OCEAN COUNTY, NJ -  On Monday evening, April 20th, the Jewish community of Ocean County commemorated the atrocities and genocide of the Holocaust.  In what is observed as Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah in Hebrew, rabbis and clergy from local area synagogues and Chabads came together in a virtual memorial service in memory of those who perished.

More than 150 community members participated online in the live program, with hundreds more watching the video afterwards on Facebook.

During the online program, Rabbi Michael Jay from Long Beach Island Jewish Community Center shared a special prayer to strengthen our memory in the hope that those who remember the mistakes of the past will not repeat them.  Rabbi Bill Gershon of Congregation B’nai Israel in Toms River spoke about the tremendous potential that was lost among those who were murdered during the Holocaust.  Memorial prayers and songs were shared, and candles were lit in memory of those who perished – and those watching were urged to place their candles in their windows to dispel the darkness and make a statement that hate has no home here.

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The program was organized by the Jewish Federation of Ocean County in partnership with Beth Am Shalom, Chabad of Jackson, Chabad Toms River, Congregation Ahavat Olam, Congregation B’nai Israel, the JCC of LBI, and Temple Beth Or.

Said Carol Brichke, co-Chair of the Jewish Federation who introduced the program, “Especially in this time of crisis when everyone is in self-isolation, it is more important than ever to come together, experience community and togetherness, and reaffirm the values that we hold dear.”