This year we have the unique confluence of Taanis Esther occurring before Parashas Zachor. Grasping the symbolism of this year’s calendar–where we recite Avinu Malkeinu at Minchah only a day before we are given the directive to “Never forget what Amalek has done to you!”–Dr. Joseph Geliebter, founder of the acclaimed Yizkereim annual program, has seized the occasion and developed a special Minchah-time program for shuls across the country.

Driven by the unsettling reality of the diminishing number of survivors, he wants to ensure that their history and lesson of survival are not forgotten. The “Zachor . . . Lo Tishkach!” program to take place at Minchah on Taanis Esther will honor the congregation’s Holocaust survivors with the recitation of the four Avinu Malkeinu’s from “Asei l’maan harugim al shem kadshecha” to “Nekom l’eineinu nikmas dam avadecha ha’shafuch.” Upon concluding Avinu Malkeinu, six Yizkor candles in memory of the six million Kedoshim will be lit by offspring of survivors, to be followed by Kaddish. Background profiles of shul survivors will be distributed and shared with the kehillah.

In conjunction with this special Minchah program, shuls will be showing Strike on Heaven–the newest 32-minute Yizkereim documentary, produced jointly by Torah Umesorah’s Zechor Yemos Olam program and the Rabbi Leib Geliebter Memorial Foundation. This compelling and poignant documentary, written and narrated by Rabbi Shmuel Yaakov Klein, director of Zechor Yemos Olam, was recently shown in 350 schools on Asarah B’Teves. Strike on Heaven exposes the Third Reich’s war on Yiddishkeit and powerfully showcases the Jewish people’s unwavering commitment to Torah. The film ends on an uplifting note with the rebuilding of Yiddishkeit around the world and in Eretz Yisrael.

As Dr. Geliebter so succinctly averred, “This year we are zocheh to two Adars and the double layers of blessings of Marbim b’Simcha that accompanies them. May we merit to celebrate this Purim together with the survivors in our midst, infusing it with an elevated element of simcha, just as we beseech Hashem in Tehillim (90:15), “Samcheinu kiymos inisanu shnos ra’inu ra’ah”–“[Hashem] bless us with simcha whose intensity matches the intensity of our suffering in the difficult years.”

For program details, visit or call 718-338-0679. v


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