Holocaust remembered

May 5, 2011 by Ayal Tusia
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Three moving Yom HaShoah Memorial Services were held on Sunday at the Mark and Dina Munzer Community Residence, Gary Smorgon House and Montefiore Homes Community Residence Jewish Care residences in Melbourne. Many of the residents in attendance at these ceremonies are survivors of the Holocaust.  Melbourne has one of the highest concentrations of Jewish Holocaust survivors outside of Israel.

Beta Strom

Max Eisman

Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant, General Manager of Cultural and Spiritual Services at Jewish Care said, “Yom HaShoah is probably one of the most significant events at Jewish Care, Victoria.  A large proportion of our residents are Holocaust survivors and for them this is a day that is probably on a par with Yom Kippur itself.” In his address to the residents, Rabbi Kluwgant said that in spite of the deep pain of recall he urges our ageing Holocaust survivors   to speak up and to tell of their experiences, so that they are remembered and not forgotten.

During the service held at Mark and Dina Munzer Community Residence, Ephraim Blecher, a resident and Holocaust survivor, recited a passionate and meaningful Kaddish.  Each of the six memorial candles were lit by a woman Holocaust survivor: Yolanda Yigurzyn, Gola Silberg, Celia Isakow, Zelma Rose and Sadie Goldsmith.

Genia Roth

The Munzer residence ceremony was also attended by residents family members as well as  many local dignitaries including Mr. David Southwick MP, Member for Caulfield;  Cr. Margaret Esakof , Mayor of Glen Eira and Mr. Bruce Colcott of Victoria Police.  Close by at Gary Smorgon House at a similarly well attended ceremony, Esther Werblud told of her experiences and Endre Gescheit recited Kaddish.    At Montefiore Community Residence in St. Kilda Road,  a traditional commemorative service was arranged  where Willy Lerner who previously worked at the Holocaust Museum as a guide spoke powerfully of his own personal memories and experiences in Auschwitz and during the Holocaust.  At the conclusion of the ceremony The Monte Choir composed of residents many of whom are Holocaust survivors sang, ‘The Partisan Song’ followed by Hatikvah.

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