May 1, 2021
The Yom HaShoah Memorial Service occurred virtually this year on April 7 and was led by hosting site Temple Beth-El, and included prayers and contributions from several of San Antonio’s Rabbis. The theme for this year’s ceremony was Isolation, as we have all endured over a year of isolation due to the pandemic.
Second-generation survivors Liz Reichman, Winslow Stewart, Sharon Greenwald, Dr. Steve Rosenblatt, and Ginny Wind shared memories and stories of their parents’ struggles with isolation due to Nazi rule in Germany. Many also noted that their parents’ struggle with isolation took many forms including feelings of isolation after surviving the Holocaust as they created homes, pursued education and careers, and found love, marriage, and family. Some wanted to shield their partners and family from their experiences, and others lived in environments that didn’t encourage survivor stories.
We Remember the Survivors We Have Lost was read by second-generation survivors. Mark Ingram read the name of the Living Survivors of San Antonio. The Mourners Kaddish was recited by Rabbi Ben Richards.
Cantor Julie Berlin performed Shtiler, Shtiler, one of the best-loved songs of the Vilna ghetto, composed by eleven-year-old Alexander Volkoviski with lyrics by Shmerke Kaczerginski. The lullaby was first performed n April 1943, at one of the last Jewish Council-organized concerts before the ghetto’s liquidation.
Thank You to the HMMSA Yom HaShoah Planning Committee for organizing this year’s memorial service and to all the participants for their contributions. We hope to be able to gather together for next year’s Yom HaShoah.