In celebration of the eighth and final day of Passover, Chizuk Amuno also honored Holocaust survivors affiliated with the synagogue.
The program, "Remember the Victims and Honor the Survivors," was excellently and thoughtfully coordinated by Dr. Paul D. Schneider, Rabbi. This was a very beautiful and meaningful addition to the service, and a great way to acknowledge the terrorized and humiliated Holocaust survivors.
Thankfully, there are still survivors we can associate and communicate with in order to learn of the horrors of the Holocaust.
Seven Chizuk Amuno high school seniors -- Aaron Gladstone, Hallie Miller, Matt Rosen, Naomi Roswell, Josh Schwartz, Rebecca Shapiro and Solomon Swerling -- interviewed the survivors and each gave a brief synopsis on the pulpit. They discussed the terrors of the Holocaust, including the destruction of synagogues and massacre of families. They also acknowledged the non-Jews who performed acts of kindness - giving food and providing shelter - that saved many lives.
The addition to the service concluded with the wise advice that we can never forget those atrocities committed or the lives lost during the Holocaust.
We all remember stories about group showers where gas was used to kill everyone, stories of the ovens, crematoriums, etc.
This columnist knows of an entire community of 50,000 Jewish men, women and children, taken to an open pit and mercilessly "shot." The stories are endless and truly horrific.
Survivors present at the service included Herta Baitch, Rachel Bodner, Ruth Ciker, Isak Danon, Dr. Irv Donick, Mayer Feldman, Monica Finkel, Monique Goss, Adele and Israel Gruzin, Ingrid Hess, Lotta Holzman, Esther and Howard Kaidanow, Lola Lewin, Renee Gutherz Neschis, Erich Oppenheim, Frieda Pertman, Morris Rosen, Sara Rosenthal, Bluma Shapiro, Frieda Shualy, Helen Silber, Mania Smith, Lottie Steinberg, Marion Stern Strauss, Rubin Sztajar, and Bertha Schwartz.
Several veterans of the armed forces also participated in the program, including Captain Maurice "Chick" Paper, who was awarded a Bronze Star for his participation in the liberation of both Buchenwald and Dachau, and Marvin Solomon, who participated in the D-Day invasion.
Rabbi Ron Shulman said, "This last day of Pesach we have a choice to make. We can wallow in the depths of human cruelty and shake our heads in despair as we monitor world events that continually demonstrate inhumanity and sow fear. We can decide there's nothing we can do. Or, we can reject history's pattern and affirm the possibility that necessity of goodness for ourselves, for our families, and for our community."
The "Honor the Survivors, Remember the Victims" Committee included Herta and Dr. Arthur Baitch, Leslee Gold, Heller Kreshtool, Rita Plaut, Dr. Paul Schneider, Rabbi, Erika Schon, Margie Simon and Marlene Sussman.
Special acknowledgement should be given to Herta and Dr. Arthur Baitch, Dr. Steven Saltzberg, Mickey Simon, Leah Helman, Erika Schon and members of HaZamir Baltimore.
Jenny Baker, synagogue administrator, coordinated the tasty Passover Kiddush following the service.
A Holocaust Memorial Committee is now in formation to dedicate a new Holocaust memorial next spring.
Beth Tfiloh Kindergarten
Prior to Passover, Beth Tfiloh kindergarten students participated in a mock Seder at Pikesville Senior Center. Fifty-two precious students and 40 very caring seniors enjoyed this event.
Nina Wood, principal, with Marsha Kaplan, Pikesville Center Connection, coordinated this Passover celebration.
Assisting behind the scenes were Honey Lowenthal, kindergarten teacher, and Judy Finifter, director of the Pikesville Senior Center.
The mock seder was enjoyed by everyone.