March 19, 2014
From Elie Wiesel, Night (New York: Bantam, 1982), p. 32. This quote also appears in the Permanent Exhibition of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:
Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
INTERFAITH HOLOCAUST COMMEMORATION EVENT ALSO HONORS LESSONS OF SLAVERY
The Staten Island Community Center, The First Central Family Life Center, and the Stop Anti-Semitism Foundation will commemorate the lessons of the Holocaust and Slavery
What: The lessons of the Holocaust and Slavery
When: April 28, 2014 at 10am
Where: at 135 Canal Street, Staten Island, New York 10304, site of the Golden Years Adult Day Care Center.
On Monday April 28, 2014, The Staten Island Community Center, in collaboration with The First Central Family Life Center, and the Stop Anti-Semitism Foundation, will host an event designed to commemorate the Holocaust, as well as remember the atrocities of American Slavery, and other past and present victims of genocide and persecution.
In 1979, Congress established, April 27-May 4 as the Days of Remembrance for the nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust. The Congressional purpose was for civic commemorations and special educational programs that help citizens remember and draw lessons from the Holocaust.
As Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel writes: “We are duty-bound to denounce anti-Semitism, racism, and religious or ethnic hatred.” “Never Forget.” What does it mean? In Nazi-occupied Europe, over six million Jews were humiliated, isolated, tormented, tortured, and murdered. The mentally-ill, Roma and Sinti (gypsies), Afro-Germans and Russian Prisoners of War were also victims. During the era of slavery, 12 million Africans were forced from their homes, uprooted from their villages, separated from their families and kept in bondage for generations. The Jim Crow era institutionalized racism in the United States. During the civil rights era, Jews and African-Americans often worked side-by-side to fight for justice. Both the Holocaust and slavery cast dark shadows that we must remember and memorialize and we must educate.
The Staten Island commemoration will start at 10:00 AM, at 135 Canal Street, Staten Island, New York 10304, site of the Golden Years Adult Day Care Center.
The program, which is open to the public, will include; the honoring of survivors from the Holocaust, a presentation from a diverse and distinguished panel, and the viewing of two videos comparing the similarities between the Nazi Era and the Holocaust and American Slavery and the Jim Crow era. Presenters and panelists include: Pastor Carolina of the Central Family Life Center, Bill Taitt, Prof. Lori Weintrob and Rita Reynolds, History Department, Wagner College. There will also be an open discussion as well as a question and answer period.
Staten Island Community Center www.siccnyc.org/
Central Family Life Center www.centralfamilylifecenter.org/
Stop Anti-Semitism Foundation www.stopantisemitism.org/
General Sponsor: Golden Years Adult Day Care Center
Sponsor: Council of Jewish Emigre Community Organizations (COJECO)