Beth Am Temple will hold a special service for the dedication of its Holocaust Memorial on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Thursday, May 2 at 7:30 pm. Holocaust Remembrance Day is also known as Yom HaShoah.
During the service, Rabbi Daniel Pernick will deliver a spoken narrative and the Yorktown Heights Jewish Center choir will perform several Holocaust and eastern European songs in Yiddish. The combined spoken and musical narrative about the history of the temple’s second Holocaust Torah and its journey to Beth Am Temple will explain how Rabbi Pernick located the menorah-styled memorial, which had been in storage for many years in the Boston suburbs.
Rabbi Pernick’s narrative will be based on a program originally led by his father-in-law in the 1980s. His program will include the Holocaust Torah from Frydek-Mistek in Czechoslovakia, which was written around 1800, and the memorial display. Beth Am Temple dedicated the small parchment scroll when it was received it on loan in 2018. Most of the hour-long service will be conducted in the Sanctuary. A candle lighting in memory of the six million Jews slain during the Holocaust will conclude the service.
The tree trunk-colored memorial has six branches symbolizing the six million lives lost and two large, cloud-shaped plaques etched with dozens of names of eastern European villages that Jews were forced to leave and the names of the concentration camps where they were transported. Attached to the wall-mounted memorial will be a display case for the Holocaust Torah.
The community is invited to attend the May 2 program and also a Holocaust Remembrance service led by Religious School students on Wednesday, May 1 at 7:15 pm.
Both of the Torahs at Beth Am Temple came from Czechoslovakia and both are on loan through the Memorial Scrolls Trust in London. The Frydek-Mistek Torah was one of 1,563 scrolls and other religious items that the Nazis removed from synagogues to display in a museum. The Trust lends restored scrolls to synagogues around the world.
Beth Am Temple is a Reform temple, which embraces tradition and draws its membership from throughout Rockland County and northern Bergen County, NJ. It is located at 60 East Madison Avenue in Pearl River, NY. Its website is www.bethamtemple.org.