Unto Every Person There is a Name
For 28 years, the Jewish Federation has joined with communities internationally for the Holocaust memorial project “Unto Every Person There is a Name.” Held at the St. Joseph County Courthouse in South Bend, this program focuses on the memory of the men, women, and children who were murdered as part of the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. Individual names are read continuously throughout the morning by volunteers, religious leaders, and government officials.
Starting in 2017, the Federation has taken the Unto Every Person There is a Name program and integrated it into an educational opportunity for our local youth. Working with a local public school, our programming department and community relations committee arrange for students to take part in the reading of names at their school throughout the afternoon in conjunction with additional study of the Holocaust within their curriculum.
Each spring the Federation memorializes the Holocaust by planning a commemoration scheduled to correspond with Yom HaShoah on the 27th of Nisan, the Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust within the Jewish community, as well as a reading of the names of victims. In the past this included speakers or performances designed to provide a meaningful and thought-provoking experience. This program varies from year to year so that we are able to present the many diverse perspectives and accounts of Holocaust victims, survivors, rescuers, and their families.
Past Yom HaShoah programs have included:
- Presentation by Sylvia Ruth Gutmann, Holocaust Survivor
- Author Peter Duffy presenting on the Beilski brothers, three men who built a village in the forest and saved 1,200 Jews
- Jeannie Smith, daughter of Polish rescuer Irene OpDyke, who has been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem
- Chris Nicola, cave expert and author of The Secret of Priest’s Grotto, a Holocaust Survival Story, the story of 38 Jews who survived the Holocaust by hiding in a massive cave system for over 500 days
- James Whitbourn’s Annelies: A Holocaust Remembrance Concert, performed by Elizabeth Schleicher and the South Bend Chamber Singers, and sponsored by a partnership between the Jewish Federation’s Okon Family Endowment Fund for Holocaust Education, and Temple Beth-El’s Kurt and Tessye Simon Fund for Holocaust Remembrance.
For more information on our Yom HaShoah programs please contact Monika Wayne.