DIRECTIONS TO EMEK SHOLOM HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL CEMETERY
Richmond's North-side, within Forest Lawn Cemetery
4000 Pilots Lane, Richmond, VA 23222
195-N or 64-E to Laburnum exit
Laburnum 2.5 miles to Alma Ave.
Left on Alma Ave. 1 block; enter gates of Forest Lawn
1st left onto "South Way" - 1 block; Right on "Crescent Lane"
Continue 3 blocks to the end.
Mission Statement!Emek Sholom Holocaust Memorial Cemetery is the final resting place for persons of the Jewish faith who have physical and/or emotional ties to the Holocaust, and their families. Its primary goal is to memorialize victims of the Holocaust, whose descendants live(d) in the greater Richmond area, through maintaining the historic Holocaust Memorial landmark, and promoting Holocaust education.
Adopted at Annual Meeting March 9, 2003; amended Board Meeting January 11, 2012.
HistoryOn November 6, 1955, the New American Jewish Club of Richmond, a group of immigrants and survivors of the Nazi purge of European Jewry, unveiled a monument. These new residents of the United States pooled their meager resources and constructed this memorial to 200 family members who had perished in the Holocaust and whose final resting places will forever be unknown.
November 6, 1955 - Dedication of the Emek Sholom Memorial.
The original Emek Sholom Holocaust Memorial consisted of two panels of names and a central stone. It is one of the first Holocaust memorials in North America. In 1998, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources recognized its uniqueness and listed it as a Historic Landmark in Virginia. The following year, the U.S. Department of the Interior placed it on the National Register of Historic Places.
On November 7, 1999, two flanking panels, bearing 237 additional names, were dedicated by new members of the Richmond Jewish community to memorialize their family members who perished in the Holocaust. By 2010, addition names filled the remaining spaces bringing the total number of names on the memorial to 459.
The Jewish cemetery, where the Emek Sholom Holocaust Memorial is located (Section A), is a burial ground for 175 Holocaust survivors, their descendants and others who have physical or emotional ties to the Holocaust or a desire to make this their final resting place. The cemetery is located within Forest Lawn Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia.
In response to a demand for more graves, funds were raised to match a generous gift from the Nathaniel Krumbein family for the purchase of land directly across the road, adding 96 graves (Section B) to the Emek Sholom Holocaust Memorial Cemetery. This new area was consecrated on April 8, 2007, and it appears on the map below.
Cemetery Map - Section B
This is a two part process. (Only complete part two if you are making a donation today)
1. Please submit the questionnaire form below for our records.
2. After submitting the above form, if you are donating today, please click the Paypal link below.
Thank you for your support!
ContactsBenjamin Kutner, Co-President, Tel: 804-364-4165, email Ben Kutner
Cookie Solodar, Co-President, Tel: 804-794-3415, email Cookie Solodar
Board Members2015 - 2016
Co-President: Cookie Solodar
Co-President: Benjamin Kutner
Vice President: Alex Keich
Recording Secretary: Ira Korshin
Corresponding Secretary: Rina Manelis
Treasurer: Evie Windmueller
By-LawsBy-Laws Jan 11 2012.doc
Audio Recording of Names on the Memorial -- (Coming soon..)
Holocaust Memorial - The Names of 460 Victims
BrochureEmek Sholom Brochure
The Vision for Future Development at Emek Sholom
Our dream is to make Emek Sholom a commemorative and an educational destination, connecting the visitor locally and intimately to the Holocaust.
This is currently achieved by:
1. The historic Holocaust Memorial with 460 names of Holocaust victims whose families in Richmond have chosen this way to remember them.
2. An annual Remembrance Day Ceremony to commemorate our loved ones who were victims of their faith, for whom there are no graves.
To be added in the future:
1. Walkways that teach
- Timeline Walkway to chronicle major world events from 1933 to 1945.
- Road-to-Richmond Walkway leading to names of survivors who came to Richmond.
- Iconic Quotations Walkway: Ex. I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. Anne Frank
2. Seating at end of Timeline Walkway inscribed with the names of the approximately 30 liberators of concentration camps and death marches, and the 3 rescuers of persons who were hunted.
3. Seating at end of Road to Richmond Walkway inscribed with the names of the 95 Holocaust survivors who reside(d) in the Richmond area.
4. Signage and audio technology to inform the visitor.
- 2015 - Lesson Plans #1&2 by Rena Berlin
- 2015 - Lesson Plan #3
Never Again Award - 2015
The award winner must be prepared to read the essay on Sunday, November 8, 2015, at the annual program commemorating Kristallnacht - The Night of Pogroms. The entry should include an explanation of what attendees can do to help alleviate the oppressive situation. Actual suggestions should be submitted in writing on a separate page which will be duplicated and distributed to program attendees in a handout. The application form, available on the Emek Sholom website - www.emeksholomcemeteryrichmond.org, must accompany each entry.
The program will take place on November 8, 2015 at 2 p.m. at Emek Sholom Holocaust Memorial Cemetery in the Forest Lawn Cemetery, 4000 Pilots Lane, Richmond, VA 23222. All entries must be received by May 23, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. at the following email address: email@example.com. For more information, Esther can be reached at 804-261-2664. Good luck to all participants!
Information about the Emek Sholom Holocaust Memorial Cemetery is available on emeksholomcemeteryrichmond.org.
Never Again Scholarship - Application Form.doc
Never Again Award Winner - November 9, 2014
Megan Mauro, Henrico High School
Never Again Award Winner - November 10, 2013
Arshiya Singh, 12th grade, Henrico High School
On left: Nicole Hylton, Rescuer
On right: Simone Schwarz, Holocaust Survivor
The Syrian Conflict
Download My Essay
Download My Handout
Never Again Award Winner - November 6, 2011
Gracie DeSantis of Clover Hill High School
What's Worth Remembering?
Genocide Remembrance and Prevention
Case Study: Uganda
Download Essay and Handout
Never Again Award Winner - November 7, 2010
Abby Badura of Clover Hill High School
A Crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Download Essay and Handout
Never Again Award Winner - November 8, 2009
Leah Tams of Clover Hill High School
Kenyan Ethnic Cleansing: Another Rwanda?
An Essay on the Crisis in the Horn of Africa
Download Essay - Download Handout
Never Again Award Winner - November 9, 2008
Rebecca Disney of Thomas Dale High School
Kenyan Ethnic Cleansing: Another Rwanda?
An Essay on the Crisis in the Horn of Africa
Never Again Award Winner - November 11, 2007
Scott Edelstein of Douglass Freeman High School
Never Again: Genocide in Uganda
Never Again Award Winner - November 11, 2005
Mark Edelstein of Douglass Freeman High School
Never Again - What We Can Do Today to Stop Genocide
76th Anniversary of Kristallnacht - the Night of Progroms - Nov 9, 2014
Video by Misha Teitz
Photos by Rachel Loria
Alex Keisch, event director
Irina Manelis tells story of Ernst Baruch Levy
Esther Windmueller introduces Never Again Award recipient
Megan Mauro, 2014 recipient of Never Again Award
Candlelighters: Grandsons of survivors and VCU Hillel student
Attendees deeply moved by speakers
Rabbi Cantor Annie Bornstein
Cantor Errol Helfman flanked by Ben Kutner and Helen Zimm
Elise Scherr tells story of her grandparents
Unto Every Person There is a Name And a Story
The Richmond community, Survivors and family members gathered at Emek Sholom Holocaust Memorial Cemetery on Sunday afternoon Nov. 9 to remember the atrocities of the Holocaust and honor the memories and lessons of the victims.
The theme of the annual memorial service was "Unto Every Person There is a Name," which focused on the identities and stories of those memorialized at Emek Sholom who perished during the Holocaust.
Featured speakers were Alex Keisch, Elise Scherr, Irina Manelis, Ben Kutner, and Inge Horowitz.
The service was led by Rabbi Cantor Annie Bornstein, assisted by Cantor Erol Helfman.
Keisch, who called himself a refugee from this madness that began 70 years ago today lost most of his family during the Holocaust, said, "The importance of these names can never be overstated. That's because unto every person there is a name. Unto every person there is a name and a story. This is why we're here today."
He noted, "for many sadly it was the end 70 years ago today but for many it was a beginning. It was the end of the lives of all of my 14 uncles, aunts, all four of my grandparents and countless unnamed faceless cousins of mine - relatives both close and near."
Rabbi Cantor Bornstein emphasized each one and every Holocaust victim had a story. "Each one of those 6 million human beings had a personal history. They had a family - children, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, grandparents, cousins, lovers and friends. Each one had dreams. Each one had a name."
She said the names of all the victims will never be discovered but it's important to tell the world "never again."
Two family members spoke about their family members lost in the Holocaust and memorialized among the 460 names on the wall behind them. Scherr and then Manelis shared the stories they uncovered from extensive research.
Scherr told the story of her grandparents, Leah J. and Lewis Capeiko, who were taken to a forest near their home in Lithuania, which was part of Poland at the time, and shot by their neighbors. Scherr's father escaped and settled in Lawrenceville, where he was a store owner.
Manelis described how her father's cousin, Ernst Baruch Levy, was killed in Auschwitz after it was discovered he and his wife had been planning resistance efforts in Germanoccupied Holland.
Hillel students from Virginia Commonwealth University took part in a candle lighting ceremony to memorialize the 460 victims of the Holocaust whose names are written on the wall at Emek Sholom. A violin accompaniment was performed by Yakov Tulchinsky.
Megan Mauro, a Henrico High School sophomore, received this year's "Never Again Award" from Esther Windmueller. The student read her moving essay about ongoing genocide in Darfur. She noted this is the center of the regional conflict in Sudan where the United Nations estimates at least 300,000 have been killed in the last decade and about 2 million displaced. Mauro cited a letter from a Sudanese refugee fleeing violence there saying the promise of world leaders seemed empty to those still in the country
Windmueller praised Mauro for her efforts. "It is one thing to remember, but it's another thing to do something about it," Windmueller said.
At the beginning of the service and during the candle lighting, a recording of the names of the victims displayed on the walls was played. The names were recorded by Survivors and their family members. While there are 460 names on the memorial wall, only about 110 have stories and details. The Emek Sholom board is seeking information on the remaining names.
Source: Reflector, published by the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond
75th Anniversary of Kristallnacht - the Night of Progroms - Nov 10, 2013
Video by Misha Teitz
Photos by Rachel Loria
Fay Kutner Kessler
Rabbi Gary Creditor
Left to right: Cornelia Warmenhoven, Dr. Raymond P. Hylton, Nicole Hylton
Dr. Raymond P. Hylton
Emek Sholom Holocaust Memorial Panel
Clara Daniels at the Memorial Panel
Ron Binshtok and son, Gavriel
RESCUERS SHARE THEIR STORIES AT EMEK SHOLOM
By: Irina Manelis
The beautiful, sunny November afternoon stood in stark contrast to the event the community had gathered to commemorate--the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the wave of brutal anti-Jewish pogroms which marked the beginning of the Nazi campaign to exterminate the Jewish people. So observed Fay Kutner Kessler in her opening remarks welcoming the large crowd which had assembled for the annual Kristallnacht Memorial Service held at the Emek Sholom Holocaust Memorial Cemetery on Sunday, November 10, 2013. Ms. Kutner Kessler, the daughter of two Holocaust survivors, introduced this year's theme honoring resistance workers and rescuers during World War II who placed their lives in grave danger to oppose the Nazi regime and to rescue endangered people, and in so doing, "saved countless lives."
These inspiring individuals dared to do the right thing in spite of the peril at a time when most people where bystanders, remarked Inge Horowitz, acting President of Emek Sholom, as she honored and welcomed Cornelia Warmenhoven to the podium to give a firsthand account of her work as a resister during WWII. Ms. Warmenhoven captivated the audience as she described joining Dutch resistance when she was only seventeen years old after the Germans conquered the Netherlands. She worked covertly with fellow resisters to thwart the Nazi campaign, including helping to hide Dutch citizens who were in danger because they had refused to take the loyalty oath to Hitler. Calling the Nazis "ruthless creatures," she described how the resistance had to contend with the omnipresent threat of being discovered. Even worse than the Gestapo spies, she explained, were the spies and traitors among her own people, who didn't wear uniforms and looked just like everyone else. Ms. Warmenhoven and fellow resisters knew all too well that their lives were on the line if they were discovered, a fact underscored by a haunting poem she translated and read, written by a captured Dutch resistance worker who was condemned to face the firing squad the next day.
A bullet almost claimed the life of French resistance worker Nicole Hylton when Paris was finally liberated from Nazi occupation, and she has held on to that (dodged) bullet till this day. Dr. Raymond Hylton shared how while his grandfather had been captured by the Nazis as a prisoner of war, his mother Nicole DeViscaya Hylton and grandmother Madeleine Henriet Marchal, two women living all alone under the occupied regime in Paris, courageously maintained their apartment as a safe house for members of the French resistance and numerous Jewish families. They provided shelter, food, and sustenance to many escapees, whose identities they did not know and never inquired about, fleeing en route to safety in Spain. Nicole fell in love with a soldier from the U.S. Army and moved to the United States, and today, she lives in Chesterfield County, and was present and honored at the commemoration.
Additionally, each year, a family speaker shares his family's history, and this year, Max Reinhardt talked about his grandparents Simon and Emma Koch, whose names are inscribed on the Holocaust Memorial at Emek Sholom. Born in Germany, and when he was six years old, Mr. Reinhardt was initially sent by his parents to live with his grandparents in the German countryside when things got unsafe. His grandparents were hardworking, deeply ethical, and widely respected people who lived as Orthodox Jews, but as the Nazi campaign advanced, everything deteriorated—kids he had played with joined the Hitler Youth, and community members who had always respected his grandparents grew resentful of them—and Mr. Reinhardt returned to his parents in the city. He and parents were fortunate enough to find a sponsor in the USA and sailed here in 1937, but his beloved grandparents, who remained behind, perished in the concentration camps.
Six candles were lit by the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors to honor the memories of the six million who were lost in the Holocaust. Rabbi Gary Creditor officiated the service and Rabbi Cantor Annie Bornstein chanted the liturgy.
To be in the presence of resisters and rescuers and of Holocaust survivors was to "touch history," remarked Inge Horowitz, and the historical significance of the commemoration and the moment was palpable. Rabbi Creditor discussed how growing up in 1950s America, the Holocaust was never mentioned, and that it was only during his teen years in the 1960s that it became a part of Jewish education. Today, new revelations about the horrors of the Holocaust and about the heroes who emerged during that dark time continue to come to light, and there is "no end to that which we have yet to learn," said Rabbi Creditor. Turning to some of those lessons, Arshia Singh, a senior at Henrico High School, was announced as the winner of Emek Sholom's Never Again essay scholarship. She read her essay about state-sponsored oppression in Syria today.
This event was jointly sponsored by Emek Sholom Holocaust Memorial Cemetery, the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond, and the Virginia Holocaust Museum. The Richmond Jewish Foundation and the Ipson Holocaust Education Fund, the Henry and Gertrude Kupfer Holocaust Education Fund, and the Herbert J. and Ruth B. Rubel Holocaust Education Funds gave financial support to make this program possible.
74th Anniversary of Kristallnacht - the Night of Progroms - Nov 11, 2012
Video by Misha Teitz
Photos by Rachel Loria
Win Bailey Loria talking about her father, Sgt. Andrew A. Bailey, Liberator
Sgt. Andrew Bailey, Liberator, who earned three Purple Hearts and many commendations.
David B. Robinson talking about his father, Cpl. Bruce Robinson
Gail Richmond Robinson holding portrait of her father-in-law, Cpl. Bruce Robinson, Liberator
Tanya Louise Wohner talking about her father, Lt. Col. John Herold Wohner, Liberator
Rabbi Andrew A. Goodman, Campus Rabbi, University of Richmond
Inge W. Horowitz, Event Chr. and Rabbi Andrew A. Goodman
The six candle lighters: from left to right: David Gluckman, Rina Manelis, Florina Kholodovskaya, Lyuda Shmerelzon, David Tulchinsky, and Rita Horowitz Peyton.
Florina Kholodovskaya and Lyuda Shmerelzon lighting memorial candles
By Rina Manelis
On a clear, balmy Sunday on November 11, 2012, community members gathered around the Emek Sholom monument at the Emek Sholom Holocaust Memorial Cemetery for the annual Kristallnacht commemoration, which honors those who perished in the Holocaust as well as those who survived and witnessed its unimaginable horrors. The Emek Sholom monument is one of the first Holocaust memorials in North America, and since its founding in November 1955, members of the Richmond Jewish community have continued to add the names of their family members who were killed in the Shoah; today the memorial bears 459 names.
The recorded reading of these names wafted softly through the air as the crowd assembled and took their seats. Acting President Inge W. Horowitz welcomed the attendees and introduced this years program theme of the sons and daughters of World War II veterans who liberated the concentration camps and ghettos.
Rabbi Andrew Goodman, the Director of Jewish Life and Campus Rabbi at the University of Richmond, followed and described the violent Kristallnacht pogroms. He spoke of how the shards of glass identified with Kristallnacht tore through the fabric of Jewish life and prompted unanswered questions of all of humanity and of G-d, and how they called on the Jewish people to carry their legacy with them as we move forward. Elia Steidl, the Austrian Holocaust Memorial Intern at the Virginia Holocaust Museum, shared a vivid and tragic tale of Rosalia and Naftali Brandeis, two victims who were just two forgotten passports away from escaping the Holocaust, and who instead perished in Treblinka.
The service then turned to this year's theme, the Second Generation Liberator Perspectives, as the children of WWII veterans provided poignant accounts of the lives of their liberator fathers. Win Bailey Loria, a descendent of generations of veterans and the wife of Holocaust survivor Dr. Roger Loria, described the experiences of her father, Sgt. Andrew A. Bailey, C-Co., 1st Battalion, 116th Regiment, 29th Infantry Division. Sgt. Bailey enlisted in the U.S. Army right after Pearl Harbor, and was only twenty-three years old when he liberated a concentration camp. She recounted how her father and his fellow soldiers knew nothing of the camps, and how, after liberating the camp they encountered, they could not speak for two days about what they had seen.
Following his experiences in WWII, her father suffered from what is today recognized as PTSD. These experiences took his "youth and marked his life," but were also deeply connected to his pride. Sgt. Bailey was a highly decorated veteran, and received three Purple Hearts and the Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest military award. Keeping a promise she had made to her father, Ms. Loria traveled with her husband to Normandy, where she stood on the unforgiving cliffs in awe of the unbelievable feat American soldiers had accomplished there.
Ms. Loria noted that her speech was an "homage to my dad and his generation of citizen soldiers who never would take such praise," and this theme clearly reverberated through the following presentation by David B. Robinson, son of Cpl. Bruce Robinson, Medical Technician, 120th Evacuation Unit, 3rd Army. Mr. Robinson described his father as an honorable and deeply humble man, who lived quietly with few material possessions. When the Jewish community recognized his father as a liberator and presented him with a corresponding plaque, Cpl. Robinson only took the title and plaque of liberator at his son's urging.
Mr. Robinson's father was part of the 120th Evacuation Hospital Unit which entered the Buchenwald concentration camp and cared for the 3,000 dying prisoners whom they had liberated and found there. As part of the Unit's non-medical personnel, Mr. Robinson's father escorted visiting military and other personnel through the camp so that they could observe first-hand the atrocities which had occurred there. On the way to liberating the Dachau concentration camp, the Unit was overwhelmed by the camp's prisoners who had been forced on the Death March; the soldiers commandeered the German town, Cham, and set up an improvised hospital. Countless lives were saved, including that of Esther Talkowska Kutner who later came to live in Richmond. Bruce Robinson and Esther Kutner were re-introduced, and tearfully shared their memories until Cpl. Robinson died. After he passed away, the liberator plaque was among the few material possessions Cpl. Robinson had held onto, tucked away in one of his four drawers.
Finally, Tanya Louise Wohner, daughter of Lt. Col. John Herold Wohner, 2nd Battalion, 407 Division, shared her fathers notes on the concentration camp prisoners his unit had liberated following the Massacre at Gardelegen, describing how he and his fellow servicemen took all the bullion they had and gently trickled it down the throats of these emaciated prisoners—all of whom survived.
Six candles were lit by second and third generations of veterans in honor of the six million Jewish lives claimed by the Holocaust. Rabbi Goodman concluded with a responsive reading of Kaddish, and the compelling service drew to a close.
73rd Anniversary of Kristallnacht - the Night of Progroms - Nov 6, 2011
Photos by Rachel Loria
The Memorial at Emek Sholom
Front Row-Participants, and Audience
Gracie DeSantis (Never Again Award Winner), Mark Binschtok, Jon Davidow, Ali Holmes, and Jeremy McMahon (3rd Generation Candle Lighters)
Speakers Inge Horowitz (Program Chair), Rabbi Royi Shaffin, (3rd Generation), Rabbi Canter Annie Bornstein, and Miriam Davidow (2nd Generation)
Rina Manelis (2nd Generation Speaker)
Ben Kutner (Program Committee Member)
Video by Misha Teitz
By Timur & Ira Korshin
On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, November 6, 2011, Emek Sholom Holocaust Memorial Cemetery welcomed a dedicated group of Holocaust survivors, their families and friends, returning for the annual pilgrimage to commemorate the opening chapter of the Holocaust, the night of November 9-10, 1938, known as the Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass).
Inge Horowitz, the past President of Emek Sholom Holocaust Memorial Cemetery, thanked and welcomed all gathered. She stated that with the dwindling number of Holocaust Survivors, it is their children and grandchildren, the 2nd and 3rd Generation, who carry the honor and command to Remember! She introduced Rabbi Royi Shaffin, who gave opening remarks, and spoke from the heart about his perspective on what it means to remember as a 3rd Generation Survivor. He energized the group, encouraging Jews to stick together, be proud of our heritage, and protect the only sure safe harbor of Jews, Israel.
Next, Rabbi Cantor Annie Bornstein, the first of the 2nd Generation speakers, passionately described the complexity of deep internal conflict she struggled with throughout her life as she sought to understand her parents, survivors of Auschwitz. She spoke to the fact that even after the horrors endured by her parents, they were able to infuse and enrich her spirit with passion and love for Judaism that has been at the core of her being throughout her life.
Rina Manelis, honoring the memory of her father, shared the story of his miraculous escape from the ghetto as a child, with his aunt who afterwards adopted and raised him as her own son. Having been very close with her father, Rina recalled that he never talked with her or her sister about the Holocaust, but communicated through his actions. In Rina's own words, the legacy her father left was "the strong sense of pride he had implicitly taught us to take in our identity as Jews."
The third speaker, Miriam Davidow shared her experience as a child born in the shadow of the Holocaust, and the eternal gratitude she feels toward her parents for allowing her to be born into freedom. She left a message that we must do all in our power to make a difference in the lives of others by "serving, giving, and doing whatever is most meaningful to us."
Inge Horowitz gave a tribute to Samuel "Sonny" Werth (OBM), who, following his father's dying wish, went on to create maps of all Jewish graves in cemeteries within the state of Virginia, recently finishing the map of Emek Sholom Holocaust Memorial Cemetery. He would have presented his work during the commemoration event, were it not for his recent passing.
Esther Windmueller introduced this year's student winner of the "Never Again" scholarship award, which has changed this year from an essay submission, to demonstrated actions and plans for more activism and education. Gracie DeSantis from Clover Hill High School was recognized for her work to combat genocide. Check out her website: http://www.facebook.com/helponthehill for "What's Worth Remembering" and "Invisible Children."
Six candles were lit in front of the memorial for the six million Jewish lives lost in the Holocaust. Rabbi Cantor Annie Bornstein sang El Moleh Rachamim, and Rabbi Royi Shaffin concluded with a Kaddish after reiterating the message that many generations have been and will continue to be touched by the Holocaust, and that remembering the history of our survival is what will preserve us and make us stronger.
72nd Anniversary of Kristallnacht - the Night of Progroms - Nov 7, 2010
Photos by Vlada Teitz
Cantor Annie Bornstein and Rabbi Elaine Schnee light memorial candle
Roger Loria, Speaker: Antwerp, Belgium Pogrom
Moshe Yassur, Keynote Speaker: Iasi, Romania Pogrom
Keith Marcus, Family Speaker
Video by Misha Teitz
71st Anniversary of Kristallnacht - the Night of Progroms - Nov 8, 2009Video by Misha Teitz
70th Anniversary of Kristallnacht - the Night of Progroms - Nov 9, 2008
Photos and Video by Misha Teitz
Photos of Kristallnacht service in Synagogue of the Virginia Holocaust Museum
Cantor Annie Borenstein and the Etz Chayim Youth Choir of Congregation Beth Ahabah.
Rabbi Israel B. Koller with Temple Beth El's Holocaust Torah, walking among the
250 attendees as Jay Ipson blows the Shofar.
Video of the Kristallnacht Service 2008
Invitation to the Kristallnacht Service on Nov 9 2008Kristallnacht 2008 Invitation (PDF)
69th Kristallnacht - Night of Pogroms - Veterans Day, Nov 11, 2007
Photos by Vlada Teitz
Photos of Kristallnacht service at Emek Sholom Holocaust Memorial Cemetery 2007
Irina Manelis lights one of the six memorial candles.
Boy Scouts Aaron Anderson, Aaron Levin and Alex Katz of Temple Beth El's Troop #717 present flags. Front row L to R: Alex Lebenstein, Survivor; Ben Kutner, speaker; David Robinson, speaker; Rabbi Dennis Beck-Berman; Cantor Annie Borenstein; Mrs. John H. Harris, John H. Harris - a Liberator of Ohrdruff Concentration Camp; Halina Zimm, Survivor; John S. Oppenheimer, a Liberator of Dachau Concentration Camp; Bob Zimmer, a Liberator of Mauthausen Concentration Camp.
Center stone of the 1955 Holocaust Memorial at Emek Sholom with six memorial candles.
L to R: Inge W. Horowitz, President of Emek Sholom, Alex Lebenstein, Survivor; Ben Kutner, son of Survivors; David B. Robinson, holding picture of his father, Bruce Robinson (obm), who documented what he saw in Buchenwald Concentration Camp a few hours after its liberation.
L to R: [back] Rena Berlin, Director of Education at Virginia Holocaust Museum; Mr. and Mrs. John H. Harris, a Liberator of Ohrdruff Concentration Camp; Alan and Halina Zimm, Survivors; [behind the Zimms] Roger Loria, Survivor.
Video of the Kristallnacht Service 2007Video by Misha Teitz
Samuel Werth and Stanley Serxner of the Jewish War Veterans, Norfolk, VA (Misha Teitz Photography)
Crystal silence fell upon the group of approximately 200 attendees gathered on the afternoon of November 11th, as Boy Scout Troop 717 presented flags to honor WWII concentration camp Liberators for their courageous service, and Holocaust Survivors who endured unbelievable, inhuman suffering.
Inge Horowitz, President of Emek Sholom Holocaust Memorial Cemetery, opened the service there. She recognized the Survivors, their children, and grandchildren as representatives of victory over the planned annihilation of the Jewish people. The names of 439 loved ones, murdered in Holocaust, whose family members live in Richmond, reverberated in the chilly air. Alex Lebenstein, Holocaust survivor, recognized Concentration Camp Liberators - John H. Harris, Ohrdruff - John S. Oppenheimer, Dachau - and Robert S. Zimmer, Mauthausen, - and the audience honored each one with a long ovation. Their presence was an inspiration and a privilege.
Benjamin Kutner shared the incredible story of his mother's miraculous escape from an Auschwitz death march. David Robinson continued the story from the perspective of his father, Cpl. Bruce Robinson, whose unit saved Esther Kutner. Forty five years later, the liberator and liberated were reunited in switched roles - Esther sat vigil with Bruce in the hospital as he lay dying of cancer, as they shared unique memories of the past.
Six candles were lit by descendants of Survivors for the six million Jewish lives lost in the Holocaust. The reflection of the tiny burning flames, in the vast coldness of the monument, resembled the tiny number of Jews that survived the Holocaust in comparison to the millions that so tragically left us forever.
Rabbi Beck-Berman recalled the night of violence against Jews, Nov. 9 - 10, 1938, that foreshadowed the Holocaust, and warned of the importance to stand up for the rights and lives of people who face annihilation. "We must not stand by without taking action, when people in countries such as Uganda or Darfur are facing genocide…If we don't stand up when evil is done onto others, what can we expect when is evil is done onto us?"
The question was answered by young Scott Edelstein, who submitted the winning Never Again essay, "Genocide in Uganda." He invoked the words of Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner: "The opposite of life is not death; it is indifference". He also donated to the Virginia Holocaust Museum a copy of the film which inspired him, Invisible Children. He ended by imploring his audience to donate to help kids who can turn to no one, and to visit www.invisiblechildren.com.
By Timur Korshin & Ira Perelman