Thousands turn out to mark Yom HaShoah

Thousands turn out to mark Yom HaShoah

Holocaust commemorations, large and small, drew thousands of participants — including survivors and their families — to synagogues throughout the region. Several of the larger gatherings were held in Teaneck, Englewood, River Edge, and Manhattan.

Commemoration in Teaneck
bridges generations

Hundreds of men, women, and children packed Teaneck High School for the annual Yom HaShoah commemoration sponsored by Teaneck’s Jewish Community Council.

Children at UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey’s Yom Hashoah observance take part in a candle-lighting ceremony. Photo courtesy of UJA-NNJ

Cantor Ellen Tilem led the Temple Emeth choir in Hatikvah, The Star Spangled Banner, and "Blessing," by Sam Glazer. Mayor Eli Katz then presented a proclamation signed by Gov. Corzine.

Dr. Henry Fenichel, a child survivor of Bergen Belsen and Westerbrook concentration camps, delivered the keynote address. The speaker and his mother, who barely survived the camps, were eventually traded for a group of German Christians, known as Templars, then living in Palestine. Together with ”0 other Dutch Jews, Fenichel and his mother were sent to Palestine on what became known as Transport ”’. Following this presentation, Elisha and Avram Mlotek, accompanied by their father, Zalmen, sang Yiddish songs about the Holocaust.

Rabbi Dr. John Krug, dean of student life and welfare at The Frisch School, and Teaneck resident Arline Duker read the names of family members of Teaneck residents who had perished during the Shoah. During the reading, memorial candles were lit by six families. Each group included a Holocaust survivor as well as a second- and third-generation relative. Psalms were read by Rabbi Lawrence Rothwachs of Cong. Beth Aaron, followed by the recitation of kaddish and El Maaleh Rachamim by Rabbi Yosef Adler of Congregation Rinat Israel.

Art exhibit, speakers
at UJA-NNJ observance
in River Edge

UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey’s Yom HaShoah commemoration was held this year at Temple Sholom in River Edge. According to Miriam Allenson, UJA-NNJ’s assistant director of communications, the event — which drew 600 people and included recognition of the 65th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising — was originally begun in Paterson by Holocaust survivors and is the oldest such program in existence in the United States. This year’s ceremony was coordinated by UJA-NNJ’s Holocaust Memorial Committee and co-chaired by Fair Lawn residents Allyn Michaelson and Roz Melzer.

The pre-program lobby exhibit showcased large maps detailing the location of the camps as well as the number of Jews from each country who were killed. An accompanying video included the Yiddish song "Vi ahim zoll ich gayn" ("Where shall I go") together with Holocaust photos.

Keynote speaker Julius Berman — chairman of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany and past chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations — joined Rabbi Neal Borovitz and Cantor Ronit Josephson, Temple Beth Sholom clergy, in the program, which included a children’s candlelight procession. Each lit a candle in memory of the Six Million as the stories of six Holocaust survivors were told.

Other speakers included New Milford High School teacher Colleen Tambuscio, who has implemented a Holocaust education program that includes a student trip to Eastern Europe, and Dora Mester, a child of survivors. Jenny Freilich of Paramus did a Yiddish reading.

Steve Fox and Miriam Allenson contributed to this community roundup.

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