main banner

Monday, April 28, 2014

Jewish Community Center hosts Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony

The banner at the JCCNV Holocaust Observance.

The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia in Annandale observed Yom Ha’Shohoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, with a solemn candle-lighting ceremony, educational programs, music, and prayer.  

In the JCCNV library, volunteers read aloud hundreds of names of those who perished at the hands of the Nazis during World War II. Several public officials took part, including Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova, supervisors Penny Gross (Mason) and John Cook (Braddock), and House of Delegates members Vivian Watts, Marcus Simon, Adam Ebbin, and David Bulova,

During the remembrance ceremony, about a dozen Holocaust survivors lit candles as quotes were read to the audience about what motivates the survivors to share their experience. Here are a few of them:

Ericka Robinson: “I believe it’s very important to let future generations know what happened, so that it will never happen again.”

Frank Cohn: “As ever more surviving witnesses leave this world, my mission, as both a survivor and a liberator, is to stay alive and healthy a while longer to be able to bear witness against those who deny or belittle the existence of the Holocaust.”

Stella Fettmann: “I lost my entire family, and I think it’s important that people know what happened, especially the children.”
Michel Margosis: “Lighting this candle is a reminder that my people could not enjoy liberty of conscience in the old country but I found it by coming to America.”

The Holocaust observance ceremony at the JCCNV also included readings, poetry, an exhibit of art and newspaper accounts of the Holocause, and performances by the Community Choir from Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria and the JCCNV Dance Academy Company.

The keynote address was given by American University history professor Allan Lichtman, the co-author of FDR and the Jews, who spoke on the topic, “On Deaf Ears: Media Coverage and Public Response in the Holocaust Years.”

Holocaust survivor John Baer also spoke at a separate session at the JCCNV for youths. Students from A.G. Wright Middle School in Stafford County participated, along with students from local schools and synagogues. Student volunteers at the presentation were from Annandale, Stuart, and Thomas Jefferson high schools. 

“A lot of people have the misconception that a Holocaust survivor is anyone who had been in a concentration camp,” said Steve Alleberg of the JCCNV. “Our definition is broader. A survivor is anyone who was able to escape Nazi Germany or occupied Europe from 1933 when Hitler came to power until the end of the war in 1945.” 

No comments:

Post a Comment