The Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center (HHREC) and Westchester Jewish Council (WJC) hosted the annual Countywide Yom Hashoah Commemoration Keeping the Memory Alive on April 28th at the Garden of Remembrance in White Plains, NY.
HHREC Chairman Michael Gyory greeted attendees and spoke about the importance of the Westchester community in coming together to commemorate Yom Hashoah, a “Day of Remembrance” amid global developments. An invocation was delivered by Bishop Mary Glasspool, Episcopal Diocese of New York, and the program included remarks by Westchester County Executive George Latimer, who spoke about the need to avoid blaming a single person for the Holocaust or the war in Ukraine, and the importance of being an “upstander” to safeguard against dictators, today and in the future.
A keynote speech was delivered by Rabbinic Pastor Dr. Aliza Erber, a daughter of a Holocaust Survivor and member of the HHREC Speakers Bureau, who shared a story of how her mother had to give her away as a young child to live in an underground bunker and how she survived to ultimately reunite with her after the end of WWII.
Following her speech, the program continued with a candle lighting by a group of Somers High School Holocaust Commission Student Winners, including Jaiden Donovan, Eowyn Keenan, Sarah Cassidy, Olivia Sherman, Sebastian Wissa, Tori Suare and Taylor Luks. The program concluded with remarks by William Schrag, President of the Westchester Jewish Council.
PHOTOS BY Julie Rothschild
News Courtesy of the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center
Editor’s Note: At this event, I was personally thrilled to watch my friend and fellow journalist Stacey Pfeffer of Chappaqua carry one of the rescued Torahs on behalf of Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester, alongside Temple Beth El’s Rabbi Jonathan Jaffe. The Torah is number 54 from the Memorial Scrolls Trust. The Torah came from Boskovice and was written in 1853. At that time Boskovice was a part of Germany, but it is now the Czech Republic. — Grace
Stacey wrote a beautiful essay about her family’s history and her feelings receiving this honor: https://jewishwomenofwords.com.au/my-15-minutes-with-a-rescued-shoah-torah/stacey-pfeffer-and-her-father/
About The Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center
The Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center is a not-for-profit organization based in White Plains New York that serves Westchester, Fairfield and neighboring counties. Their Mission is to enhance the teaching and learning of the lessons of the Holocaust and the right of all people to be treated with dignity and respect. We encourage students to speak up and act against all forms of bigotry and prejudice. Their work with students and teachers helps schools fulfill the New York State mandate that the Holocaust and other human rights abuses be included in their curriculum. Since 1994, they have brought the lessons of the Holocaust, genocide and human rights crimes to more than 1750 teachers, and through them to thousands of middle and high school students. Through their volunteer Educators Program Committee, the Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center gives teachers the unique opportunity to develop programs for themselves and others. These programs not only enrich teachers’ knowledge about the Holocaust and related issues, but they also provide the lens through which to view all other human rights violations. For more information call 914.696.0738 email firstname.lastname@example.org