Yom HaShoah Commemoration features survivors’ stories

Aleksander Reznik, accompanied by his family, lights a candle during the 2011 Yom HaShoah Community Commemoration. File Photo: Andrew Kerman  

Hundreds of St. Louisans will mark Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 22 at Congregation Temple Israel, #1 Rabbi Alvan D. Rubin Drive. Yom HaShoah memorializes the six million Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust.

This year’s theme is “Survivors Among Us: Stories From the Shoah” and the program will focus on testimonies of four St. Louis Survivors who convey the profound tragedy of the Holocaust. Speakers include: Judith Hruza and Bobbie Kohn, survivors from Hungary; Ann Lenga, survivor from Poland, and Mendel Rosenberg, survivor from Lithuania.  Some of the speakers have never spoken publically or at a Yom HaShoah event before.

“While in some past years we have marked specific anniversaries or milestones in Holocaust history, this year we feel strongly that it is important to focus on the voices of Survivors, sharing their diverse, unique experiences,” said Daniel Reich, Holocaust Museum and Learning Center curator and director of education. “They alone serve as eyewitnesses to this tragic period of history.”

The commemoration will include liturgical readings, memorial prayers and music performed by Tova, Gabriel and Mischa Braitberg (Elegant Ensembles), children and grandchildren of survivors, and Kolot, a communitywide Jewish women’s choir.  A procession of Torah scrolls rescued from the Shoah will also take place.

The program will also be presented in sign language.

Vera Emmons is Chair of the Yom HaShoah Committee. The event is sponsored by the HMLC and supported by Leo and Sara Wolf through the Wolf/Najman Memorial.

For more information, contact the HMLC at 314-442-3714 or email [email protected].