Holocaust Memorial Committee

The Holocaust Memorial Committee organizes the annual "Yom HaShoah v'HaG'vurah – Day of Remembering the Holocaust and the Bravery," in conjunction with other local congregations.

This special observance is typically held in April coinciding with the Yom Hashoah Day of Observance on the Jewish calendar. It is either held at Temple Israel, Temple Sinai or Temple Beth Abraham and has been co-sponsored by Temple Israel, Temple Sinai, Temple Adath Sharon, Ahavath Torah Congregation, Temple Beth Abraham of Canton, Temple Beth David of the South Shore, Temple Chayai Shalom, Temple Beth Emunah of Brockton, and Temple Shaare Tefilah.

The event includes a short service, candle lighting, reading of names, testimonies from survivors and family of survivors, and musical presentations. This event is free and open to the public. If you would like to join the committee (we would love new members!) or would like to speak as a survivor or on behalf of a survivor contact Dina Rosenbaum.

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March of the Living

Under the leadership and guidance of Irv Kempner and Aaron Kischel, Temple Israel is an active recruiter for teens to participate in the March of the Living. The March is an annual educational program, bringing individuals from around the world to Poland and Israel to study the history of the Holocaust and to examine the roots of prejudice, intolerance and hatred.

Since its inception in 1988, more than 260,000 alumni from 52 countries have marched down the same 3-kilometer path leading from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Holocaust Remembrance Day - Yom Hashoah - as a tribute to all victims of the Holocaust.

In recent years, TI teens Beatrice Fellman, Giselle Fellman, and Ari Kwitkin-Close have participated in the March. Generous scholarship support has been provided by the Kempner Family Foundation, Temple Israel Brotherhood, and the Temple Israel Marion Mayer Katz Holocaust Fund.

Those interested in learning more about the March should contact Aaron Kischel.

Road to Remembrance Teen Lottery Winners

The winners of the annual Road to Remembrance Lottery, sponsored by Temple Israel Brotherhood, accompanied by Irv Kempner, travel to Washington, D.C., where they visit the U.S. Holocaust Museum and tour the nation's capital. The program is funded by the TI Brotherhood Yellow Candle proceeds.

Please read the essays written by each year's winners, inspired by their visit to D.C. and the museum:

Holocaust Torah from Prestice, Czech Republic

Sister Scrolls from Prestice held by Art Newman of Temple Israel; Jeffrey Ohrenstein, Chairperson of the Memorials Scroll Trust, London; Bob Sofer of Temple Sinai; and Rabbi Joseph Meszler of Temple Sinai.

Sister Scrolls from Prestice held by Art Newman of Temple Israel; Jeffrey Ohrenstein, Chairperson of the Memorials Scroll Trust, London; Bob Sofer of Temple Sinai; and Rabbi Joseph Meszler of Temple Sinai.

Jeffrey Ohrenstein, chair of Memorial Scrolls Trust, visited our community, October 3-4, 2015. Memorial Scrolls Trust initially acquired 1500+ Torah scrolls, saved from the Holocaust (including one housed at Temple Israel). After fifty years, when most of the scrolls have found new homes, the Trust is charged with the next phase of its work: ensuring that those synagogues who have received scrolls are aware of what they have, that they investigate the scrolls' original homes or what is left of them, and hand on to the next generation the precious legacy they have acquired.

With the help of Temple Israel member Art Newman, our scroll was deemed to be in good condition to travel and was brought to Temple Sinai for a community siyyum (celebration), along with 18 other Czech scrolls that are in our local community.

Read more about how the scrolls were saved and the legacy of the Czech scrolls, of which ours is one.

Temple Israel Remembrance Program

In the late 1990s, while attending Shabbat services at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale with their children, Sandra and Jerry Wine listened raptly as Rabbi Avi Weiss read the testimony of a Holocaust survivor who was remembering a Jewish community that had been destroyed by the Nazis. Energized by this moving tribute, Sandra returned to Temple Israel and shared her experience with us. The rabbi read the first such memoir to the congregation as part of the Yizkor Service on Pesach 1998. 

Since then, four times a year, when we recite Yizkor, remembrance is read about a Jewish community affected by the Holocaust that was composed by a Temple member or family. Many of the authors have given permission to post their remembrances on the Temple Israel web site. The remembrances recall the Jewish communities as they lived and as they died. In 2002 Temple Israel received a Solomon Schechter Silver Award from the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism when Bruce Creditor and Eldad Ganin compiled the essays, along with a map of Europe showing the location of the destroyed communities. 

Researching Holocaust CommunitiesMap of Remembered Towns

Click below on a town to read the Remembrance essay that has been submitted:

AntopolBagamerBaranoviceBilkeBraslav
ChortkovChudnovCrakowDelatynDokshitz
DolhinovDubinaDzyatlavaGusyatin
Kamin-KashirskiyKarlsruheKavarskKiev
KonigsbergKosovKovnoKremenetsLechevitz
MemelMishnitzNiederstettenNowy Dwor
Nowy KorczynParfianovPrilukiPryzemsyl
PutiatynceRadomRadymnoRakhovRohatyn
SokolSosnowieczStepanTarnopolUjfeheto
ViennaWarkawZabludowZhetel

We encourage members to submit communities to be archived along with our other Memories. We also thank Sharon Schulkind, Dina Rosenbaum, and others for their help over the years, gathering, editing, and producing the ongoing memoirs of our community.

A Note of Thanks

I am grateful for the help and encouragement that I received from more than a score of people after I thought of putting the remembrances online during Yizkor on Shmini Atzeret, 2006. I would like to mention two people who have gone above and beyond. Ellen Rothberg, in addition to being a cheerleader, cut through any red tape that I encountered. When, at the last minute, I had the material ready (I thought) for posting, our web master, Donna Carver, took something that was tohu va-vohu, and whipped it into presentable shape, patiently putting up with last minute additions and corrections. Toda rabba to Ellen, Donna, et. al.

I have found it very moving to work with the authors of these remembrances. Their loss is our loss... Their pain is our pain... Their grief is our grief.

Aaron Israel Ginsburg,
August 2007