Annual Memorial Ceremony for the Six Million Jewish Martyrs
Our 2014 Memorial Ceremony will take place on April 27, 2014 Since 1964 the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia has sponsored the Yizkor ceremony in memory of the Six Million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, held annually at the Monument to the Six Million Jewish Martyrs at 16th Street and the Parkway. Philadelphia was one of the first American cities to conduct a public ceremony for this purpose and to erect a monument to honor those who perished in the Shoah. Each year approximately 1000 members of the community memorialize those who died in the Holocaust. In light of the absence of graves for surviving family members to visit to honor their loved ones, the monument takes on a special significance. As the years go by, the survivor community is decreasing. Therefore, there is an increased responsibility on the rest of the Jewish community to honor and recall those who perished at the hands of the Nazis.
One of the additional purposes of the annual Yizkor ceremony is to educate younger generations of the significance of this tragedy and the important lessons that can be drawn from this experience. Ever increasing emphasis is placed on involving Jewish youth in this event, including the pre-Yizkor Dorothy Freedman Memorial Conversation with a Survivor program, when middle and high school students have an opportunity to participate in informal conversations with Holocaust survivors.
This year's ceremony will include a performance by the Philadelphia Boys and Philadelphia Girls Choirs and guest speaker James E. Young.
This year, the guest speaker will be James E. Young, Professor of English and Judaic Studies, and Chair, Judaic Studies Department, University of Massachusetts, Amherst Dr. Young was Dorot Professor of English and Hebrew/Judaic Studies at New York University from 1980 to 1984 and is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, ACLS Fellowship, and a Yad Hanadiv Fellowship at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He published Writing and Rewriting the Holocaust in 1988 and his book The Texture of Memory (1993) won the National Jewish Book Award in 1994. He is presently at work on two new books, After-image: The Uncanny Arts of Holocaust Memory and A Vicarious Past: My Received History of the Holocaust.