The following is a flier from the Holocaust Memorial Committee:
The following is a flier from the Holocaust Memorial Committee:
Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz spent this past Sunday with kids from across the community who wrote essays and poetry, did performances and created art to recognize the lessons of the Holocaust.
The ceremony, held at Kingsborough Community College’s Marine Academic Center, is the culmination of the pol’s annual contest, attracting hundreds of students from public and private elementary, middle and high schools across the district. Approximately 350 entries were received this year.
“It is imperative that we never forget the lessons of those who survived the Holocaust, as well as the tragic lessons of those who did not survive,” Cymbrowitz said, according to a press release. “In an era in which some historians are trying to rewrite history and deny that the Holocaust ever happened, we need to hear these stories and preserve them. We need to pass these stories on to future generations to remind people of what can happen when hatred is allowed to grow.”
The ceremony exhibited all of the creative displays made by students. There was also musical performances by the Edward R. Murrow High School Madrigal Chorus, Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Winds. Holocaust survivor Zipora Yakuboff shared her story of loss, courage and eventual escape from a Nazi death camp.
The Amity School took home first-place for high school students, and top honors were also given to Prospect Park Yeshiva, Midwood High School and Bay Academy.
The eternal light at the center of Holocaust Memorial Park was extinguished during Superstorm Sandy. Now, 17 months later, the light is shining again.
News came from the offices of Councilman Chaim Deutsch, who said the councilman worked with the Parks Department to repair the facilities there.
“Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel once said, ‘To forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time,’ with these poignant words in mind, I am proud to announce that my efforts in conjunction with the Holocaust Memorial Park Committee to have the park’s eternal flame relit have been successful,” Deutsch said in a statement. “This flame, which was extinguished during Hurricane Sandy, will once again shine brightly, symbolizing our resiliency, and reminding future generations of one of the darkest periods in the history of man, and insure that we never forget, and never again allow such human injustice and genocide to occur in the future.”
It’s not so clear if the light was actually on before Superstorm Sandy. The 15-foot-tall fixture has been problematic for years, with park stewards complaining that it frequently goes out and can take the Parks Department long stretches to replace it.
During one incident in 2010, the bulb was out for several weeks. Parks Department replaced it, but it failed again several days later.
Delays in replacing it can happen because of the city’s procurement policies. The custom bulb needs to be ordered in bulk, and if none are on hand parkgoers will have to wait for the city’s next big order.
But Deutsch’s office said that the problems from Sandy went far beyond the bulb. The light’s electrical wires were damaged from the salt water and needed to be completely replaced. The department sought to do it in February, but the snowstorms pushed delays to the end of March.
Long-shot mayoral candidate Erick Salgado is entering the fray over Sheepshead Bay’s Holocaust Memorial Park, blasting the Parks Department for allowing the addition of stones memorializing non-Jewish victims.
A press release issued last week to Russian and Jewish news outlets but obtained by Sheepshead Bites quotes Salgado calling the installation of five new stones for non-Jewish victims “a betrayal of the community and even worse, disrespectful to the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust.”
The stones, which honor groups including the disabled, Roma, homosexuals and Jehovah’s Witnesses, were dedicated during a May 5 ceremony marred by a protest led by City Council candidate and Holocaust Memorial Committee member Ari Kagan. The protesters claimed that the group of activists who successfully pushed the new stones through had pulled an end-run around the committee, by going through the Parks Department.
Richard Landman, the gay son of Holocaust survivors who spearheaded the initiative for the stones, said that those allegations are phony, and that he had attempted to go through the committee and was repeatedly denied – with no explanation – over the course of 15 years. Landman, an attorney, complained to the city that the committee’s decision was “arbitrary and capricious,” and in violation of the state constitution. The Parks Department established an appeals process for the memorial as a result, and created a Blue Ribbon advisory panel to review Landman’s request – ultimately greenlighting it.
The stones were installed in June 2012, and dedicated on May 5, 2013.
But Salgado, a conservative reverend from Staten Island, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for mayor, sided with Kagan and the committee, claiming that the Parks Department should have ceded the decision on the stones to the local committee, in accordance with their Memorandum of Understanding.
“It is of great concern that a bureaucracy such as the Parks Department would take action that is counter to the community’s wishes, especially when it involves the memory of the six million who perished in the Holocaust and the thousands of Holocaust survivors and their families who visit the memorial each year,” Salgado said. “Was the proper decision pushed to the side by political concerns?”
Here’s the press release in full:
May 8, 2013
Mayoral Candidate Erick Salgado Blasts Parks Department’s Action
Controversial Memorial Stones Installed in Holocaust Memorial Park Without Community’s Approval
Mayoral Candidate Erick Salgado has termed the New York City Parks Department’s move to install five controversial memorial stones in Sheepshead Bay’s Holocaust Memorial Park, “a betrayal of the community and even worse, disrespectful to the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust.”
Salgado was referring to the Parks Department’s installation of large stones with inscriptions memorializing such groups as asocial elements (alcoholics and lesbians), political prisoners, Jehovah’s Witnesses and homosexuals. The inclusion of these stones was contrary to the wishes of the Board of the Holocaust Memorial Committee, which under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Parks Department has been administering the memorial since its dedication in 1997.
The five stones were installed unceremoniously last July, but an unveiling ceremony was held Sunday by several organizations from outside the community.
“It is of great concern that a bureaucracy such as the Parks Department would take action that is counter to the community’s wishes, especially when it involves the memory of the six million who perished in the Holocaust and the thousands of Holocaust survivors and their families who visit the memorial each year. Was the proper decision pushed to the side by political concerns?” Salgado asked.
A group of activists unveiled five new stones memorializing non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust at Sheepshead Bay’s Holocaust Memorial Park this weekend, capping off nearly two decades of fighting for the right against a local committee opposed to the installation.
The stones, dispersed throughout the public park, remember the persecution of homosexual victims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the disabled, Roma and Sinti, and “asocials.” The unveiling ended nearly 20 years of struggle for broader recognition within the park. Members of the Holocaust Memorial Committee, charged with reviewing and approving the placement of new names and markers, held a protest led by City Council candidate Ari Kagan, who complained that the group of “outsiders” went over the committee’s head in getting approval to place the stone, and represented a threat to the memory of Jewish victims.
Approximately 100 community leaders, clergy, neighbors and Holocaust survivors gathered on Sunday, April 14, for the Annual Holocaust Commemoration Program held at the Kings Bay YM-YWHA, located at 3495 Nostrand Avenue.
The annual event, which organizers describe as “solemn yet uplifting,” honors the memory of the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust and to rally around the notion of “Never Again.”
Rabbi Melvin I. Burg of the Ocean Avenue Jewish Center led a touching presentation recognizing Jewish heroes from the tragic event. The event also included a candle-lighting ceremony and special performances by the Kings Bay Y Tween Knafayim and the Madison Jewish Center Junior Choir.
Approximately 200 people gathered together at the Holocaust Memorial Park on Emmons Avenue and Shore Boulevard in honor of the 27th Annual Holocaust Memorial Gathering this past Sunday, honoring and preserving the memories of those who perished in the Holocaust.
The audience was filled with people of all ages. There were leaders and members of Russian Holocaust Survivors group, and the Veterans group. According to Inna Stavitsky, president of the Holocaust Memorial Committee, many young individuals were present as well, as the theme of the afternoon was “The Generations After: Passing the Torch.”
Various elected officials attended, including Senators David Storobin and Diane Savino, as well as Assemblymembers Steven Cymbrowitz, Helene Weinstein and Alec Brook-Krasny.
A candle lighting ceremony and musical performances were held in memory of the millions of people murdered by the Nazis.
The event also featured several speakers, among them, Joseph Spitz, the Israeli Consulate Director of Academic Affairs, Lev Katzin, the publisher of two Russian language newspapers, and David Widawsky, the founder of the March of the Living.
Hundreds of community leaders, elected officials, clergy and community members will gather on Sunday, April 22, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. for the Annual Holocaust Commemoration Program to be held at the Kings Bay Y located at 3495 Nostrand Avenue (between Avenue U and Avenue V).
The Jewish Community Council of Kings Bay and the Kings Bay Y will hold the event as a way to honor the memory of six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust and express the commitment to implementing the concept of Never Again. The program will include a moving candle lighting ceremony, Kings Bay Y Tween Program performance, guest speakers and a choir from Madison Jewish Center.
Hundreds of children packed the Manhattan Beach Jewish Center (60 West End Avenue) on Sunday, gathering with parents, teachers and community leaders for Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz’s 12th annual Holocaust Memorial Essay, Poetry, Performance and Art Contest.
Greeted at the entrance by a dazzling display of student-created dioramas of scenes from concentration camps, and paired with a collection of paintings by Holocaust survivor Seymour Kaftan depicting the atrocities that the Jews of Vilnius, Lithuania, endured during the Holocaust, the proud parents and teachers of the contest entrants shuffled towards the hall where the kids were later honored for their contributions.
The theme of this year’s event was the music of the Holocaust, with guest performances by Edward R. Murrow High School’s Madrigal Chorus, Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Winds, composer Cecelia Margules, and soloists Anita Tendler and Lily Ashira Shoretz.
“It is surprising to many that music played a part in the Holocaust,” Cymbrowitz explained. “It had both a positive and negative presence. Jewish partisans in the forests of Byelourussia formed a musical troupe to soothe their souls while hiding from Nazi patrols, but the Nazis also forced Jews in extermination camps to form orchestras to play as fellow prisoners were marched to and from forced labor assignments. The orchestras even had to play tangos as accompaniment to executions and punishments.”
Bringing their textbooks to life, students also got a chance to mingle with Holocaust survivors and Helen Hoffman, the event’s featured speaker. Hoffman is author of Branded for Life, a member of the Museum of Jewish Heritage Speakers’ Bureau, a U.N. Guest Speaker, and baby born in a displaced persons’ camp after the Holocaust.
“My birth was considered a miracle,” Hoffman told the attendees. “The numbers that were tattooed on my mother’s arm, 57240, adds up to 18 which in Jewish tradition represents ‘Chai’ or life. The Nazis sought to eliminate the entire Jewish population, my birth to two displaced persons who miraculously survived the Holocaust, was seen as a statement to the world that the Nazis had not succeeded, a new Jewish life was created.”
The contest itself saw more than 600 entries from students of various ethnic backgrounds and religions judged on three levels – elementary, middle and high school.
The winning entries came from the following schools: (First Place) P.S. 195, I.S. 238, Edward R. Murrow H.S.; (Second Place) tie: P.S. 206 and St. Mark School, tie: Bay Academy and I.S. 225, tie: Leon M. Goldstein H.S. and Midwood H.S.; (Third Place) Yeshiva of Flatbush, I.S. 209 and Brooklyn Amity School.
More than 200 members of Southern Brooklyn’s Russian Jewish community converged upon Holocaust Memorial Park this past weekend to participate in a somber ceremony of remembrance, marking 70 years since the beginning of the mass killings of Jews in the former Soviet Union by the Nazis and their collaborators during World War II.