Temple Sinai in Sharon will host a community service for Yom HaShoah — Holocaust Remembrance Day — on May 1.
The observance is sponsored by nine area synagogues and organizations representing Sharon, Canton, Stoughton, Easton, and Brockton. All are welcome to attend this free event.
“The community comes together across denominations and across synagogues,” said Rabbi Joseph Meszler of Temple Sinai. “People come from all over because the Holocaust is a lesson for humanity, not just a Jewish lesson.”
The 90-minute service begins at 7 p.m. at the temple, 25 Canton St. Each year, about 300 people attend the program, Rabbi Meszler said.
There will be music throughout. Shir Rhythm, an a cappella group from Temple Israel in Sharon, will perform songs of remembrance and affirmation of life. There also will be music from “Schindler’s List,” a 1993 Steven Spielberg film about the Holocaust that won seven Academy Awards, including best picture and best original score (John Williams).
Six candles will be lit for the 6 million victims of the Holocaust, and visitors will be invited to light candles as well.
High school students from each synagogue will read firsthand accounts of the Holocaust before each of the six candles is lit.
“It’s almost kind of eerie. It’s full of remembrance,” said Arianna Delaney, a Mansfield High School student who will perform one of the readings. “It’s a very comfortable place to be, too, in the sense that everyone is going through the same thing.”
Irene Stern Frielich and Eileen Brandes Garber, whose parents survived the Holocaust, will speak about their families’ experiences.
Garber shares her father’s story to honor his memory. She also said it is a way of making sure history doesn’t repeat itself. “I think it’s very important for future generations to learn what happened,” Garber said. “We are in very dangerous times now.”
The service doesn’t really change year to year, but Rabbi Meszler said there is “something powerful about keeping it the same.
“It’s a more solemn night. I feel commanded to be there. I mean that in a religious sense, to bear witness.”
The night ends with a memorial prayer to honor the dead. Attendees are invited to sing both the Israeli national anthem and “America the Beautiful” before departing.
Ysabelle Kempe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.