The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust presented New York’s Annual Gathering of Remembrance on Sunday, April 16, 2023. The annual program — held in person, for the first time since 2019 at Temple Emanu-El of New York City – is part of the Museum’s Yom HaShoah tribute and served the organization’s mission to “never forget” and honor the memory of those who were lost during the Holocaust, as well as survivors and their descendants.
The event took place the day before Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, which begins on the evening of Monday, April 17 and concludes at sundown on Tuesday, April 18. This memorial served as a reminder of the dangers of intolerance and envisions a brighter future. The Annual Gathering of Remembrance program featured music and liturgy, remarks from Holocaust survivors and public dignitaries, and a moving candle-lighting ceremony honoring survivors and their families, as well as members of the 3rd generation of survivors.
“This moment is one of the most important days of the year, when we honor the memory of all the brave souls who perished and show solidarity with those who survived one of the most horrific chapters in our world’s history,” says the Museum’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Bruce Ratner. “We have a responsibility to carry on the legacies of those we lost, and to continue fighting prejudice and hate and make the world a more understanding place.”
“The Annual Gathering of Remembrance is essential to our mission at the Museum. We were proud to gather on this day to remember those who were lost in the Holocaust and those survivors who we’ve lost in the past year,” says Jack Kliger, President and CEO of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. “We are also uplifted by the second, third, and fourth generation survivors who joined us in song and candle lighting, as our memories move l’dor va’dor, from generation to generation. This tribute welcomed multiple generations in person here in New York, a city with one of the world’s largest communities of Holocaust survivors, as loved ones and community members from around the world also tune in virtually.”
The event was co-chaired by Museum Board members Rita Lerner and Ann Oster. The Annual Gathering of Remembrance Committee includes Melissa Berger, Alyssa Greengrass, Lucy Horowitz, Lauren Jacobs, Jennifer Klein, Eliese Lissner, Alissa Rozen, Seth Weisleder, and Ben Zurkow.
“It is an honor to come together in person to remember the lives of those who were lost in the Holocaust and to read the names of survivors whom we’ve lost in the past year at Temple Emanu-El,” says Museum Trustee Rita Lerner, the daughter of two Holocaust survivors and the event Co-Chair.
Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, Congressman Daniel Goldman, and U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield joined the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust at the Annual Gathering of Remembrance at Temple Emanu-El of New York City on April 16, 2023. Other participants included Acting Israeli Consul General Israel Nitzan, Rabbi Amy B. Ehrlich, Steven Skybell, Stephanie Butnick, the HaZamir International Jewish Teen Choir, and Holocaust Survivors Toby Levy, Jerry Lindenstraus, and Ilana Yaari.
Speakers included Museum President and CEO Jack Kliger, Board President Bruce Ratner, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, Congressman Daniel Goldman, U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Rabbi Amy B. Ehrlich, Deputy Editor of Tablet Magazine Stephanie Butnick, and others. Musical guests included pianist Joyce Rosenzweig, Steven Skybell, Valeriya Sholokhova, HaZamir: The International Jewish Teen Choir, and more.
A number of organizations partnered with the Museum to create the ceremony. These included: Anti-Defamation League, HaZamir: The International Jewish Teen Choir, JewishGen, New York Board of Rabbis, Temple Emanu-El of New York City, The Blue Card, The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, The New York Board of Rabbis, 3GNY, Abraham Global Peace Initiative, Association of Jewish Refugees, Cardozo Institute in Holocaust and Human Rights, Democratic Majority for Israel, Derfner Judaica Museum, Descendants of Holocaust Survivors, Descendants of Holocaust Survivors, Emil A. and Jenny Fish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Yeshiva University, Fundatia Tarbut Sighet, Cultura si Educatie Iudaica, Generations of the Shoah International, Holocaust Resource Center & Diversity Council on Global Education and Citizenship / The Holocaust Resource Center of Kean University, Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish Community Centre of Krakow, Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island, Jewish Democratic Council of America , Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, Jewish Museum, Jewish Quarterly, Leo Baeck Institute , Maimonides Institute for Medicine, Ethics, and the Holocaust (MIMEH), Mitzvah Project, Moment Magazine, Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience, Names Not Numbers, National Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah (MEIS), Selfhelp Community Service, The 14th Street Y, The Abraham Global Peace Initiative, The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, The Mitzvah Project, WE ARE HERE! Foundation, Worker's Circle, and Yiddish Book Center.