Religions and Spirituality

North Salem Observes Yom Hashoah

0059160aad1068a27c54_50611_.JPG
Larry Kaufman, commander of the Jewish War Veterans Post 46 Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
12a5c3703ead12f97df4_50610_.JPG
Diedre Winston, a Somers High School sophomore, sings her original song, “Someone else will suffer.” Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
fd76bebfba52f357f0c8_50608_.JPG
Lola Marguillies, Holocaust survivor and Somers Holocaust Commission member, lights six candles, that are representative of the 6 million Jews that were killed by the Nazis. Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
607d2b26d209c5712bd4_50605_.JPG
Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
ddbd408083360a3f8c68_50604_.JPG
Dr. Michael Geisler, president of Manhattanville college and keynote speaker of the ceremony Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
1868f680164990ede38f_50603_.JPG
Dancers from the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance perform to the theme song from "Schindler's List." Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
045569bfe36a152a0808_50835_.JPG
Alyssa Freedman, second place winner from North Salem High School Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
464953307bdc1904d468_50836_.JPG
Julianna Austin, first place winner from North Salem High School Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
0059160aad1068a27c54_50611_.JPG

NORTH SALEM, N.Y.— The Somers Holocaust Memorial Commission sponsored its annual Yom Hashoah Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at North Salem High School on Thursday, April 26.

According to the United States Holocaust Museum, the internationally recognized date for Holocaust Remembrance Day corresponds to the 27th day of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar. It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. In Hebrew, Holocaust Remembrance Day is called Yom Hashoah.

Dedicated to the education of children about the Holocaust and other human rights violations, the commission hosts the annual Fred Bachner student project awards. Students create and submit entries to the commission that are related to the Holocaust or any other genocide. The projects can be created in any media chosen by the students. This year, students submitted original songs, sculptures, paintings and more.

Sign Up for E-News

Fred Bachner, a Holocaust survivor, founded the commission to not only educate children that such violations occur, but to recognize that much of the world looks away.

A short ceremony was held to award six students from Somers High School and North Salem High School for their project submissions.

Somers High School’s winners were Mackenzie Berner, first place; Alix Goldman, second place; and Alexis Ruiz, third place.

North Salem High School’s winners were:  Julianna Austin, first place; Alyssa Freedman, second place; and Christopher Dolce, third place.

“It gives us a sense of comfort and pride to see how these young people understand the importance of tolerance and inclusion, and how horrible things can happen when hatred drives the human spirit,” said Dr. George Bovino, assistant principal of North Salem High School. “We simply cannot tolerate exclusionary or discriminatory behavior on any level. Our wonderful country was founded on the notion of inclusion and freedom, not hatred or prejudice.”

This year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Michael Geisler, president of Manhattanville College, spoke to the identity crisis many Germans struggled with after the events of the Holocaust.

The German native was raised in West Germany during the time when Germany’s “conspiracy of silence” began to break.

He shared his experience with the audience and his thoughts on the evolution of German acceptance and internalization of the Holocaust in a presentation called, “The media and educational portrayal of the Holocaust during my childhood in West Germany.”

He also touched on the danger of the resurgence of anti-Semitic feelings among radicalized groups in Europe and the Middle East. He also discussed a new, right-wing political party that has developed in Germany called, “Alternative für Deutschland” (Alternative for Germany).

According to Geisler, the party began as an anti-Euro movement, but has made headlines for its ideas to build a new German identity that treats the Holocaust as a “brief aberration in an otherwise glorious 2,000 years of German History.”

“It would be a dangerous mistake to dismiss these growing movements as irrelevant fringe phenomenon,” he warned.

Students from the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance performed dances to the theme from John Williams’ “Schindler’s List” and to the Russian State Symphony Capella’s “Fervent Supplication.”

Dierdre Winston, a sophomore at North Salem High School, shared her original song, “Someone Else Will Suffer,” that she wrote for her project.

Larry Kaufman, commander of the Jewish War Veterans Post 46, said a few words and Rabbi Halina Rubinstein of the Hebrew Congregation of Somers led the prayer and candle-lighting ceremony. Lola Marguilies, commission member and Holocaust survivor, assisted in lighting the six candles, which represent the six million Jews that died in the Holocaust.

Speakers stressed the importance of keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive, no matter how grim, as the number of survivors that share their experiences dwindles.

“As this generation passes, the memory of the Holocaust is also passing from the powerful narrative of the personal experience of people like Fred Bachner, to the realm of reported memory, which is easier to denounce or rationalize,” Geisler said.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

North Salem

Do it badly!

Anything worth doing is worth doing badly, at least to start. 

As a recovering perfectionist, I have learned to get started on a project even if I don’t have all the pieces together. Sometimes just puttering, tinkering or moving the parts around will help me sort out my brain enough to give me an idea of how to tackle a project.  

I can’t tell you how many times ...

Putnam County highlights

Putnam County: ”Where the country begins” pretty much sums up my view every day as I traverse this beautiful area. At every turn there is a reservoir, farm, trail or the stunning vista of the Hudson Highlands. Less development and fewer traffic lights showcase nature’s bounty uniquely during each season and I never tire of taking it all in. I often stop and take pictures on my ...

More than just a book store

What consistently rates 4.9 to 5.0 on the major customer review sites? What business is both destination and resource, a tradition, a haven, valued, endangered and has something for everyone, at every age? 
Hands down, it is your local independent bookstore. They have faced challenges (think “When Harry Met Sally”) and still do (um, Amazon), but those that remain have carved out ...