BY DEBORAH MOON
With physical distancing requirements during the current pandemic, Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, will be observed virtually this year.
A short service created by the Oregon Board of Rabbis will begin at 7 pm, April 20. The service will be on Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/98102958329?pwd=TGFNUEZUOVhOQzBmY2JiaGFURVNTQT09.
Every year on Yom HaShoah, the Day of Remembrance, communities around the world uphold the memory of victims of the Holocaust through Unto Every Person There Is a Name, a public recitation of Holocaust victims’ names, ages and birthplaces.
On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education will once again sponsor this special Yom HaShoah program – though in recognition of the COVID-19 health crisis, this year the reading will be virtual. OJMCHE is creating a video for this year’s Reading of the Names, normally held at Pioneer Courthouse Square. The video will be posted on OJMCHE’s website, ojmche.org, on April 21.
The readings are from lists of names provided by Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Research Center.
“Unto Every Person There Is a Name seeks to defy indifference and historical revisionism, which denies that the Holocaust ever happened, by personalizing the individual tragedy of the dead and the survivors,” explains OJMCHE Executive Director Judy Margles. “Furthermore, keeping the memory of the victims alive fulfills one of the vital tenets of our collective experience – zachor – to remember.”
Though OJMCHE traditionally announces the winners of the annual Sala Kryszek Art & Writing Competition for middle and high school students by Yom Hashoah, the deadlines have been extended due to Covid-19 and school closures. The writing submission deadline is now May 15; the deadline for art submissions is May 30. For entry information, visit ojmche.org/educate/education/sala-kryszek-art-writing.
A similar contest (for 8th- to 12th-graders, college students and adults) has an entry deadline of April 16. The winners of that contest will be part of the virtual Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony presented by the California nonprofit David Labkovski Project, davidlabkovskiproject.org, at 5 pm, April 20. The Zoom link will be available on the website soon.
Lithuanian-Israeli artist David Labkovski (1906-1991) left a visual diary that examines and documents his recollections of World War II, the Holocaust and their aftermath in autobiographical drawings and paintings.
The virtual ceremony will feature the winners of a writing contest in which participants will ponder the meaning behind Labkovski’s art. For entry information, visit davidlabkovskiproject.org/reflect-and-respond-commemoration. The ceremony concludes with the grand opening of the nonprofit’s online exhibit “Documenting History through Art.”