Friday, June 05, 2020

The Jewish Community Council of Teaneck will hold its 33nd annual observance of Yom Hashoah, Annual Holocaust Commemoration Event on Monday, April 8th at 7:30 p.m, in the Teaneck High School auditorium. This year’s keynote speaker is Moshe Baran, a Holocaust survivor from Poland and partisan. (See profile of Moshe Baran, p. ???)

This annual event is one of the most well attended cross denominational events in Teaneck. It touches survivors and their descendants, up to the fourth generation, many who reside in Teaneck.

The Commemoration Committee, a division of the Jewish Community Council of Teaneck, was formed in the late 1970’s to perpetuate the memory of the Holocaust and assure that the memories of the six million Jews who were murdered will never be forgotten. The Committee also seeks to provide the greater Teaneck community with quality programming and resources to increase awareness of the tragedy of the Holocaust.

In addition to the Commemoration, programs include inviting Holocaust survivors to speak to students at Teaneck High School and local middle and charter schools as well as an art or photo exhibit displayed at the Teaneck Public Library during the month of April.

The commemoration takes a year to plan and many committee members, some from surrounding towns, attend the monthly meetings with co-chairs Blanche Hampel Silver; Yetta Marchuck Selengut and Steve Fox.

Committee members seek a compelling keynote speaker, material for the library exhibit, suitable singers for the national anthems, a pianist, and musical presentations at the pre-event reception and main event. Selected community rabbis are invited to participate in components of the program and the group is inclusive of all denominations.

At the heart of the program is the candle lighting ceremony. Finding participants for it is one of the most challenging parts of the program. The committee constantly searches for six local intergenerational families—three or four living generations that include the survivor. These families come to the stage and light the six memorial candles while the names of loved ones who were murdered in the Holocaust are read out loud by Rabbi John Krug and Arline Duker. Over the last few years, it has become increasingly difficult to find such families who live within driving distance of Teaneck.

The pre-event reception honoring all local survivors and their families begins at 6 p.m. at Teaneck High School’s media room, next to the main auditorium. All Teaneck area survivors are invited to the reception. It is free. To RSVP, contact Dena at 917-334-0937.

For more information about the event, visit www.teaneckyomhashoa.org.

By Amy Elfman