Young Israel of Kendall recently launched 70 Days for 70 Years, a worldwide Holocaust memorial program coordinated in the United States — in Florida, Arizona, Georgia, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington — by Jewish Blueprints.
As participants entered, they received a book of essays produced specifically for this program and distributed globally, as well as a memorial tribute card with the name of an individual Holocaust victim with age, birthplace and death location. The daily essays also are available online at www.70for70.com.
The names on the cards are from the Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names at Yad Vashem in Israel. Throughout the 70-day program, participants will read an essay of selected Jewish content each day in memory of the victim whose name is on the card they received.
Rabbi Hershel Becker invited adult sons and daughters of survivors to join him and survivor Howard Kleinberg at the podium to light memorial candles honoring victims of the Holocaust.
“We are commemorating the tragic loss of 6 million souls — men, women and children, ” Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, president of 70 Days for 70 Years, said in a video shown at the beginning of the Sunday night program. “The numbers are unimaginable. The danger is that all those victims could become mere statistics.”
The worldwide project aims “to ensure that as many of those victims as possible — each of them who had a story, a family, a life — are remembered,” said Rabbi Andrew Shaw, director of 70 Days for 70 Years.
The Miami launch featured keynote speaker, local survivor Howard Kleinberg, who with his wife, Nancy, were featured on Live With Regis and Kelly. Their love story began in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Sharing his joy at his upcoming 65th wedding anniversary, he spoke of how Nancy, as a young woman, saved his life in a concentration camp. Unexpectedly, they reunited in Canada years after the liberation of the camps. “In caring for others, we indicate our inherent connection to each other and to God,” Rabbi Becker said.
The themes of Jewish thought and living form the basis of this program — remembering the past to build the future. Individual participation is $18 and includes an essay book, memorial card and entrance to 70 Days programming. Sponsorships in memory/honor of loved ones are available.
For more information, call 305-232- 6833 or register online at www.jewishblueprints.org.