Generations of Survivors and their Descendants Honor Heroes at Stirring Brooklyn Holocaust Memorial


holocaust-memorialBoro Park, Brooklyn – Attendees were visibly moved by the enormous gathering of Holocaust survivors and their generations of family members as more than 1,000 men, women and children packed the Young Israel Beth El to pay tribute to those heroes who went against the tide of apathy and saved thousands of Jewish lives. “Remembering the Past and Living for the Future” took place on Thursday, May 15 and was co-hosted by Assemblyman Hikind, who also served as the Master of Ceremonies.
“This was one of the most emotional events that I have attended,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind, the son of survivors. “One look around the room was all you needed-the dignity of the faces of concentration camp survivors sitting side-by-side with their children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren. These beautiful faces told a story of survival and tradition; of gratitude and nobility. And the event itself was extremely powerful and meaningful.”

Numerous community yeshivas sent their students to the event including Machon, Beis Yaakov of 18th Ave., and Shelamos. The special day of remembrance for Holocaust survivors and their descendants included a tribute commemorating the 70 years since Jews were forced into the Auschwitz death camp. Co-hosted by Nachas Health & Family Network of Brooklyn, the event honored the memories of Chiune Sugihara, a heroic Japanese diplomat who saved thousands of Jews during the war, as well as Jan Zwartendijk, a Dutch Council in Lithuania who, together with Sugihara, issued transit visas allowing Jews to escape the death camps. The memory of Oscar Schindler-well known for saving many Jews from perishing-was also honored.

HaRav, Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau, the former Chief Rabbi of Israel, delivered the moving keynote address and everyone was eager to hear and meet the Rav, whose parents had also perished in the Holocaust.
Ambassador Sumio Kusaka, Consulate General of Japan, accepted an award on behalf of Sugihara; Rob de Vos, Council General of the Netherlands, accepted an award on behalf of Zwartendijk; and Oscar Schindler’s memory was also honored.
Greg Schneider, Vice President of the Claims Conference, was a surprise guest speaker while Benny Fishoff and Moshe Hellman-both survivors of the Shanghi ghetto-also participate in the ceremonies.
The most moving moment of all may have been Chazan Ushi Blumenberg’s rendition of Kel Maleh Rachamim.
“This event, which none of us will ever forget, would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of Rizy Horowitz, Senior Coordinator for Nachas Health’s Holocaust Program,” said Assemblyman Hikind. “Rizy and her staff work tirelessly on behalf of survivors all year round. We all owe Rizy a debt of gratitude for what she does.” Nachas, which offers numerous programs for seniors, remains the leading source for Holocaust reparations in the community.
Among the elected officials who attended were NY State Senator Simcha Felder, NY State Assembly Member Rhoda Jacobs, City Council Member Chaim Deutcsh, and City Council Member Mathieu Eugene.

{Gavriel Newscenter}