WASHINGTON (JTA) – The Atlanta Hawks toured the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum accompanied by the survivor mother-in-law of the NBA team’s owner.
Players and most of the coaching staff, along with owner Bruce Levenson and General Manager Danny Ferry, made the visit to the Washington museum. They were joined by Irene Boyarsky, 85, who spent time in a Jewish ghetto in Hungary and a concentration camp in Austria. Two of her brothers were killed in the Holocaust, but Boyarsky was reunited with her parents at the end of World War II.
The group watched a short video of Boyarsky from her recorded history for the Shoah Foundation Institute’s visual history archive.
At the start of the tour, coach Mike Budenholzer told his players that the day was not a time for basketball but rather a time to grow together as a team, said Andres Abril, the mid-Atlantic regional director of the Holocaust museum. Budenholzer also said the experience of touring the Holocaust exhibits will help them grow as men, said Abril, who accompanied the team on the tour last Friday.
“’I’ve done this now with four or five teams now,” Abril said, and the Hawks were rare in the fact that they viewed the exhibit as a team bonding experience.