Memorial service at Holocaust Memorial Monument to be held on Sept. 24

By: Arieh Ullmann

 
The Holocaust Memorial Monument in the Temple Israel Cemetery on Conklin Avenue in Conklin.
Area rabbis will lead a memorial service on Sunday, September 24, at 10:30 am, at the Holocaust Memorial Monument in the Temple Israel Cemetery on Conklin Avenue in Conklin.
The memorial stone – which was originally dedicated on Sunday, November 9, 1952 – is one of the earliest acknowledgments in the United States of the Holocaust among survivors. It is also one of the few memorial stones of its kind in the United States to contain the names of loved ones lost to Nazism. Said to be “especially relevant for today” is the fact that the memorial was dedicated not just to victims of the Holocaust, but to victims of racism in general.
The service will follow a tradition of holding a ceremony at the memorial on the Sunday between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. After the memorial’s original dedication, the tradition lasted for about 20 years; the tradition resumed two years ago, following a long hiatus and Professor Rhonda Levine’s talk about the Get Together Club at the Federation’s Super Sunday. The club was a social and philanthropic group formed in 1948 by 13 German Jewish women – mainly rural women and wives of cattle dealers – who had resettled in the Southern Tier after fleeing Nazi Germany.
The placement of a memorial stone was considered to be the “most ambitious” project of the Get Together Club. More than 250 names were inscribed and placed in a copper box that was buried at the foot of the monument. It listed the names of individuals who had perished without a marked grave. They were remembered by prayers recited at the unveiling of the monument by the rabbis, followed by one of the survivors reading the names written on the scrolls. A digital copy of the original list of names buried in the copper box at the foot of the monument is available online on the Jewish Federation’s website, www.jfgb.org/jfed743/.
Community members and third-generation students have been invited to submit names of loved ones who died during the Holocaust and who have no grave marker to be added to the list. Instructions are given on the Federation’s website.
Arieh Ullmann is chairman of the Federation Community Relations Committee.