Yom HaShoah South Area Commemoration

Temple Sinai in Sharon hosted a community service for Yom HaShoah — Holocaust Remembrance Day — on May 1.

The observance was sponsored by nine area synagogues and organizations representing Sharon, Canton, Stoughton, Easton, and Brockton. 

“The community comes together across denominations and across synagogues,” said Rabbi Joseph Meszler of Temple Sinai. “People come from all over because the Holocaust is a lesson for humanity, not just a Jewish lesson.”

Shir Rhythm, an a cappella group from Temple Israel in Sharon, performed songs of remembrance and affirmation of life. There was also music from “Schindler’s List,” a 1993 Steven Spielberg film about the Holocaust that won seven Academy Awards, including best picture and best original score (John Williams).

Six candles were lit for the 6 million victims of the Holocaust, and visitors were invited to light candles as well.

High school students from each synagogue read firsthand accounts of the Holocaust before each of the six candles were lit.

“It’s almost kind of eerie. It’s full of remembrance,” said Arianna Delaney, a Mansfield High School student who performed one of the readings. “It’s a very comfortable place to be, too, in the sense that everyone is going through the same thing.”

Irene Stern Frielich and Eileen Brandes Garber, whose parents survived the Holocaust,  spoke about their families’ experiences.

Garber shared her father’s story to honor his memory. She also said it is a way of making sure history doesn’t repeat itself. “I think it’s very important for future generations to learn what happened,” Garber said. “We are in very dangerous times now.

“It’s a more solemn night. I feel commanded to be there. I mean that in a religious sense, to bear witness.”

The night ended with a memorial prayer to honor the dead. Attendees were invited to sing both the Israeli national anthem and “America the Beautiful” before departing.

Adapted from: Boston Globe Article