MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The 40th Annual Interfaith Holocaust Remembrance Service was held at Morrow Memorial Methodist Church on Sunday, April 23. “It is yearly observance, conceived in memory of those murdered and dedicated to the elimination of religious and racial persecution and the elevation of justice in our lives” stated the program for the service.
The service opened with a Shofar blast from two ram’s horns, the ancient call to prayer, followed by a processional of clergy and officials from both South Orange and Maplewood. The opening prayer was recited by the SOMA Clergy.
The congregation then lit Chai Candles, which are the symbol of life and moving forward.
The Sister Rose Thering Holocaust Education Award was presented to Michael Rubell, who has devoted his time to personally bring students to the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.
Next, the chorus sang Not In Our Town, which delivers the message, No Hate. No Violence. Not in our town.
The keynote speaker was Ed Bindel, a Holocaust survivor who was born in Poland in 1938. He survived by living for three years with a "righteous person," Jozia Remus, his nanny before the war. Bindel recounted his experiences, his reunion with his mother after the war, and finally coming to America.
Following a short scripture reading, many special candles were lit by the Holocaust survivors in attendance, present, to honor all who perished during the Holocaust. A brief history of each survivor was read as the candle was being lit.
The Mourners Kaddish was recited in Hebrew and English, and the service concluded with a benediction.