Second Annual Holocaust Survivor Day
Held at Young Israel of White Plains
By Stephen E. Lipken
The Second Annual Holocaust Survivor Day was held at the Young Israel of White Plains on Wednesday, July 13th with guest speakers NYS Senator Shelley B. Mayer, Chair Senate Committee on Education; Allison Danzig, Program Coordinator of Holocaust Survivors, Westchester Jewish Community Services (WJCS); WJCS CEO Seth Diamond, plus members of UJA Federation of New York. The program was made possible by a grant from the Claims Conference, Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
“I want to acknowledge and honor the Holocaust survivors who are here,” Senator Mayer began.
“For many years when I represented only Yonkers, whose Jewish community dissipated over time, the Holocaust Survivors Speakers Bureau was a game changer for many students. They did not know about the Holocaust.
“When they heard the real stories of the people and their experiences, for these young people, mostly Black and Hispanic, it changed their views. I am so grateful that you keep their stories alive and share them with us.
“This year the State Legislature passed a law to make sure that the Holocaust is taught in New York schools. We directed a survey denoting who was teaching, what they were teaching and what students were learning.”
Musical entertainment was provided by violinist Ted Kesler, Education Professor, Queens College, CUNY and Kol Ami Cantor Daniel Mendelson. WJCS Rabbi Michael Goldman sang Ma Tovu (Balaam’s Blessing); recited Motzei (prayer for bread); Shecheyanu prayer (gratitude for reaching this day) and led Kaddish for the Holocaust victims.
“We are very happy to share Holocaust Survivor Day with the survivors, with our friends at WJCS, UJA Federation and the Claims Conference. It is a beautiful day and a beautiful way to commemorate their lives,” Millie Jasper, Executive Director, Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center (HHREC) commented.