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The premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and announcements in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Jun 01, 2017

Remembering the Holocaust

By Gena Ansell-Lande


The Center for Holocaust, Human Rights, & Genocide Education (Chhange), located on the campus of Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, marked Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 21 with a somber morning program filled with reflection – and also hope. The internationally recognized date, which this year was April 24, marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. In Hebrew, the day is known as Yom Hashoah, which translates to “Day of the Catastrophe.”  The Shoah has left a permanent scar on people of all faiths.

The morning program, called “The Children of the Holocaust,” featured keynote speaker Rabbi Joseph Polak, who received the National Jewish Book Award for his memoir, After the Holocaust the Bells Still Ring. As a child survivor of a concentration camp, Rabbi Polak has written about the consequences of remembering and “not remembering.” Currently, he is the Chief Justice of the Rabbinical Court of Massachusetts. His reading and testimony brought tears to the eyes of many in attendance. Attendees sat riveted in their chairs, listening to him recall the atrocities he survived. Next was the Ceremony of Remembrance, including a poetry reading, and later, a beautiful ceremony with escorts from the Naval Weapons Station Earle leading survivors and their family members to light a candle, and finally a musical presentation by the Marlboro High School Choir.

“The Jewish Federation is grateful to Chhange for helping make our local community, and the world, more informed, more vigilant, and more compassionate in combatting anti-Semitism and all bias and hate,” said Susan Antman, executive vice president.  “This event brought people of all ages and faiths face-to-face with those who survived the Holocaust and today bear witness, so we never again forget our responsibility to one another as human beings.”

The Jewish Federation, in the heart of New Jersey, is a partner of Chhange and sponsored this event. The mission of Chhange includes educating about the Holocaust, human rights, and genocide, promoting the elimination of all forms of prejudice, and developing creative programs regarding these crucial issues. They provide 50 to 75 programs each year to over 25,000 students, educators, and community members from varied racial and ethnic groups within Monmouth County and throughout New Jersey. More than 150 volunteers assist the organization in their activities each year. By educating, inspiring, and empowering individuals to stand up to injustice, they are bringing hope and true “change” to the lives of many. For more information on this important organization, please visit their website at