IF YOU GO
Holocaust remembrance activities, free and open to the public, continue today:
Holocaust and World War II exhibits, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., Delphos Post Office
Exhibits, open at noon, Temple Beth Israel-Shaare Zedek, 2105 Lakewood Ave., Lima
"Voyage of the Damned" film, 2 p.m., temple
"Fate Did Not Let Me Go," short documentary, 5 p.m., temple
LIMA - "They lived with faith. Not all, but many. And, surely, many died with faith ... May we find a way to the strength of that faith, that trust, that sure sense that life and soul endure beyond this body's death. They have left their lives to us: Let a million prayers rise whenever Jews worship; let a million candles glow against the darkness of these unfinished lives."
- Holocaust memorial prayer
In 1933, the Jewish population of Europe stood at 9 million. By 1945, Nazis and their collaborators had murdered two out of every three, six million gone.
Jews commemorated Holocaust Remembrance Day Friday at Temple Beth Israel-Shaare Zedek with a memorial service of prayers, poems and songs. Holocaust survivor and Lima resident Liesl Sondheimer spoke with visitors about her family's escape from Nazi Germany in 1938. Sondheimer, who turned 100 in September 2007, has lived in Lima since 1940.
Norma Rakowsky, a 58-year member of the temple, attended the service "because I want to be sure the world always remembers, what a terrible, terrible thing people did to each other."
The date is set by the Hebrew calendar (between Passover and Israeli Independence Day) and internationally recognized as a time to remember Holocaust victims and remind citizens about the dangers of bigotry and indifference. In 1980, Congress established the day in the United States as a national commemoration.
A weekend of activities serves several reasons, temple Rabbi Javier Cattapan said.
"It's our time to commemorate those who have been murdered, especially those who have no relatives left to commemorate their death," Cattapan said. "It's also to raise awareness of the evils of persecution and intolerance, against us in particular, though we don't feel that way now in America or Lima, but we do feel there are lessons to be taught by this."
Today's events celebrate and educate about lives of people who were killed and those who survived, especially in uprisings in ghettos and camps.
"They are stories of survival," Cattapan said. "Stories of resistance."