Yom Hashoah community Holocaust commemoration to feature Holocaust Survivor from Poland

by | Apr 3, 2015 | What’s Happening

Henry Greenbaum

Wednesday, April 15, 6:45 pm, Congregation Beth El

Henry Greenbaum, a Polish Auschwitz survivor from Bethesda, Md. and weekly volunteer at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, even at age 86, will be the featured speaker at the annual Holocaust commemoration sponsored by the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.

Marking the official Day of Holocaust remembrance, the Yom Hashoah commemoration has been sponsored by the Holocaust Commission for more than 25 years.

The evening program celebrates the power of the human spirit and the enduring faith of those who witnessed and survived the Holocaust. It honors the survivors, liberators and righteous gentiles who reside in Hampton Roads.

Another key part of the evening’s program is the awards presentation to the winners of the annual Elie Wiesel Writing and Visual Arts Competitions for students, as well as awards to area teachers for Excellence in Holocaust Education. This year marks the 18th annual writing competition and the 13th annual visual arts competition, which students from a record number 46 schools entered. More than 50 area teachers have been awarded the educator’s award, allowing them further study on the Holocaust, as well as field trips for their students to the United States and Virginia Holocaust Museums. A candle lighting ceremony for all local survivors will conclude the solemn evening.

Survivors and liberators will wear yellow roses, but many others attending will be wearing roses as a tribute to the Holocaust Commission’s White Rose Project and Red Rose Campaign. Since 1996, the White Rose has helped to fund many educational outreach projects. These include the publication of To Life: Stories of Courage and Survival, documenting the stories of local survivors, liberators and righteous gentiles, and the donation of thousands of books and other educational materials on the Holocaust to middle and high school libraries and classrooms all over South Hampton Roads, as well as to the libraries of 95 Navy ships home ported in Norfolk.

The Red Rose helps to sponsor other vital programs, such as What We Carry, Through the Eyes of a Friend and a biennial conference for local public and private secondary school educators connecting the lessons of the Holocaust to students’ lives today.

This year’s conference will take place at Norfolk Academy July 28–29, and will be open to community members who may not be educators, but are simply interested in learning more about the Holocaust. Blockbuster speakers are planned. Registration is open. Contact the commission at info@holocaustcommission.org for details.