Temple Israel of Riverhead
490 Northville Turnpike P.O. Box 1531 Riverhead, NY 11901 631-727-3191 TempleIsraelRH@optonline.net
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On Sunday, May 1st, 2022, Temple Israel held its annual Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah, after three years of social distancing due to the pandemic. Driving up to our synagogue and seeing the full parking lot evidenced the significance of returning to our communal programs. There were over 40 attendees, in-person and on Zoom. Donations for Ukraine were collected as well. Harley Abrams was MC and host of the program. After President Jaime Siegel welcomed everyone, the ceremony started with a beautiful and supportive speech from Town of Riverhead Supervisor Honorable Yvette Aguiar, and Lt. Jonathan Devereaux. Next, Fr. Bohdan Hedz, from St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in Riverhead, shared the history of Ukraine and its political relationship with Russia for centuries. He showed how ignorance enables history to repeat itself, emphasizing never to forget the Holocaust and the importance of “Never Again”. He was then invited to light the first of the six candles in honor and memory of the six million Jews murdered in WWII. The second candle was lit by Supervisor Honorable Yvette Aguiar and Lt. Devereaux. The third candle was lit by our congregants Rebecca and Mitchell Hagler. The experiences of Rebecca’s grandmother’s
family are depicted in the book The Boy who Followed his Father into Auschwitz. The fourth candle was lit by Meital and Jonathon Estreich, whose grandparents, Lea and Issac Estreich, are Holocaust survivors. The fifth candle was lit by our congregants Ruth Prizer and her daughter Linda Prizer. Linda’s father Isidore was in OSS and fought in Czechoslovakia, which was occupied by Germans during WWII. The sixth candle went to our guest speaker, Felice Katz. Felice’s mother, Ethel Bauer Katz, told her story of survival after witnessing her family gunned down by the Nazis. She shared her experiences as a 17-year-old Jewish girl during WWII in her “Our Tomorrows Never Came”, brought to life by this book. She began by introducing six family members: six names, six personalities, six talents and skills, six life journeys, and six lives; some too short. She showed six different smiles, eyes, clothing, taking us on a journey of hope, fear, and struggle, but never giving in or giving up. Felice has a superb talent to tell and carry on her mother’s story, making sure that the six million murdered Jews are not just a number; now we know six of them! Ethel always told everyone: “Please remember what happened, and tell your children.” All proceeds of the sale of “Our Tomorrows Never Came” will go to the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center in Glen Cove, New York. (Continued)
Yom HaShoah Program 2022