Yom HaShoah, officially known as Yom Hazikaron L’shoah U’l’gevurah (Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day), falls on 27 Nisan. In order to prevent observance from falling adjacent to shabbat, Israel will observe Yom HaShoah on May 2nd (28 Nisan) this year and many communities here and abroad will observe the remembrance day tonight and tomorrow.
In the Twin Cities – Commemoration Tonight, May 1
The 2011 Twin Cities Annual Yom HaShoah Holocaust Commemoration will take place at Bet Shalom Congregation (13613 Orchard Rd., Minnetonka, MN 55305) at 7pm. The event is free and open to the public.
This year’s program will reflect the theme, Legacy: The Writing of Survivor Stories, which will illustrate the importance of Holocaust survivors sharing their stories with future generations. The commemoration will feature Christos Nicola, author of The Secret of Priest’s Grotto: A Holocaust Survival Story. The story details a team of experienced cavers that made a remarkable discovery in a remote part of the Ukraine. They discovered artifacts belonging to a Jewish family that survived the Holocaust living in the caves known as Priest’s Grotto. The commemoration will also feature Transfer of Memory, a photographic exhibit of Holocaust survivor portraits. The exhibit is a collaboration between the JCRC and local photographer, David Sherman. Israel Defense Forces soldiers and participants from Talmud Torah of Minneapolis’ Adopt-a-survivor program will also participate in the program.
The Event is co-sponsored by the JCRC, CHAIM, Bet Shalom Congregation, Minneapolis Jewish Federation, and United Jewish Fund and Council of St. Paul. Auxiliary parking available at Hopkins West Junior High, 3830 Baker Road. Shuttle buses provided. For more information about parking, call Bet Shalom at (952) 933-8525.
Dig Deeper Through Words and Images – The Thinking Person’s Guide to The Holocaust
This year, The Jewish Daily Forward, along with the help of submissions by readers, compiled a list of writers, scholars and works as a first step in Holocaust literacy. The submissions were reviewed and compiled by Paula Hyman (professor of Modern Jewish History at Yale), Joanne Rudof (Archivist of the Fortunoff Video Archive at Yale), Lawrence Langer (author of National Book Critics Circle award-winning, “Holocaust Testimonies: The Ruins of Memory”) and Michael Berenbaum (professor of Jewish Studies at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles).
The list is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather a start to “map a way into the subject.” The Forward’s editor says:
Reading literature without knowing history is impossible. One cannot appreciate the literature of the Holocaust without a grounding in its history. But conversely, one cannot understand the Holocaust without the insight of witnesses and great artistic or literary figures. This list, with a number of your comments included, is a distillation of a body of work that you have told us about and which is expanding every year. We have organized the titles not as a definitive list, but rather, on Yom HaShoah of 5771, as a way to begin. — Dan Friedman