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ICYMI: Assemblymember Zbur Honors Descendant of Holocaust Survivor on Assembly Floor

For immediate release:

Holocaust Remembrance
Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur presents Lili Bosse with a 2024 Yom HaShoah Honoree Commendation

SACRAMENTO, CA — In case you missed it, Democratic Caucus Chair Rick Chavez Zbur (D-Hollywood) presented former Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse as a 2024 Yom HaShoah Honoree. Lili Bosse is the descendant of Rose Orenstein Toren, a Holocaust survivor.

The 2024 Yom HaShoah Honorees were presented with formal commendations on behalf of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus.

See Assemblymember Zbur's full remarks below:

Today I rise in support of ACR 176 in the memory of Rose Orenstein Toren.

Rose was born and raised in a traditional Jewish family the shtetl Strzyzow, known as Strizev in Yiddish, in southern Poland. She was 18 when the war began.

In 1939, the Germans came in the middle of the night and rounded up her family. She and her younger sister, Eda, each fled. Their father, brother, and another sister were executed in a field near their home. Their mother was sent to Treblinka, where she was murdered. Rose never learned of the fate of her younger sister Eda.

With help from a non-Jewish family who had held onto their humanity, Rose was given false documents and passed as a displaced Polish Christian.

Rose hid in the open for 4 years, forced to deny her Jewish identity and her family.

She was later betrayed by a coworker who she had entrusted with the truth.

She was sent to the Auschwitz extermination camp, where she survived for 2 years before escaping, fleeing into the forest while on a death march -- just days before the liberation of the camp.

At the end of the war, Rose came to the US, married, and settled down in Beverly Hills.

She is survived by her daughter, 3-time Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse, who is here with us today, as well as her husband Jon and their two sons.

Lili has made it her mission not just to tell the stories of the 6 million Jews who were murdered in the holocaust, but those who survived as well, including her mother, Rose Orenstein Toren.

We are living in a time when our commitments to those who survived and were murdered in the Holocaust -- our commitments to the Jewish community -- are being tested.

I think about Rose when I see statistics that Jewish hate is on the rise in our communities and that antisemitic hate incidents are more common than any other.

I think about Rose when Jewish homes and Jewish-owned businesses in my district have been targeted with antisemitic graffiti.

I think of Rose when I hear from Jewish young people that they feel more and more unsafe being open about their Jewish identities.

I can imagine how horrified she would be to know that the slogan “Jews should go back to Poland” has become acceptable on American college campuses.

In these times, we are being tested. We are being called upon to demonstrate that the promises we made to never forget -- that never again is not empty rhetoric.

As Lili Bosse has said many times in the past few months, “Never Again is now.”

In the memory of Rose Orenstein, I respectfully ask for your Aye vote on 176.

Click here to learn more about Assembly Democratic Caucus Chair Rick Chavez Zbur.

Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur serves as the Democratic Caucus Chair for the California State Assembly and represents the 51st Assembly District, including Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Westwood, Santa Monica, and portions of Los Angeles.

CONTACT: Vienna Montague, (916) 319-2051,