Holocaust Remembrance / Yom HaShoah
The Council is proud to co-sponsor the annual County-Wide Holocaust Commemoration, along with the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center.. This year’s program was held virtually on April 8, 2021. While we could not have a rescued Torah procession this year due to the virtual nature of the event, you can read all about the rescued Torahs that reside in Westchester County and surrounding areas. If you missed the program or would like to rewatch it, please click here.
Last year’s event was held virtually on Tuesday, April 21st. We had over 400 people in attendance to commemorate this very special day with a multitude of speakers. The program can be found below.
If you missed the program, please click here for a video of the event.
SOME PHOTOS FROM 2020 –
Joseph Kaidonow, Chairman, Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center
Peter Somogyi (Holocaust Survivor)
Hon. George Latimer, Westchester County Executive
Benediction before Mourner’s Kaddish on Yom Hashanah by Rabbi Daniel Gropper
Mah Nishtanah Ha Yom HaShoah HaZeh?
What is different about this Yom HaShoah?
Everything and nothing.
We are about as physically distant as we can be
Yet we are incredibly close:
In our determination
In our resolve
With our memories
With each other.
The names of those senselessly killed still cry out to us
From the forests
From the fields
From the burial pits dug with their own hands
From the death camps
From the gas chamber
From the crematoria
The voices of the survivors still ring in our ears
Never again, never again, never again
Not for us
Not for anyone else
Not here, not anywhere around the world.
As a people, we have been here before
Separated, cut off, distanced
Yet, unlike the Anne Frank’s and thousands like her
We can move around, we can breathe fresh air,
see the stars, look into the eyes of an other
We might be anxious but we need not be afraid.
We can raise our voices,
look with compassion and empathy,
act with justice and love
And so, dear God
As we offer this special Kaddish –
these words that sanctify and magnify your holy presence
We pray to remind ourselves
that just as you were with all those, the dead and the living,
in the cities and camps we now will name,
embracing, loving, surrounding them with Your care
You too are with us
Encouraging us to stay home, to stay safe.
Helping us to overcome fear and anxiety
Strengthening us to do mitzvoth in your name
Emboldening us to work for peace, justice and equanimity
Here, in the land where these freedoms are enshrined
In Israel, Reishit S’michat Ge’u’la’tei’nu
the dawn of our deliverance
And in all lands. Amen.
Rabbi Daniel Gropper
Community Synagogue of Rye