Holocaust memorial service to be held on Oct. 2

By Reporter staff

The Jewish Federation of Greater Binghamton will hold a memorial service at the Holocaust Memorial Monument in the Temple Israel Cemetery on Conklin Avenue in Conklin on Sunday, October 2, at 10:30 am. The service will be led by area rabbis. The monument was one of the first memorial stones in the United States to acknowledge the Holocaust. 

“We were pleased to be able to hold the ceremony in person last year and are grateful we can hold this important event again this year,” said Shelley Hubal, executive director of the Federation. “We not only remember those who lost their lives in the Holcaust, but honor those who developed, created and sustained this important community memorial.”

The monument was the project of the Get Together Club, which was a social and philanthropic group formed in 1948 by 13 German-speaking Jewish women. The women were the wives of cattle dealers who had resettled in the Southern Tier after fleeing Nazism. The decision to raise a memorial stone occurred after a member’s husband wished he had a place to say Kaddish for his parents, who, since they had died in the Holocaust, had no grave he could visit. The club raised the necessary funds for the stone. The names of more than 250 individuals who died in the Holocaust and had no grave were placed in a copper box, which was buried at the foot of the monument. The inscription on the stone says, “Victims of Racial Persecution who lost Their Lives in Europe During the Years 1933-1945. They Will Never Be Forgotten.” 

The first ceremony took place on Sunday, November 9, 1952, and continued for 20 years. Then, after Professor Rhonda Levine spoke about the Get Together Club at the Federation’s Super Sunday in 2015, it was decided to resume the ceremony, holding it between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur each year.

“Join us for what is always a moving event,” said Hubal. “It’s important that we never forget the lives lost in the Holocaust.”