By Ben Tinsley
It would appear this year that May is the month of “Yom.”
During this month, members of the North Texas Jewish community will observe Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut at different times, depending on where people live.
Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day
In Dallas, several Holocaust survivors are expected to address the audience during the Dallas Holocaust Museum’s Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 5 at Congregation Shearith Israel, 9401 Douglas Ave.
Event organizers encourage people to attend and join the Dallas-area community to reflect upon the tragedy, remember those who perished, and honor the survivors.
The presentation will reflect on the lasting effects of the Holocaust.
It’s expected to be a well-attended event. But not everyone can make it. Although Holocaust survivor Max Glauben has a regular presence in the Dallas Jewish community, he said earlier this week he wouldn’t be able to attend this event this year because he will be observing Yom HaShoah somewhere else.
“I will be marching from Auschwitz to Birkenau with several thousand youngsters,” Glauben said during a brief Monday phone call from Poland. “This will be my 11th trip.”
Glauben refers to the annual March of the Living, in which Yavneh Academy seniors and other Jewish seniors from the Dallas area participate.
In Tarrant County, Yom HaShoah was celebrated at 7 p.m. May 4 at Beth-El Congregation, 4900 Briarhaven Road in Fort Worth.
Paul Kessler, a Holocaust survivor who was 5 when the Nazis entered his native country of Slovakia, was saved and hidden from them by courageous farmers, according to the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth And Tarrant County.
Kessler, who now lives in Fort Worth, addressed the lessons of the Holocaust and encouraged congregants and their youngsters to stand against hate and prejudice. Community rabbis and cantors conducted this memorial service to honor the millions of Holocaust victims.
“The important thing is the lessons we try to teach from the Holocaust,” he said.
The program co-chairs, Charlotte Ray and Howard Rosenthal, extended an earnest invitation to parents and teenagers for this very important remembrance.
The Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County sponsors this event with financial support from the Dan Danciger/Fort Worth Hebrew Day School Supporting Foundation and the Multicultural Alliance.
Yom HaZikaron, Israeli Memorial Day
Yom HaZikaron, Israeli Memorial Day, will be observed in Tarrant County at Congregation Ahavath Sholom, 4050 S. Hulen St. in Fort Worth, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 10.
“Every year, our Yom HaZikaron committee creates a beautiful and meaningful memorial service to honor the fallen soldiers of Israel and victims of terror,” reads a statement from the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. “This year promises to be no different. Program chair Rivka Marco urges you to come together with us to remember our fallen Jewish family in Israel and around the world.”
The Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County sponsors this event with financial support from the Dan Danciger/Fort Worth Hebrew Day School Supporting Foundation.
In the Dallas area, the Yom HaZikaron ceremony takes place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 10 at Congregation Anshai Torah, 5501 W. Parker Road in Plano.
This year’s ceremony’s theme is honoring the 10-year anniversary of the Second War with Lebanon in 2006.
Ronit Ilan, a volunteer with the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, chairs the ceremony.
“This is dedicated to the memories of those who gave their lives in defense of the state of Israel,” Ilan said. “We are going to share stories about all of those people who gave their lives defending Israel.”
Additionally, the names of the fallen will be read out loud, candles will be lit, songs will be sung and there will be readings, Ilan said.
“It’s pretty emotional — there will be personal stories that are shared,” she said. “It’s sad we don’t fully appreciate what the soldiers do for us until it’s too late. It’s very sad that we lose the best people.”
Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel Independence Day
Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel Independence Day, will be celebrated at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, May 15, at Congregation Ahavath Shalom, 4050 S. Hulen St. in Fort Worth.
“It’s time to celebrate Israel,” announced the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. “Moshe and Shuli Dayan, dynamic Israeli singing duo, will rock our world with their music and invite us to sing along. As a special treat they are bringing mentalist Marom Mor to amaze us!”
The event is brought to the public by program co-chairs Rachel Yaacobi and David Nudleman. Free Israeli lunches will be available as will the opportunity to sing with Moshe and Shuli. It’s a preparation to celebrate Israel’s 68th birthday in style.
While the opening ceremony and lunch will begin at 12:30 p.m., there will be pre-event activities for the children starting as early as noon.
The Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County sponsors the event with financial support from the Dan Danciger/Fort Worth Hebrew Day School Supporting Foundation.
In Dallas, the Communitywide Yom HaAtzmaut celebration will run from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 12 at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center of Dallas, 7900 Northaven Road in Dallas. Admission is free, but tickets for food can be purchased at the event.
The JCC and Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas partner for the annual event, which this year includes:
Food by Nosh Nook Simcha Catering and Café Fino.
A series of Israeli army fitness activities and leadership games.
A special mitzvah project for the Jewish Agency for Israel Lone Soldiers program. Big tzedakah boxes will be set up and and funds collected and sent to Israel to purchase items for soldiers such as toothbrushes, socks, shaving cream, razors, lip balm, candy, shampoo, and anti-bug-bite lotion. Also, be prepared to write a letter of support for a soldier.
Also at this Yom HaAtzmaut celebration: balloon animals, bounce houses, a petting zoo, games, the opportunity to create delicious Israeli desserts, face painting, Israeli art objects, archeological dig, a chance to bake pita in a Bedouin tent, Israeli dancing, fishing at the Red Sea, email to the Western Wall and Israeli technology displays.
May: The Month of YOM
• The Jewish Federations of Tarrant County and Dallas County have lined up public observations for Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron, and Yom HaAtzmaut.
• Both agencies have created meaningful memorial services to honor the fallen soldiers of Israel and the victims of terror.