POUGHKEEPSIE — On Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 1:00pm, the Jewish Federation of Dutchess County and Vassar College will co-sponsor the federation’s annual Holocaust Commemoration. The event will be held at the Aula in Ely Hall at Vassar College, 124 Raymond Avenue, Poughkeepsie. It is free and open to the public.
The keynote speaker will be Dr. Suzanne Vromen, author of Hidden Children of the Holocaust: Belgian Nuns and Their Daring Rescue of Young Jews From the Nazis. Vromen’s book, due out in May, will be published by Oxford University Press. Vromen is a Dutchess County resident and a professor at Bard College. She has interviewed not only those who were hidden as children, but also the Christian women who rescued these children, along with the nuns who gave them shelter. Most riveting are the stories told by the children themselves, abruptly separated from frantic parents, brought to the convents under the cover of darkness into a strange new life where they were expected to readjust quickly. Many converted to Catholicism. This book is also a tribute to the heroic people who risked their own lives to save innocent young children.
The Day of Remembrance, also called Yom Hashoah, will include a candle lighting ceremony in memory of the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust. Cantor Rena Shapiro will direct the Shalom Singers and Friends, a community-wide choral group. They will sing “Blessed Is The Match” and “Eili, Eili,” arranged by Cantor Shapiro and written by Hannah Senesh. Vassar College students will also offer readings.
All are welcome. For more information, please contact Jewish Federation of Dutchess County at: (845) 471-9811.