Yom Hashoah to feature Dr. Mordecai Paldiel

by | Feb 29, 2024 | What’s Happening

Sunday, May 5, 6:45 pm, Temple Emanuel

Yom Hashoah is a day of commemoration for the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, as well as a remembrance of those who survived the Holocaust, particularly those who made Hampton Roads their home.

Tidewater’s evening dedicated to Yom Hashoah this year includes a guest speaker, candle lighting ceremony, recognition of student winners of the Elie Wiesel writing and visual arts competition, and the Excellence in Education awards recognizing teachers for their hard work in furthering the lessons of the Holocaust. Songs and prayers from local students and clergy are also part of the program. Yom Hashoah is a somber evening of reflection which brings the entire community together in solidarity.

This is all made possible by the hard work and dedication of the Holocaust Commission of Tidewater.

This year’s guest speaker, Dr. Mordecai Paldiel, is a leading scholar on the rescue of Jews during the Holocaust. Born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1937, his family fled to France during the German invasion of Belgium in May 1940. In 1943, the family – parents and six children – fled to Switzerland, where they stayed until the war’s end. In 1962, Mordecai Paldiel moved to Israel and studied at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science. He then furthered his studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, earning a Master of Arts and PhD in Holocaust Studies. Returning to Israel, Paldiel became director of the Righteous Among the Nations Department at Yad Vashem –a post he occupied from 1982 to 2007. After leaving Yad Vashem, Paldiel returned to the United States where he taught courses in Holocaust and Rescue, the History of Zionism, and Modern European History at various universities in New York and New Jersey. He now lives in Boca Raton, Fla. with his wife.

Temple Emanuel is located at 424 25th Street in Virginia Beach. Overflow parking will be available at the 25th Street parking garage. Golf cart escorts to and from the garage will also be provided.