Holocaust survivor Ray Kaner, with family members, as she lights a Memorial Candle

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer

Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust Presents Annual Gathering of Remembrance at Temple Emanu-El of New York City

Several hundred New Yorkers came together on Sunday, May 5, to honor the memory of those who were lost during the Holocaust, as well as survivors and their descendants, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust’s Annual Gathering of Remembrance at Temple Emanu-El of New York City.

 Amid an increase in antisemitic incidents across the globe, the memorial served as a reminder of the dangers of intolerance and hate.  The Annual Gathering of Remembrance took place a few hours before the start of Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, and exemplified the Museum’s mission to “never forget.” Visit to watch the ceremony.

 The program featured remarks and musical performances. Among the speakers were Museum President and CEO Jack Kliger, Board Chair Bruce Ratner, US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, US Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Temple Emanu-El Senior Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson, New York’s Fifth Avenue Synagogue Cantor Malovaney, and Park Avenue Synagogue Assistant Cantor Mira Davis, as well as from Holocaust Survivor Martin Bloch, and grandson of a Holocaust survivor, Jordan Farkas.

 “Let us remember, the Holocaust did not begin with violence—it started with words. The Annual Gathering of Remembrance is very much for and about the 6 million and the survivors,” said Jack Kliger, President and CEO of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. As we embark on this journey of remembrance, let us carry the torch of hope in our hearts. Let us vow to be vigilant guardians of tolerance and peace. Let us never forget that it is only through unity and compassion that we can truly honor the memory of those we have lost.

 “This year’s event is particularly poignant as we remember not only those who perished during the Holocaust but also the survivors who have died in the past year. Their stories, their resilience, and their unwavering spirit in the face of unimaginable adversity will forever inspire us,” said Museum Board Chairman Bruce Ratner. “As Elie Wiesel once said “Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future.” As we gather to remember today, we solidify our future – a future where all are taught the lessons of the Holocaust; where all learn from the resiliency of survivors; where everyone stands against prejudice.”

 Consul General of Israel Ofir Akunis said, “We are here today to remember, to remember the victims of the Nazi genocide against the Jewish people, the Holocaust – to understand the reality that six million Jews, one-third of our people, were murdered in cold blood for no reason other than being Jewish. Each victim had a name, a smile, and a story. Each one had dreams, and each one had hope forever destroyed by the Germans. The Holocaust was not a sudden event that happened overnight. It was carefully planned and organized by the Third Reich to destroy the Jewish people step by step.”

“With the scourge of antisemitism and prejudice once again on the rise, it is critical that we never forget their memory so history can never repeat itself,” said Congressman Nadler. “Nearly 80 years later, we are confronting another stark reminder that Jews still face threats to our existence… together we are strong; we will not be broken.”

 Senator Schumer said, “We have a moral responsibility to make sure the Holocaust’s terrible stain on humanity never fades from memory. We must constantly reckon with what happened because a genocide that’s not properly told can lead to another. And we owe it to the survivors, to the families, and indeed to the whole world to continue bearing witness to the tragic legacy of the Holocaust and repeating our convictions and prayer, never again.”

 “We assemble this afternoon against the backdrop of a painful year for the Jewish people,” Rabbi Davidson said. “On this day of days, we condemn the rampant Holocaust inversion and abuse of the Shoah itself as a rhetorical weapon against Jews and the Jewish state.  We know what genocide is. We survived one.  And so, we also know we will emerge from this year of horror even firmer in our commitment to our people and to fighting all the religious and ethnic hatreds that still stain our world.”

Survivor Martin Bloch, “Let us remember that we need to do everything we can to prevent evil from really gaining and repeating the same thing that happened to me and my family.”

Musical guests included Zalmen Mlotek, Joyce Rosenzweig,  Valeriya Sholokhova, HaZamir: the International Jewish Teen Choir, and more. Production and Production Management was provided by Bruce & Babette Roberts, Back Of House Productions.

The event was co-chaired by Museum Board members Rita Lerner and Ann Oster. Said Rita Lerner, who has been part of this annual ceremony for 35 years, “Together we honor the memory of all survivors who have passed away leaving us to carry on their great legacy… we are here for the memory of the six million murdered during the Holocaust.”

A number of organizations partnered with the Museum: 3GNY; American Jewish Committee (AJC); Center for Jewish History; Generations of the Shoah International; Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center; Jewish Book Council; Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC); Museum of Southern Jewish Experience; National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene; The New York Board of Rabbis; We Are Here Foundation and Zamir Choral Foundation.

About The Museum Of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust

 The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is New York’s contribution to the global responsibility to Never Forget. Opened in 1997, the Museum is committed to the crucial mission of educating diverse visitors about Jewish life before, during, and after the Holocaust.

 The Museum’s current offerings include Courage to Act: Rescue in Denmark, a new exhibition about the extraordinary rescue of Denmark’s Jewish population in 1943, a story of mutual aid and communal upstanding in difficult times for visitors aged 9 and up; The Holocaust: What Hate Can Do, a major exhibition offering a timely and expansive presentation of Holocaust history, on view in the main galleries; and, Survivors: Faces of Life After the Holocaust, featuring photographer Martin Schoeller’s portraits of 75 Holocaust survivors in his signature style. 

The Museum of Jewish Heritage maintains the Peter & Mary Kalikow Jewish Genealogy Resource Center, a collection of almost 40,000 artifacts, photographs, documentary films, and survivor testimonies, and contains classrooms, a 375-seat theater (Edmond J. Safra Hall), special exhibition galleries, and a memorial art installation, Garden of Stones, designed by internationally acclaimed sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. The Museum also hosts the National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene, the Producers of the acclaimed Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, and LOX at Café Bergson an OU-certified café serving eastern European specialties.

 Each year, the Museum presents over 100 public programs, connecting our community in person and virtually through lectures, book talks, concerts, and more. For more info visit: The Museum receives general operating support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts.

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