Grandson of Holocaust Survivor Releases Album Inspired by Grandfather’s Life Experiences
Philadelphia songwriter Avi Wisnia released an album in November called “Catching Leaves” that was inspired by his grandfather David Wisnia’s legacy as a Holocaust survivor.
David Wisnia, who served as a cantor at two area synagogues, died June 15 at the age of 94.
David Wisnia spent three years in Auschwitz-Birkenau after Germany invaded Poland in 1939 — a day after he turned 13; three years later, his parents and brother were murdered, and another brother was never seen again.
Upon arriving in the United States in 1946, he worked as an encyclopedia salesman.
He and his late wife, Hope, moved to Bucks County and, taking advantage of his voice, served as cantor of Temple Shalom in Levittown for 28 years, then cantor at Har Sinai Hebrew Congregation of Pennington, New Jersey for 23 more years. Later in life, he began telling his story.
David Wisnia returned to Auschwitz several times later in life, singing at the 70th and 75th anniversaries of the camp liberation. Both times, he sang with his grandson.
On a 2020 trip to Auschwitz, David Wisnia abruptly turned to Avi Wisnia and said, “You’re the proof that Hitler did not win.”
Avi Wisnia performed at City Winery Philadelphia on Nov. 28.
Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey Names Former Police Chief as its Director of Regional Security
The Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey named William “Bud” Monaghan as its director of regional security.
Monaghan recently retired as chief of the Cherry Hill Police Department after 26 years and started his new position on Nov. 15.
In his new role, Monaghan will oversee the security and safety of the community and staff at the properties and facilities of the Jewish Federation and its family of agencies, as well as advise and coordinate on security for area synagogues and Jewish day schools. l