Holocaust Proclamation April 13th

Holocaust Proclamation April 13th

The six candle memorial Candlelighting, which commemorated the six million Jews who perished, was held at the Summerville Dorchester Museum Garden. The candles were lit by representatives of the Summerville Community Resource Center (Louis Smith), the Summerville North Area Jewish Community (Patrick Labbe), several local descendants of Holocaust victims (Benjamin Tufendrajch pictured), the Summerville Ministerial Association (Dr. Edward Johnson), Congregation Dor Tikvah Rabbi (Michael Davies), and the Charleston Jewish Federation (Rebecca Leibowitz Engel) . Almost 70 people attended the event which included a silent candlelight walk from the Town Hall to the Summerville Museum.

Holocaust Remembrance activities continue in Summerville with the Summerville CommUNITY Artists Heritage Series program on Monday April 24 at 6:30 pm at Coastal Coffee Roasters at 108 E. 3rd N St. The program will feature Northwood Academy students performing excerpts from the Diary of Anne Frank, a rendition of music from Schindler’s List, interpretive dance with vocals, Visual Art from the winners of the REMEMBRANCE competition, poetry from the Holocaust, poetry by Patrick Labbe, and more. Additional thoughts and stories about the Holocaust will be welcome from the audience.

On April 13th, the Holocaust Remembrance Proclamation was read and adopted in the town council meeting of the Summerville Town Council,

The council chambers were filled for the reading. The invocation was given by Rabbi Michael Davies of Dor Tikvah Congregation, the first time an invocation was given by a Rabbi to open a Summerville Town Council meeting.

Rebbecca Engel of the Charleston Jewish Federation read the Proclamation after which Patrick Labbe, representing the Summerville/North Area Jewish Community and Lewis Smith, representing the Summerville Community Resource Center read statements about the Holocaust and Unity.

Following the reading of the proclamation, there was a silent candlelight walk to the Summerville Dorchester Museum and a candlelighting ceremony in memory of the 11 million victims of the Holocaust. Six candles were lit in the garden of the Museum outside the Saul Alexander Garden house.

There were over 70 people participating in the march and candle lighting. We sincerely thank the Jewish Federation, the Community Resource Center, the Town Council and Mayor, the Summerville Dorchester Museum, the Summerville/North Area Jewish Community and congregation Dor Tikvah for their participation.


Going forward, this day, April 13th, will be known as Yom HaShoah Holocaust Remembrance Day in Summerville. We remember with sadness the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust and the five million more who perished as victims of the final solution. We reflect on our moral responsibilities as individuals and as communities to ensure we ‘Never Forget’ and to work to promote human dignity by confronting hate and oppression wherever it occurs.

It is appropriate that we are marking it this week, the week of Passover. Passover is a story of struggle and ultimately freedom. During Passover, Jewish families gather with friends and family for Seder dinner and we thank G-d for bringing us out of slavery, granting us our freedom, and for turning our sorrow into joy. L’Shana Ha’ba-a B’yerushalayim – Next Year in Jerusalem – is the phrase that ends our Seder dinners. It is a phrase of hope and of possibility and for many, the potential for change – that things don’t have to be the way they are. This phrase, and Passover as a whole, gives us a sense of hope for the future – what we can be as individuals and as communities, governments, and societies. We can proclaim “Never Again” and work to make that a reality. Louis and I stand here today as representatives of two communities in Summerville that are committed to standing together in unity.


Our two communities have stood together time and time again throughout history, fighting intolerance and marching together for civil rights. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel marched arm-in-arm with Dr. King in his 1965 March on Selma and as they stood together, so do we today. The black community and the Jewish community have experienced oppression, hatred, and intolerance throughout our histories, and while we cannot intimately know each other’s story, we can support one another in solidarity, hold each other up, lift our voices together and proclaim “Never Again”.

On April 14th the Charleston Jewish Federation issued the following statement:

Last night Rebecca Leibowitz Engel of Charleston Jewish Federation read a proclamation promoting the lessons we must learn from the Holocaust at the Town of Summerville, SC Town Hall Meeting. Rabbi Davies of Congregation Dor Tikvah provided the opening invocation – the first time a rabbi has done this in Summerville. We were proud to bring our REMEMBER Program to Summerville and the Summerville/North Area Jewish Community.

Charleston Jewish Federation’s REMEMBER Program issues a record number of SEVEN proclamations in city council meetings across the greater Charleston area in the past two months.

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