Ludwig Meidner, In Memory of our Destroyed Synagogues in Germany, 10-11-38 1939, Yad Vashem art collection

This year marks the 82nd anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom against the Jews of Germany and Austria. Why was this terrible event so significant?

On November 4, the Marion and Aaron Gural JCC invited Holocaust educator and Yad Vashem guide Liz Elsby to be the guest lecturer at an exclusive Gural JCC Zoom event, “Remembering Kristallnacht.” Ms. Elsby, speaking from her home in Jerusalem, explored the history of Kristallnacht and its aftermath, as well as the human story sensitively told through Jewish art, poetry, and photographs.

Through a moving and compelling PowerPoint presentation featuring photographs and artwork created by artists living through the nightmare, Ms. Elzby spoke eloquently, building the painful story of the events leading up to that terrible night and day in November 1938. The presentation was followed by a question-and-answer period.

This marks the second occasion when Ms. Elsby graciously spoke to community members on Zoom through a Gural JCC event. Earlier this year her lecture “Art in the Shoah” drew great attention. In December, JCC plans to host Sheryl Ochayon, program director, Echoes & Reflection at Yad Vashem, as she speaks about the remarkable “Fierce Females of the Holocaust.”

The Marion and Aaron Gural JCC has long been at the forefront of Holocaust-related programming, perhaps best known for its wonderful weekly Thursday gathering of Holocaust survivors, a beautiful program in effect for 18 years and, amazingly, still going on during the pandemic, now on Zoom. Holocaust survivors and their families have been turning to the Gural JCC for services and support for over two and a half decades. The project-driven Second Generation group meets monthly and they have recently begun printing and circulating survivor biographies in the SHEMA (Studies in Holocaust Education – Memories and Awareness) initiative.

Lectures, webinars, classes, films, and groups on a myriad of interests are all part of the vital programming the JCC offers to our community and beyond, which smoothly transitioned to Zoom events during COVID. The JCC has also partnered with numerous JCCs across the United States as well as other institutions, making available to our community members an exciting and broad scope of additional virtual programming.

To view a calendar of JCC programs, visit GuralJCC.org and click on Virtual Calendar. For more information about JCC cultural arts programs, contact Rachayle Deutsch at 516-569-6733, ext. 222, or rachayle.deutsch@guraljcc.org.

The Marion and Aaron Gural JCC is a UJA-Federation New York proud nonprofit partner.

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