Please light a memorial candle at home or online



This year we will not be able to gather together in remembrance of the Shoah because the pandemic prevents us from coming together in person; rather, we will experience our community's observance virtually.  

As we mark 75 years since liberation we find ourselves facing a new challenge.  As we experience the ritual of collective memory, mourn the tragic loss of the six million, and honor the righteous gentiles who saved so many, the veterans who fought so valiantly, the survivors whose very existence was a triumph over those who sought to destroy the Jewish people, we take comfort that as difficult as our current healthcare crisis is, we are united as humankind in fighting a common foe.  Together, we will overcome this moment and continue to build a bright future for our community.

Let us take inspiration from the incredible survivors who overcame the darkest of days to live.  Our speaker, Esther Geizhals is one such inspiration.  While we are disappointed that we will not hear her in person, we are happy that Esther recorded her story.

Esther Geizhals is a Holocaust survivor who was born in Lodz, Poland in 1929. At the age of ten she and her family were moved to the Lodz Ghetto and in 1944 she was transported to Auschwitz and then to Bergen-Belsen and Rochlitz concentration camps. She and four others managed to escape on a death march in 1945.

Thank you to Esther Geizhals and to Esther's niece and committee member, Doris Zelinsky, for sharing this important testimony.
With best wishes,

Ruth Lesser
Chair, Holocaust Memory Committee
Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven 

Featured: Esther Geizhals

Esther Geizhals, in an interview for Jewish Broadcasting Service, January 2020


In Memoriam

Renee' (Gewirtzman) Glassner, 87, of 200 Leeder Hill Dr., Hamden, devoted wife of the late Martin I. Glassner, died at CT Hospice on June 26, 2019. Born in Poland, Nov. 6, 1931, Renee' was the daughter of the late Jacob & Anna Gewirtzman. Beloved Mother of Shulamis "Cindy" Golub (Shlomo) of Israel, Aleta Glassner of Hamden, & Karen Abrahams (Richard) of Newton Centre, MA. Dear Sister of Irving Gewirtzman of Queens, NY & the late David Gewirtzman. Cherished Grandmother of Sara, Moshe, Tova, Bracha, Henny, Shira, Ahuva, Leah, Benjamin, & Marisa. Also survived by 21 great-grandchildren.

Irwin B. Lehrer, age 94, passed away peacefully at his home. He was the loving husband of Ruth Rohinsky Lehrer, dear father of Arnold (Naomi) Lehrer, Shelly (Stephen) Magid. Loving grandfather of Alan (Fiancé' Meital Ganot), David (Emily) Magid, Elana Lehrer and Jason (Fiancé' Jessica Brien) Magid, two great-grandchildren, Sam and Abby. His light shined the brightest as a Zadie.
Irwin was predeceased by his parents Avraham and Rivka, his brother Lew and sister Rochel.
Born in Poland. A holocaust survivor, he left home at 16. He was on his own and became a true entrepreneur and worked his way from the upholstery business to landlording.

Mila Pizer was a beloved resident at the Towers at Tower Lane. She passed away on February 23, 2020. According to the Fortunoff video archive for holocaust testimonies, Mila was the fourth of five sisters, who was born in Chrzanów, Poland, in 1926. The Nazis began deportation of her town in January, 1941 and she arrived at Ober Altstadt, a slave labor camp near Trautenau, Czechoslovakia through Auschwitz. She worked with her three sisters in a factory until the liberation by the Russians on May 9, 1945. Her parents and ten-year-old sister did not survive.

Stanley Swimmer, 88. Passed away peacefully with family by his side. Swimmer was born May 10, 1931 in Sosnowiec, Poland. A holocaust survivor, he emigrated to the New Haven area in 1946, where he was adopted by the Kornman family of West Haven.
A graduate of West Haven High School and Quinnipiac College, Swimmer served in the Air Force and made his career in the automotive business. He was the owner of Levine's Transmissions on the Boulevard. Stanley was active with many community activities including Past President New Haven Probus, Woodbridge Lions Club, VFW Commander, State Commission of Civil Engineers & Land Surveyors.
Swimmer was predeceased by his parents, Isaac and Fanny, and four siblings, Eva, Rose, Toby and Aaron. He was devotedly married for 56 years to the late Hermine Frankenberger Swimmer. The couple is survived by three married children, Alan (Jill) Swimmer (Parkland, FL), James (Cheryl) Swimmer (Norwich)
and Toby (John) Gehm (Hamden).
Stanley loved to spend time in Florida, cruising with his family, and kvelling over his ten Grandchildren (John, Brian, Alyssa, Ethan, Steven, Rebecca, Emily, Joshua, Noah and Benjamin) and four Great-grandchildren. He often frequented 500 Blake Street, where he was affectionately known as Stosh, and loved to play gin rummy with his friends at Oak Lane Country Club.

The Partisan Song

The Partisan Song

Zog Nit Keynmol with English Subtitles

zog nit keyn mol
zog nit keyn mol, az du geyst dem letstn veg,
khotsh himlen blayene farshteln bloye teg.
kumen vet nokh undzer oysgebenkte sho,
s'vet a poyk ton undzer trot: mir zaynen do!

fun grinem palmenland biz vaysn land fun shney,
mir kumen on mit undzer payn, mit undzer vey,
un vu gefaln s'iz a shprits fun undzer blut,
shprotsn vet dort undzer gvure, undzer mut!

s'vet di morgnzun bagildn undz dem haynt,
un der nekhtn vet farshvindn mit dem faynt,
nor oyb farzamen vet di zun in dem kayor –
vi a parol zol geyn dos lid fun dor tsu dor.

dos lid geshribn iz mit blut, un nit mit blay,
s'iz nit keyn lidl fun a foygl oyf der fray,
dos hot a folk tsvishn falndike vent
dos lid gezungen mit naganes in di hent.

to zog nit keyn mol, az du geyst dem letstn veg,
khotsh himlen blayene farshteln bloye teg.
kumen vet nokh undzer oysgebenkte sho –
s'vet a poyk ton undzer trot: mir zaynen do!

אָג ניט קיין מאָל
אָג ניט קיין מאָל, אַז דו גייסט דעם לעצטן וועג,
כאָטש הימלען בלײַענע פֿאַרשטעלן בלויע טעג.
קומען וועט נאָך אונדזער אויסגעבענקטע שעה –
ס׳וועט אַ פּויק טאָן אונדזער טראָט: מיר זײַנען דאָ!

פֿון גרינעם פּאַלמענלאַנד ביז ווײַסן לאַנד פֿון שניי,
מיר קומען אָן מיט אונדזער פּײַן, מיט אונדזער וויי,
און וווּ געפֿאַלן ס׳איז אַ שפּריץ פֿון אונדזער בלוט,
שפּראָצן וועט דאָרט אונדזער גבֿורה, אונדזער מוט!

ס׳וועט די מאָרגנזון באַגילדן אונדז דעם הײַנט,
און דער נעכטן וועט פֿאַרשווינדן מיט דעם פֿײַנט,
נאָר אויב פֿאַרזאַמען וועט די זון אין דעם קאַיאָר –
ווי אַ פּאַראָל זאָל גיין דאָס ליד פֿון דור צו דור.

דאָס ליד געשריבן איז מיט בלוט, און ניט מיט בלײַ,
ס׳איז ניט קיין לידל פֿון אַ פֿויגל אויף דער פֿרײַ,
דאָס האָט אַ פֿאָלק צווישן פֿאַלנדיקע ווענט
דאָס ליד געזונגען מיט נאַגאַנעס אין די הענט.

טאָ זאָג ניט קיין מאָל, אַז דו גייסט דעם לעצטן וועג,
כאָטש הימלען בלײַענע פֿאַרשטעלן בלויע טעג.
קומען וועט נאָך אונדזער אויסגעבענקטע שעה –
ס׳וועט אַ פּויק טאָן אונדזער טראָט: מיר זײַנען דאָ!

Eileh Ezkerha: These I Will Remember

We will remember them with a holy sense of awe. Let us light candles for the 6 million innocent souls who died for the name of the Lord. For the lives of men and women who were exterminated by the enemy; the innocent children whose bright eyes were extinguished by the murderer; all who were in gas chambers and in trenches, liquidated in the streets of besieged ghettos, those who were lost in flames and thrown alive into graves, and those who suffered gruesome deaths under an enemy’s fateful sentence. We will also not forget, “Zakhor ve’al tishkakh pee shnaiyim.” “Remember and do not forget doubly.” Let the names and the memory of the murderers be erased. Those who disgraced and demeaned the human race. “Remember what Amalek did to you.” Let us also remember and not forget the conspiracy of silence throughout the world. While the enemy spread devastation and death, the world was silent with heartless unconcern, and some perhaps with quiet satisfaction. Their eyes were blind, their tongues silent, and they had hearts of stone. We will preserve the holy memory of our martyrs. “Forever and ever.”



Palsm 121 Esa Einai: A Song for Ascent

A Song of Ascent
I lift up my eyes to the hills. What is the source of my help? My help comes from the Lord, Maker of the heavens and the earth. He will not allow you to stumble, Your Guardian will not slumber. Indeed, the Guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. The Lord is your Guardian, your shelter at your side. The sun will not smite you by day nor the moon by night. The Lord will guard you against all evil; He will guard you, body and soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming home, now and forever.

A Song of Ascent

Palsm 121 Esa Einai: A Song of Ascent. Unknown artist

שִׁיר לַמַּעֲלוֹת:
אֶשָּׂא עֵינַי אֶל הֶהָרִים מֵאַיִן יָבֹא עֶזְרִי:
עֶזְרִי מֵעִם ה' עֹשֵׂה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ:
אַל יִתֵּן לַמּוֹט רַגְלֶךָ אַל יָנוּם שֹׁמְרֶךָ:
הִנֵּה לֹא יָנוּם וְלֹא יִישָׁן שׁוֹמֵר יִשְׂרָאֵל:
ה' שֹׁמְרֶךָ ה' צִלְּךָ עַל יַד יְמִינֶךָ:
יוֹמָם הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ לֹא יַכֶּכָּה וְיָרֵחַ בַּלָּיְלָה:
ה' יִשְׁמָרְךָ מִכָּל רָע יִשְׁמֹר אֶת נַפְשֶׁךָ:
ה' יִשְׁמָר צֵאתְךָ וּבוֹאֶךָ מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם:

El Male Rachamim

El Male Rachamim

El Male Rachamim: God, Full of Mercy, Yad Vashem Memorial, Israel

God, full of mercy
God, full of mercy, who dwells in the heights, provide a sure rest upon the Divine Pressence's wings, within the range of the holy and the pure, whose shining resemble the sky's, all the souls of the six million Jews, victims of the European Holocaust, who were murdered, slaughtered, burnt and exterminated for the Sanctification of the Name, by the German Nazi assassins and their helpers from the rest of the peoples. Therefore, the Master of Mercy will protect them forever, from behind the hiding of his wings, and will tie their souls with the rope of life. The Everlasting is their heritage, the Garden of Eden shall be their resting room, and they shall rest peacefully upon their lying place, they will stand for their fate in the end of days, and let us say: Amen

אֵל מָלֵא רַחֲמִים
אֵל מָלֵא רַחֲמִים שׁוֹכֵן בַּמְּרוֹמִים, הַמְצֵא מְנוּחָה נְכוֹנָה עַל כַּנְפֵי הַשְּׁכִינָה, בְּמַעֲלוֹת קְדוֹשִׁים וטְהוֹרִים כְּזוֹהַר הָרָקִיע מַזְהִירִים אֶת כָּל הַנְּשָׁמוֹת שֶׁל שֵׁשֶׁת מִילְיוֹנֵי הַיְּהוּדִים, חַלְלֵי הַשּׁוֹאָה בְּאֵירוֹפָּה, שֶׁנֶּהֶרְגוּ, שֶׁנִּשְׁחֲטוּ, שֶׁנִּשְׂרְפוּ וְשֶׁנִּסְפּוּ עַל קִדּוּשׁ הַשֵׁם, בִּידֵי הַמְרַצְּחִים הַגֶּרְמָנִים הָנַאצִים וְעוֹזְרֵיהֶם מִשְּׁאָר הֶעַמִּים. לָכֵן בַּעַל הָרַחֲמִים יַסְתִּירֵם בְּסֵתֶר כְּנָפָיו לְעוֹלָמִים, וְיִצְרוֹר בִּצְרוֹר הַחַיִּים אֶת נִשְׁמוֹתֵיהֶם, ה' הוּא נַחֲלָתָם, בְּגַן עֵדֶן תְּהֵא מְנוּחָתָם, וְיַעֶמְדוּ לְגוֹרָלָם לְקֵץ הַיָּמִין, וְנֹאמַר אָמֵן. 



Kaddish prayer by Ofra Haza

Yitgadal v'yitkadash sh’mei raba b’alma di-v’ra chirutei, v’yamlich malchutei b’chayeichon uvyomeichon uvchayei d’chol beit yisrael, ba’agala uvizman kariv, v’im’ru: “amen.” Y’hei sh’mei raba m’varach l’alam ul’almei almaya. Yitbarach v’yishtabach, v’yitpa’ar v’yitromam v’yitnaseh, v’yithadar v’yit’aleh v’yit’halal sh’mei d’kud’sha, b’rich hu, l’eila min-kol-birchata v’shirata, tushb’chata v’nechemata da’amiran b’alma, v’im’ru: “amen.” Y’hei shlama raba min-sh’maya v’chayim aleinu v’al-kol-yisrael, v’im’ru: “amen.” Oseh shalom bimromav, hu ya’aseh shalom aleinu v’al kol-yisrael, v’imru: “amen.”

יִתְגַּדַּל וְיִתְקַדַּשׁ שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא בְּעָלְמָא דִּי בְרָא כִרְעוּתֵהּ וְיַמְלִיךְ מַלְכוּתֵהּ בְּחַיֵּיכוֹן וּבְיוֹמֵיכוֹן ובְחַיֵּי דְּכָל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל בַּעֲגָלָא וּבִזְמַן קָרִיב וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן יְהֵא שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא מְבָרַךְ לְעָלַם וּלְעָלְמֵי עָלְמַיָּא יִתְבָּרַךְ וְיִשְׁתַּבַּח וְיִתְפָּאַר וְיִתְרוֹמַם וְיִתְנַשֵּׂא וְיִתְהַדָּר וְיִתְעַלֶּה וְיִתְהַלָּל שְׁמֵהּ דְּקֻדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא לְעֵלָּא מִן כָּל בִּרְכָתָא וְשִׁירָתָא תֻּשְׁבְּחָתָא וְנֶחֱמָתָא דַּאֲמִירָן בְּעָלְמָא וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן. יְהֵא שְׁלָמָא רַבָּא מִן שְׁמַיָּא וְחַיִּים עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשרָאֵל. וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: עושה שָׁלום בִּמְרומָיו הוּא יַעֲשה שָׁלום עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשרָאֵל וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן.



Our deepest gratitude to the Holocaust Memory Committee
of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven

Ruth Lesser, Chair

Josef Adler

Jennifer Bayer 

Rachel Scolnic Dobin 

Stacy Dworkin

Isidore Juda 

Barbara Katz 

Sydney Perry

Harry Rosenberg 

Dorene Scolnic 

Fay Sheppard 

Rabbi Alvin Wainhaus 

Doris Zelinsky