They took the ultimate journey from darkness to light.
This year, for the first time, the third night of the official menorah-lighting ceremony at the Western Wall in Jerusalem will be dedicated to Holocaust survivors worldwide.
“International Holocaust Survivors Night” events tonight will take also place in New York and Berlin.
At the Kotel, in Jerusalem, Chief Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Sites, will recite the Chanukah prayers and light candles with Holocaust survivors and their families, as well as representatives from social services agencies and other organizations that assist survivors.
The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which is sponsoring the event, recognizes Holocaust survivors with additional candlelighting ceremonies in Berlin, hosted by the president of the Bundestag (German parliament), and here in the Upper East Side (Contact the Claims Conference here more info about the event.)
These events, organizers said, serve as global reminders of those who survived the atrocities of the Holocaust and live their lives with the weight of those memories. Many survivors suffer economic hardship and have healthcare needs that require special resources as a direct result of their Nazi persecution. As we witness the passing of Holocaust survivors each day, there’s an urgency to honor them, listen to their experiences, recognize their suffering and raise awareness about their current daily needs.
At Park Avenue Synagogue, the menorah will be lit and the holiday shared with family, friends and schoolchildren to ensure the next generation carries on the mission to remember. Survivors will share their Shoah experiences about what it was like to be in a concentration camp, a ghetto or in hiding during the war, especially during the holidays.