PROVIDENCE – On the evening of April 27, more than 200 people gathered at the Holocaust Memorial for Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. This was the first time this day was commemorated at the memorial. The community program began with over 30 Brown/RISD Hillel students lining the path to the memorial, while Rabbi Sarah Mack of Temple Beth-El in Providence led survivors and second-generation survivors in placing a candle on the Life Stone, the large rock at the center of the memorial.
Rabbis from all across Rhode Island led traditional prayers, and members of the interfaith community recited prayers for peace. Musical compositions were played to honor those we have lost and those who survived. A piece by a Ukrainian composer was played as a tribute to the Ukrainian people. The most moving part of the program was the words spoken by five local Holocaust survivors: Andrew Algava, Alice Eichenbaum, Ruth Oppenheim, Elizabeth Sandy and Ada Winsten. Each shared their hopes for the future. Their words were all different but one of the messages each conveyed was the necessity of kindness today’s world.
As Ada Winsten says to every class and group she speaks to: “Go do something kind for someone this week.” We should all listen to and abide by those wise words.
Submitted by Wendy Joering, executive director, Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center