The survivor testimony of Sarah Wiener and her daughter Dr. Deborah Rabner who introduced her mother at last week’s Yom Hashoa Commemoration at the College of Saint Elizabeth was so moving. We are indebted to them for sharing what happened, and doing so in a way that not only highlighted the onslaught of the Nazis and the impact of the Holocaust, but also the ways in which survivors were able to rebuild their lives after the Holocaust and contribute in such important ways to strengthen Jewish life today and for the future. Hearing them speak strengthened our resolve to involve survivors in our programs for as long as thiswill be possible.
The College extends its appreciation to the Holocaust Council of MetroWest for co-sponsoring this program (rescheduled from November’s Kristallnacht Commemoration because of Superstorm Sandy), and to Howard Rabner, COO/CFO of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest, for his meaningful remarks that placed our remembrance tonight in a special context.
We also are grateful to Mark Weitzman of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for highlighting the meaning of our commemoration, and to Marjorie and Norman Feinstein and Cantor Joel Caplan of Congregation Agudath Israel and Fr. Joseph Farias of Saint Thomas More Church for involving everyone in the sensitive and moving prayers that opened and closed the program.
We thank the New Jersey Jewish News for providing the community with knowledge of the Holocaust commemoration programs taking place so that everyone had the opportunity to attend, learn, and remember.
As we continue to teach about what took place during the Shoa, including the survivor testimonies of Stella Rabner, Erwin Ganz, Lona Hess, and Stefanie Seltzer (www.cse.edu/holocaustcenter), we know how important it is to continue to be reminded of the impact and meaning of such programs. As the attendees at the College of Saint Elizabeth program lingered long after the program had ended, each spoke of the importance of such programs, and encouraged us to continue this work.
We invite everyone in the MetroWest community to “save the date” for Monday, Nov. 5, for the interfaith community Kristallnacht Commemoration that will demonstrate how we will be able to provide survivor testimony in the future because of the work being developed by Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation. Our speakers will be Stephen Smith, director of the USC/Shoah Foundation, and Pinchas Gutter, survivor of Poland.
Professor of Holocaust Studies
Codirector, CSE Holocaust Education Resource Center
College of Saint Elizabeth