Sunday, March 26, 2023

The entire Teaneck Township Council stands united in the goal of having a Holocaust Memorial built in our community. Every single member of the Teaneck Township Council has joined the consensus that Teaneck should be the site of a memorial to the victims of the Shoah, one that is at a central site and serves as a beacon of the universal message: Never Again. Not To Anyone!

At its meeting on January 28, 2015, the Teaneck Township Council expressed its unanimous support for the development of such a memorial, with an overwhelming majority supporting the selection of a site on the Municipal Green.

The council understands and accepts the critical importance of having a Holocaust Memorial in the township that honors the victims’ and survivors’ families. Just 70 years later, we can see that lessons of the Holocaust are being forgotten or have never been learned, as antisemitism spreads like wildfire across the globe. We feel that it is essential that a memorial be located in the heart of our township. After years of efforts to find an optimal site, we have begun developing a location for an appropriate monument on the Municipal Green.

The Municipal Green may not be hallowed ground, but it is an area treated with tremendous and somber respect. It is the site of a memorial to Sara Duker—a victim of terrorism—and a memorial to those who served in the Armed Forces to protect our freedoms and also, to liberate the camps. Teaneck observes Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day with ceremonies on the Green, overseen by our Patriotic Observance Advisory Board, and it is where members of our government are sworn in. The expansive grounds, sheltered by many mature trees, provides an opportunity to have a contemplative experience with appropriate seriousness, far enough away from Cedar Lane and Teaneck Road to buffer noise. Remote locations, without frequent foot traffic and police patrols, cannot guarantee security.

The Memorial will be in plain sight, protected by the buildings and foot traffic around it, and maintained by the township. It is located across the street from the Jewish Center of Teaneck, adjacent to Eugene Field School and the public library, as well as the police department, Holy Name Hospital and the convent. Because the Library is just a few hundred feet away, visitors can visit the memorial and the Library to see a permanent exhibit of Holocaust-related artifacts, to attend lectures by survivors and experts in the library auditorium, as well as participating in projects or borrowing books from the collection. The goal is for residents and visitors to internalize that message: Never Again. Not to Anyone!

The Town Council members feel that the Green is a more appropriate site for a Holocaust Memorial than the park next door to the DPW, off of two very busy roads, in a flat field, exposed to the harshest elements, that is regularly invaded by Canadian geese and their waste products. Sheltered from the blazing sun and offering an indoor respite from the bitter cold, a monument at the Municipal Green would be usable year-round and would allow for the proper duration of time needed to appreciate the core message of the Township of Teaneck’s Holocaust Memorial.

Mayor Lizette Parker

Deputy Mayor Elie Y Katz

Councilman Jason Castle

Councilman Mohammed Hameeduddin

Councilman Henry Pruitt

Councilman Mark Schwartz

Councilman Alan Sohn


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