Community members, elected officials and over 50 organizations throughout Los Angeles joined together for a special ceremony to honor the memories of the victims and survivors of the Holocaust with an intergenerational lens.
May 1, 2019 – On Sunday, April 29th, over 1000 people joined together to honor the memories of the victims and survivors of the Holocaust with an intergenerational lens. The community reflected and remembered together through music and survivor testimonies. The community also took time to mourn the horrific tragedy of the victims of the shooting at the Chabad of Poway, San Diego.
The community-wide commemoration was hosted by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and supported by over fifty organizations. The Organizing Committee included: American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Family Service, Jewish World Watch, Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, Mt. Sinai Memorial Parks, Museum of Tolerance, Sinai Temple, Stephen Wise Temple, theatre dybbuk, Valley Beth Shalom, and Wilshire Blvd. Temple. Over 30 Community Partners and Institutions came together, including: Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin,Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu, Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz, California Legislative Jewish Caucus, 30 Years After, Adat Ari El, Ahavat Torah Congregation, Beit T’Shuvah, Beth Chayim Chadashim, Beth Jacob, Beth Shir Shalom, B’nai David-Judea Congregation, Brawerman Elementary School of Wilshire Blvd., Congregation Kol Ami, Congregation Or Ami, Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary, IKAR, Kehillat Israel, Kehillat Ma’arav, Kol Tikvah, Leo Baeck Temple, LA Jewish Community Children’s Choir, Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue, Nashuva, Open Temple, Santa Monica Synagogue, Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel, Shomrei Torah Synagogue, Temple Ahavat Shalom, Temple Akiba, Temple Aliyah, Temple Beth Am, Temple Beth Hillel, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, Temple Isaiah, Temple Judea, Temple Ramat Zion, University Synagogue, Valley Outreach Synagogue, and YINBH Beverly Hills Synagogue.
The following elected officials attended the commemorative event: State Senator Ben Allen, Assemblymember Richard Bloom, Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, Los Angeles Community College Board Trustee Scott Svonkin, and West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tempore Lindsey Horvath. Additionally, Consul Generals from the following countries attended the event: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Japan, and Poland.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said, “The horrors of the Holocaust echo in every generation, offer warnings and lessons for defeating hatred and bigotry in our own time, and compel us — as Jews, as non-Jews, as Angelenos and Americans — to answer indifference with action,” said Mayor Garcetti. “We can honor the memories of the victims and the courage of the survivors by embracing the core values that define Los Angeles: our sense of belonging, our spirit of welcome and compassion, and our tradition of embracing our diversity as a source of pride and strength.”
Jay Sanderson, President & CEO of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles said, “Our Federation was proud to be the convener of this important commemoration, especially during these times when anti-Semitism in on the rise and Jews are feeling less and less safe. It is imperative that we remember the Shoah, honor the victims and the survivors, and remind the world that we must do everything in our power to eliminate evil and combat hatred.”
Beth Keane, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust said, “Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust is proud to be part of this community-wide event remembering those who perished during the Holocaust and honoring those who survived. In a year that sadly has seen violent attacks against Jews, Muslims and Christians in their places of worship, it is more important than ever to remind everyone of the dangers of allowing intolerance and bigotry to go unchecked.”
Liebe Geft, Director of the Museum of Tolerance said, “The Museum of Tolerance is gratified to have contributed to and participated in the important, community-wide Yom Hashoah Commemoration, which underscored the power of unity and the imperative of memory transmitted from one generation to the next. Education about the Holocaust is an antidote to the hatred that is sweeping across the world, and has never been more important and relevant.”
Under the thoughtful direction of theatre dybbuk, attendees experienced a moving performance of survivor testimonials, as well as reflections from today’s youth. The testimonials and historical narratives featured in the program were taken from archives and interviews provided by Museum of Tolerance and Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. Youth reflections were provided by partners from throughout the city, with special thanks to Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, Museum of Tolerance, Valley Beth Shalom, Wilshire Blvd. Temple, and Stephen Wise Temple and Schools. In addition, survivor Eva Brettler and her grandson also spoke about their experiences and thoughts. The program closed with an inspirational performance by the Jewish Community Children’s Choir. The entire program was highlighted with music by jazz/klezmer trio, Zev the Wolf.
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