May 22, 2024
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Kristallnacht Program at RKYHS Marks 78th Anniversary

On Wednesday, November 9, the students of RKYHS commemorated the 78th anniversary of Kristallnacht. The program was run by Rabbi Dr. Sacha Pecaric, Holocaust Studies specialist at RKYHS and director of the school’s Arie and Eva Halpern Library and Holocaust Studies Center, together with RKYHS students. After a moving musical opening by twelfth grader Sam Sherscher, Rabbi Dr. Pecaric began the program by taking the audience on a virtual tour of the world’s most beautiful synagogues, allowing the audience to reflect on the sanctity and beauty of a makom tefillah, and to mourn the destruction and desecration of approximately 1,200 synagogues on November 9 and 10, 1938. The program also focused on the legacy of Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, z’l, and his mandate that, “For the dead and the living we must bear witness.” The audience also watched a brief documentary film about Kristallnacht, that included personal testimonies from survivors of the event. Rabbi Dr. Pecaric concluded by discussing the legacy of Irving Bunim, grandfather of Kushner’s head of school, Rabbi Eliezer Rubin, who worked tirelessly during the war to try and save the Jews of Europe, highlighting the ability of every individual to make a difference.

Afterward, five RKYHS students spoke about what Kristallnacht means to them, reflecting on themes like family, the importance of fighting injustice and the State of Israel. The program was concluded with final remarks by Rabbi Rubin, and the singing of Hatikva, led by junior Jonah Braverman.

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