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 will be held on April 8, 2021.


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.

THE PROGRAM:  The program began with Shofar blowing and the reading of the Holocaust Rescued Torahs that would have taken part in the procession and included remarks, including those of Auschwitz survivor, Peter Somogyi.

Sounding the Shofar – Mitch Ostrove

Reading of the Names of Holocaust Rescued Torahs – Rabbi Daniel Gropper,

President, Westchester Board of Rabbis

Welcome and Importance of this Day – Joseph Kaidanow, Chairman,

Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center

Hon. George Latimer, Westchester County Executive

Invocation and Mourner’s Kaddish – Rabbi Daniel Gropper

Musical Selection by Kol Hazzanim, The Cantors of Westchester

Closing Remarks – Lisa Roberts, President, Westchester Jewish Council

Peter Somogyi, Holocaust Survivor Interview



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