact on the students of Allegan. LE White students have accepted your challenge to spread kindness and are promoting tolerance!!. 💕


> On Sep 21, 2016, at 9:52 PM, irene miller <nomanslandmiller@gmail.com> wrote:

>






Good morning Irene,

 

I want to thank you so much for participating in our Constitution Day program last Friday.  It was such an honor to meet you and to hear your amazing life story.  I started reading your book on Friday evening and couldn’t put it down until I finished it on Sunday.  I can’t tell you what an effect your story and book has had on me.  You are truly a very special person and I am so happy that I was able to meet you. 

 

This was our 11th year of hosting this program and I have never seen a group of students so attentive to our speaker.  They were mesmerized by your talk and know that you have planted a seed that they will never forget.  Hoping that they went home and talked to their parents about your talk and this will be the beginning of their enlightenment on this horrible part of our history.. 

 

Thank you again for coming and I hope our paths cross soon.

 

Karen

 

 

Karen Koshen

Court Resource and Program Specialist

Court Administration

Oakland County Circuit