Temple Kol Emeth commemorated Yom HaShoah – the solemn observance of Holocaust Survivor Day – with a special Shabbat services on Friday, April 14, and participation in the Parade of Scrolls in Savannah on Sunday, April 16.
The events preceded the international day of observance from the evening of Monday, April 17, to the evening of Tuesday, April 18, that is dedicated to services, ceremonies, educational programs, testimonials from survivors and the lighting of yahrzeit (memorial) candles.
At the Shabbat services on April 14, congregants Nikki Goodstein and her mother, Vera Javor, a Holocaust survivor, spoke to the congregation. Goodstein announced the development of The Vera Javor Holocaust Education Fund, which was established to fund education both within the TKE community and the larger Cobb County community to ensure ongoing education and awareness of the Holocaust.
The Parade of Scrolls, hosted by Congregation Mickve Israel in Savannah, was a somber, poignant event marked with music and an address by Trustee of the Memorial Scrolls Trust, Lois Roman. The Memorial Scrolls were of Czechoslovakian origin and were rescued and restored after being warehoused in an abandoned synagogue where they suffered extensive damage. TKE representatives Nikki and Roger Goodstein, Vera Javor, and Tim and Jodi Roberts brought TKE’s Torah, originally from Lostice, Czechoslovakia, to the event.
“As fewer survivors remain, the congregation at Temple Kol Emeth feels it is more important than ever to remind the next generations about the atrocities of the Holocaust so that it may never happen again,” said Temple Kol Emeth President Jodi Roberts. “In a time in history when we recognize the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, Yom HaShoah calls upon all of us – Jews and non-Jews – to remember the six million Jewish victims and their efforts to resist the Nazi forces. Holocaust Survivor Day reminds us to fight antisemitism and other prejudices in order to be the upstanders the world needs.”