Holocaust Remembrance Day honors victims 

In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Jewish groups around the Bay Area will be remembering the millions killed in Nazi-held Europe during World War II today.

Although events are often held at synagogues and sponsored by Jewish groups, Foster City resident Judy Lichtman — daughter of Holocaust survivors — said the ultimate goal is to honor the lives that were lost and learn from those who survived the atrocities. With genocidal acts in the Darfur region of Sudan, continued ethnic violence in the Middle East and the rise of Holocaust denial, Lichtman said it’s as important as ever to keep the memory alive.

"Our hope is that the Holocaust will not be forgotten, and to educate and remind each generation of what happened," Lichtman said. "There’s always the idea that if you’re educated on the past, you won’t repeat it."

The Hebrew name of the holiday, "Yom Hashoah," comes from "Yom," the prefix for holidays and "Shoah," the Hebrew word for the Holocaust, which translates to "catastrophic upheaval."

In San Francisco, the Congregation Emanu-El at 2 Lake St. — which was vandalized the day before Passover with a painted blue 10-inch swastika — hosted the Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco’s Yom Hashoah event on Sunday. The event included a short film celebrating the lives of Holocaust victims, a traditional remembrance service and a candlelight vigil.

The North Peninsula Community-wide Service of Remembrance will be held Monday night at 6:30 at Temple Beth Jacob, 1550 Alameda de las Pulgas, Redwood City. The event will start with a reading of the names of Holocaust victims with family on the Peninsula.

Gloria Lynn, a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, will talk about her experiences. Survivors, their families and clergy from Redwood City, Foster City, Burlingame and San Mateo will be present.

"We always try to have a survivor as our speaker," Lichtman said. "Firsthand accounts are always the most powerful."

For more information on the events, visit www.jcrc.org.


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