SCOTCH PLAINS — Congregation Beth Israel (CBI) will commemorate the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht on Friday evening, November 10, at 7:30 p.m. This night of remembrance will feature presentations by Mark Lindenberg and Sylvia Cohen, who are children of Holocaust survivors. The program will take place during CBI’s Friday night Shabbat services, and is free and open to the community. An Oneg Shabbat dessert reception will follow.
“In light of Hamas’ terrorist attack in Israel and a rise in anti-Semitism, it is more important than ever to learn about the Holocaust and hear stories of survivors,” said Rita Geller, who co-chairs the synagogue’s Second/ Third Generation Holocaust Survivors Group, sponsor of the program.
Kristallnacht, which translates as “crystal night” in German, also is called the “Night of Broken Glass.” Kristallnacht refers to the violent attacks that the Nazis waged against Jews on November 9 and 10, 1938, throughout Germany, Austria, and parts of occupied Czechoslovakia. The name Kristallnacht comes from the broken glass that littered the streets after Jewish homes, schools, synagogues and stores were damaged and destroyed. With Jews beaten, killed and sent to concentration camps, Kristallnacht is often seen as the beginning of the Holocaust.
Mark Lindenberg will speak about his mother, Rosa Tyger Lindenberg, who was born in Germany in 1924 and survived the Holocaust as a teenager through the help of several non-Jews. On Kristallnacht, Rosa’s mother hid her from the Nazis in a feather mattress. Rosa was soon smuggled to Belgium and later participated in the Kindertransport, an organized rescue effort that brought 10,000 children from Nazi-controlled territory to safety in England. Rosa’s parents were killed in the Holocaust, but Rosa survived by living with cousins in London and eventually immigrated with her new husband to America.
Sylvia Cohen of Scotch Plains was born in a Displaced Persons Camp in Germany. She will tell the story about how her mother, Mania Warshaw, survived the Holocaust, and will recount her mother’s journey from growing up in a town near Krakow, Poland, to raising her family on a chicken farm in Freehold, N.J.
Both speakers are members of the Second/Third Generation Holocaust Survivors Group. This support group, which was created at CBI, also includes participants from other area synagogues and the community. It plans events, such as the Kristallnacht commemoration, to educate the public about the Holocaust and to honor and remember those who suffered and perished.
The Kristallnacht commemoration will be held at Congregation Beth Israel, located at 18 Shalom Way, Scotch Plains, at the corner of MartineAvenue.
For additional information about CBI’s Kristallnacht commemoration, contact Co-Chairs Faye Bodenstein (firstname.lastname@example.org), Claire Bornstein (email@example.com) or Rita Geller (firstname.lastname@example.org), or call the synagogue office at (908) 889-1830.