Greater MetroWest: Observing Holocaust Remembrance Day

Greater MetroWest: Observing Holocaust Remembrance Day

Yom Hashoa — Holocaust Remembrance Day — is Thursday, May 5. Many synagogues and organizations are holding commemoration ceremonies and services throughout the community. The following are among them:


THE 39TH ANNUAL South Orange/Maplewood Interfaith Holocaust Remembrance Service will take place Sunday, May 1, at 4 p.m. at Oheb Shalom Congregation, South Orange, preceded by a March of Remembrance at 3 p.m. from Spiotta Park.

A Hidden Child’s Postwar Journey will be presented by child survivor Ilona Medwied, who will share her story of survival and adjustment. 

The service will focus on understanding the postwar lives of the more than 250,000 Jewish displaced persons who lived in camps and urban centers in Germany, Austria, and Italy. 

Barbara Wind, director of the Holocaust Council of Greater MetroWest, will receive the Sister Rose Thering Award in recognition of her contributions to creating tolerance through education. 

The service will feature candle lighting by local survivors, liberators, and rescuers and readings by local clergy. Voices in Harmony, an interfaith choral ensemble in Essex County, directed by Cantors Erica Lippitz of Oheb Shalom and Perry Fine of Temple Beth Shalom in Livingston, will perform.

Teens and adults are invited to meet at Kol Rina (the rear entrance of 60 Valley St.) at 2 p.m. to design placards to carry during the march, which will include local government officials, clergy members, and youth groups.

The service is dedicated to the memories of Sister Rose Thering of Seton Hall University, an educator/activist against anti-Semitism; Rabbi Jehiel Orenstein of Congregation Beth El; and Max Randall, a member of South Mountain B’nai B’rith, all founders of the event, the first interfaith Holocaust memorial in New Jersey. 

A reception will follow at Oheb Shalom. This event is free and open to the public. Call 973-762-7067.


THE NATIONAL COUNCIL of Jewish Women, West Morris Section, will sponsor a talk by survivor Ruth Ravina at a free docent-led tour of “From Memory to History: Women in the Holocaust” at the Aidekman campus in Whippany on Tuesday, April 26, at 7 p.m. Sixth-graders and their teachers from all Morris County schools are invited to attend.

As a toddler, Ravina was saved by three Jewish girls who escaped from a ghetto when they learned it was to be liquidated; she was then rescued by a Polish-Christian family.

For further information, visit


WRITER AND SCHOLAR Dr. Debórah Dwork will present the annual Joseph Gotthelf Holocaust Memorial Lecture at Temple Beth Am in Parsippany on Friday, April 29, at 7:30 p.m., during Shabbat services. 

Dwork is the Rose Professor of Holocaust History and the founding director of the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. She is the author (with Robert Jan Van Pelt) of the award-winning Auschwitz, which Newsweek voted one of the Ten Best Books about Poland during World War II, and the Guardian identified as the best guide to the site in English today. 

Dwork’s current project, Saints and Liars, is about Americans — Quakers, Unitarians, Jews, and secular people — who traveled to Europe to aid and rescue people targeted by Nazi Germany and its Axis allies.

Sponsored by the Joseph Gotthelf Holocaust Memorial Fund with support from the congregation’s Robert Marlin Holocaust Education Fund, the lecture is now in its 28th year. 

For information, contact Debbie Lesser at 973-887-0046 or or visit

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