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Boulder’s Holocaust Memorial Service

The Boulder community came together Sunday night at the new home of Nevei Kodesh to honor survivors of the Holocaust, remember, grieve, and listen to their stories as well as the stories of their families.

The evening was presented by Haver, Boulder’s Rabbinic Council, and several rabbis participated in the service, which began with a candlelighting ceremony. Rabbi Ori Har, the daughter of survivors, shared primarily her father’s story, including how her family came to Israel and her experience as a child of survivors.  Her son, Matan, shared a moving poem about his grandmother (“Savta”).

Ida Piller-Greenspan, author of When the World Closed Its Doors, spoke about her escape from Belgium; the Germans invaded on the night of her wedding. Her daughter, Rosie Pillar, then narrated a slide show of her mother’s remarkable monoprint works, which capture her memories of the escape.

Michael Bilavsky, son of a Russian survivor, answered questions by his son, Matan.  Michael’s mother escaped the German invasion of her village; she brought Michael there when he was thirteen, and he spoke of being profoundly defensive of Israel.

Rabbi Victor Gross, before leading the Kaddish, told of a website started by a 14 year old in Naperville, ILEachofushasaname.org is “a website devoted to preserving the memories of those who perished in the Shoah. It provides a weekly list of yahrzeits so that we may say Kaddish for them.” Rabbi Gross read the names of today’s yahrzeits; we also remembered those lost in Saturday’s plane crash in Russia.

The strength of the survivors is inspiring, while their stories, even told by their children, are heartbreaking.

A few photos from the evening:

About Cheryl Fellows

Cheryl Fellows
I am living happily ever after in Boulder with David, Lauren and Ethan (and Rocky and Cookie), blessed with family and friends and a great community.

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One comment

  1. Shoshi Bilavsky

    I would like to thank Haver on the amazing ceremony you put together for Boulder Jewish community. Rabbi Tirzah your idea since the Shoah (holocaust) generation is perishing to involve the third generation was sparkling. To pass the message of Yom Hashoa to the young generation was so moving, meaningful and in the spirit of Judaism . The event was well organized, the stories that we heard from the survivors and second Holocaust generation and the impact on the third generation were so moving and inspiring. Yishar Koach Rabbi Tirzah and to Haver, the ceremony was well attended by our Jewish community.

    I recommend that next year you will hold that on Sunday as well, I think Sundays will draw more people to attend. It’s important goal to develop Yom HaShoah ceremony to a big event that is well attend by our Boulder Jewish community.