The Or Hadash Holocaust Memorial was dedicated on October 14th, 2018. It was a gift from the Lindy Family, and was sponsored directly by Alan and Carolyn Lindy. The gift included money for the memorial, and for ongoing Holocaust Education. Contributors can still make donations for Holocaust Education.
The Or Hadash Holocaust Memorial Committee worked for two years, defining the message, the location, selecting the artist and the proposal, implementing the memorial, and holding a dedication ceremony.
The committee’s work continues, managing the Holocaust Education Fund.
The location determined what kind of memorial we would have. The committee’s analysis led to a recommendation for the site near the patio and that meant an expectation of a three dimensional representations, i.e., a statue. The committee presented a recommendation to the board, and it was approved. The presentation is here.
The committee resolved that theme, and included this is a link to the statement included in a solicitation letter sent to the local artist community.
The committee reviewed the submissions received, and made a recommendation to the board. The recommendation was for a work to be commissioned by Rob Sigafoos. This is a link to the presentation given to the board. The board approved the recommendation.
Construction began in the spring and summer of 2018. To the committee’s relief, the artist, Rob Sigafoos, managed all aspects of the construction and the permitting process. The committee assisted the implementation as needed. This is a link to a 15 minute video of that effort.
The committee changed its direction to the dedication of the memorial. The original plan was to do this during the Days of Awe, but the committee realized that was too much to take in. The memorial dedication was set for October 14th, 2018.
The ceremony included a presentation by Lillian Gewirtzman, herself a holocaust survivor. Mrs. Gewirtzman had developed a presentation about the Displaced Person Camps for the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County. The center graciously allowed us to reprint their exhibit materials. Mrs. Gewirtzman lived in a DP camp before immigrating to the United States. Mrs. Gewirtzman is the mother of Steven Gewirtzman, and member of the Or Hadash congregation. Amy Gewirtzman is Lillian’s daughter-in-law, and managed the relationship with the Museum, and the details for Lillian Gewirtzman’s participation.
Alan and Carolyn Lindy dedicated the memorial. The text of their presentation is here.
The dedication was reported in local papers, including the Jewish Exponent.
As part of the design process, Rob Sigafoos created a maquette, a sculptor's small preliminary model or sketch. Alan requested and Rob agreed that we could use the maquette as part of our permanent exhibit for the memorial, in the solarium. We created a sign for the maquette, using Rob’s own words. A link to the sign is here.
Pictured here, Alan and Carolyn Lindy, Rob Sigafoos, Rabbi Joshua Waxman, Lillian Gewirtzman, current and past Congregation Presidents Phil Rosenberg and Jay Cohen, harpist Cheryl Kripke Cohen, and the committee.
From left to right: Phil Rosenberg, Carolyn Savitzky, Vivien Kane, Warren Young, Ami Kardos, Doug Smithman, Rob Sigafoos, Carolyn Lindy, Alan Lindy, Robert Goldberg-Alberts, Rabbi Joshua Waxman, Cheryl Kripke Cohen, Lillian Gewirtzman, Jay Cohen, Amy Gewritzman, Dan Schwarz, Lucy Raizman, and Michael Oswald.
HOLOCAUST COMMITTEE PROJECTS ONGOING
Every year, Or Hadash presents a Kristallnacht/Pogramnacht program to commemorate the holocaust. It is held on a Sunday, mid-morning, open to all and includes the older school students. In 2022, a very important and moving program entitled "Voices from the Pittsburgh Massacre: A Modern Progrom" was presented by OH Education Director Rabbi Erin Hirsh. Rabbi Erin shared memories, stories, and first-person accounts of the massacre at her home congregation: the Dor Hadash/New Light/Tree of Life synagogues in Pittsburgh. The video from the program is now on our YouTube channel (https://youtu.be/JxILqgOmduo). Also now available here are transcripts of the first person accounts and the slides that correspond to the transcripts.
Also available now, there is a Holocaust Education Library, on our second floor just off of the Staircase Art Gallery.