The Yom HaShoah commemoration and candle lighting took place Wednesday, April 11 at Young Israel of Long Beach. The program opened with the recitation of tehillim by Rabbi Yakkov Weisenberg, Rabbi Yehudi Chinskey and Dr. Hillel Broder.
In his introduction, Rabbi Chaim Wakslak said it is unacceptable to remain silent in relation to the horrific events of the Holocaust. He advocated that it is incumbent for today’s generation to speak out forcefully about those unfathomable years during which the goal was to annihilate the Jewish people.
Esther Langer then introduced Mordechai Miller, a holocaust survivor from Poland. He described how he managed to survive during the war years. Chazzan Lemmer then sang “The Shtetel Brent”.
Rabbi Wakslak presented the history of survival Cantor Duvid Werdyger z”l who managed to escape from the Malach HaMaves in response to his rendition of Kel Moleh Rachamin, ultimately coming to the United States and establishing himself as a great cantor and recording artisrt. Chazzan Lemmer then sang a medley of Chassidic niggunim made popular by Cantor Wedyger.
Candles in memory of the six million kedoshim were lit by Dora Heller, Chana Hoffman, Elisheva Reinheimer, Mordechai Miller, and Rabbi Jerry Kleinman on behalf of first generation survivors and Kalman Speis on behalf of the children that perished. The evening was concluded by the recitation of the Kel Maleh Rachamim and the singing of Ani Mamin.