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Our 2016 Annual Holocaust Commemoration

Helen LevinsonIthaca Childrens and Youth Choir, directed by Janet Galvan

The 2016 IAUJC event honoring local Holocaust survivors occurred on May 5th (International Holocaust Remembrance Day). It boasted a large crowd, leaving standing room only and overflowing right out the doors of Temple Beth-El. Many attended from the local Ithaca area, including school groups, college students, seniors, families, and other community members. A few individuals even came from several states away to be a part of this reflective ceremony and moving testimony. To view the entire program on video, click here.

The event began with a special performance by the Ithaca Youth and Children's Choir, singing pieces that focused the audience's attention on the beauty of life through music. This was followed by a solemn candle-lighting ceremony to honor Ithaca's local Holocaust survivors. As each survivor's story was read aloud, they walked toward the front and lit a yellow candle. Many of these honorees attended the event with their family members and it was very moving to hear and see the hope and strength they carried with them.

Following the ceremony, Helen Levinson spoke to an enraptured crowd of her own escape from Holocaust Europe by taking on a false identity and leaving everything she knew behind. She now lives in Rochester, NY, and traveled to Ithaca specifically for the event. Reading from letters she wrote as a young teenager, she painted a vivid picture of the fear, uncertainty, courage, and fortitude that accompanied her on her journey. Ms. Levinson also answered questions from the audience about her story, and stayed for a reception to meet and greet those who had attended the event.
 
IAUJC is grateful to the hundreds who attended the Holocaust Commemoration event, and would like to especially thank Helen Levinson and our candle-lighting honorees for their courage to continue telling their stories to future generations.  Thanks also to our co-sponsors: Advanced Dental Technology of Ithaca II, PLLC, Area Congregations Together, Congregation Tikkun v’Or, Ithaca Oral Surgery and Implant Center, Lifespan Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Pathology Services, PLLC, Temple Beth El, Tompkins Trust Company and Wegmans.

Candle Lighting to Remember those Lost in the Holocaust

Earl Peters

Roald Hoffmann

Peter Komor

Mary Salton

Our Speaker, helen Levinson

Helen Greeting Guests