YU’s Student Holocaust Education Movement (SHEM) organized a moving Yom Hashoah ceremony last week, “Remember the Future,” focusing on the narrative of the rescuers, at the Lamport Auditorium on the Wilf Campus.
Sally Frishberg, a Holocaust survivors, spoke at the event, as did Dr. Eva Fogelman, the Pulitzer-nominated author of the book Conscience and Courage: Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust, who was herself born in a displaced persons camp. Fogelman’s work studies the thought processes and actions of those who sheltered and provided assistance to Jews during the Holocaust.
The night was replete with prayer and reflection. Rabbi Yosef Blau, senior mashgiach ruchani [spiritual advisor] at YU, recited a yizkor memorial service for the murdered masses and YU President Richard M. Joel intoned “Kel Maleh,” a prayer for the souls of the departed. Six candles were lit on stage in commemoration of murdered children, religious leaders and scholars, as well as those who risked their lives to help Jews and those who survived to live on with the pain of grief and loss.
The evening also featured an a cappella performance by the Yeshiva Maccabeats, who sang “Habeit” and “Kol Berama” and led students in a stirring rendition of “Hatikva” at the night’s conclusion.
“On this night we remember those who perished in the Holocaust and honor those few men and women who showed what impact individual actions can have,” said Israel Katz ’13SB, vice president of SHEM. “We will not forget the past. However, we hope to learn from it and from the lofty example set by these heroes, embedding in ourselves and in others the belief that we can affect change, one action at a time, to help forge a better future.”
The ceremony was co-sponsored by the Stern College for Women Student Council, the Torah Activities Council, the Yeshiva College Student Association, the Yeshiva Student Union, the Student Organization of Yeshiva, the Jewish Studies Council, the Syms Schools of Business Student Council and the Isaac Breuer College Student Council.