By Lenora “Cookie” Solodar
Emek Sholom Cemetery Company
THE 2021 Kristallnacht Memorial Service at Emek Sholom Holocaust Memorial Cemetery seemed extra special this year!
Was it the astonishing narrative of reuniting lost families when Dr. Ralph Navon told the history of his father’s life and how the Emek Sholom Memorial made the connection?
Was it Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor’s compelling speech denouncing injustice in all forms and declaring our community shall not allow hate to exist?
Was it the inspiring essay authored by Abby Crowe, a Henrico County student, who won the Esther J. Windmueller “Never Again” Award?
Was it the hauntingly beautiful voice of Cantor Sarah Beck-Berman of Congregation Beth Ahabah?
Was it the prayers and heartfelt words of Rabbi Dovid Asher of Temple Beth Israel?
Was it the significance of the Daffodil Project where those in attendance planted daffodil bulbs at the base of the Memorial?
Was it being there in person or by internet to witness this service in its totality as orchestrated by Captain Alex Keisch, vice-president of Emek Sholom?
IT WAS ALL OF THESE AND MORE!
We began this special service by the Shofar call to assembly by Jay Ipson, co-founder of the Virginia Holocaust Museum, and his grandson, Ben Ipson; the presentation of the color guard by members of Post 144 Legionaries; the sound of Taps by one of the Legionaries.
On that crisp autumn day, November 7, 2021, on the 83rd anniversary of Kristallnacht, two hundred people gathered in-person and another 50 plus joined on the internet to remember the six million Jews lost; to vow to never allow such hatred and violence to occur again to our people or any other human beings; to educate against hatred, antisemitism, bigotry; to come together as a community who cares.
Emek Sholom Cemetery Company and the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond, who made this remembrance possible, thank everyone who attended and made this service a community event.
We remember our past to honor our forefathers and foremothers and to protect our future for generations to come.
To view a recording of the Kristallnacht Commemoration, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnEEthCXvmk