Temple Judea observes Kristallnacht Memorial, Veterans Day

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Temple Judea observes Kristallnacht Memorial, Veterans Day
From left, Rabbi Todd Chizner, Nancy Kagan Lisnow and Irving Roth are seen at the event. (Photo courtesy of Temple Judea)

Temple Judea’s Holocaust Resource Center was the setting recently for a Shabbat service remembering Kristallnacht and celebrating Veterans Day.

 Kristallnacht, also known as Night of Broken Glass, was a horrific event that took place on Nov. 9 and 10, 1938. It was a night of horror when Jewish stores were broken into and looted, synagogues and homes were burned, and thousands of Jews were rounded up and killed or sent to concentration camps.

It signified the beginning of the Holocaust in which a total of six million Jews, men and women, children and babies, were killed.

Irving Roth, Director of the Holocaust Resource Center and also a Holocaust survivor, gave an impassioned speech in which he described the horrors of Kristallnacht and its repercussions. Roth has spent over two decades hosting groups in the center, as well as arranging for Holocaust survivors to tell their stories. He also does extensive traveling, speaking to groups around the country.

Roth introduced the Adopt A Survivor Program bringing together children in the greater New York Region with Holocaust survivors, where they interview and interact with each other. The objective of this program is to transfer the life experiences of a Holocaust survivor to an “adopter” by taking a joint journey through the life of the survivor. By this personal journey the adopter becomes one with the survivor, absorbing his or her life, spirit and soul who will then be able to represent the survivor and tell his or her story.

Veterans Day, which is celebrated on Nov. 11, was marked the same evening by honoring one of Temple Judea’s heroes, Joe Kagan.

Kagan, who died in May of this year, was 94 years old. He fought valiantly as an Army captain during World War II and earned a Silver Star medal for saving the lives of many of his men and capturing German enemy soldiers, all while under heavy enemy fire. His daughter, Nancy Kagan Lisnow was present at the services honoring her father’s memory.

One of the many highlights of the evening was an announcement by Lauren Resnikoff, Director of Education at Temple Judea, that Kagan was one of several seniors who had worked one on one with young students in a special program called “Better Together.”

This program teams up Temple Judea students with seniors who through discussions and Q&A can develop a rich dialogue for each.

For more information about Temple Judea, call (516) 621-8049 or visit their website temple-judea.com.

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