Shir Shalom in Ridgefield hosts Holocaust Remembrance Day

Congregation Shir Shalom of Westchester and Fairfield Counties (46 Peaceable St., Ridgefield) will host its annual Yom HaShoah Holocaust Memorial Observance online with congregations from the Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County, beginning April 7, at 7:30 p.m. On April 8, at 7 p.m., Shir Shalom will join with St. Stephen's Episcopal Church (351 Main St., Ridgefield) in a community interfaith ceremony for Yom HaShoah. The Rev. Whitney Altopp, center, of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church is flanked by Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray, left, and Rabbi David Reiner, right, of Congregation Shir Shalom. The three form the leadership of the Ridgefield Clergy Association.

Congregation Shir Shalom of Westchester and Fairfield Counties (46 Peaceable St., Ridgefield) will host its annual Yom HaShoah Holocaust Memorial Observance online with congregations from the Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County, beginning April 7, at 7:30 p.m. On April 8, at 7 p.m., Shir Shalom will join with St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church (351 Main St., Ridgefield) in a community interfaith ceremony for Yom HaShoah. The Rev. Whitney Altopp, center, of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church is flanked by Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray, left, and Rabbi David Reiner, right, of Congregation Shir Shalom. The three form the leadership of the Ridgefield Clergy Association.

Contributed photo

Congregation Shir Shalom of Westchester and Fairfield Counties, located in Ridgefield, will host its annual Yom HaShoah Holocaust Memorial Observance online with congregants from the Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County, beginning April 7, at 7:30 p.m. On April 8, at 7 p.m., Shir Shalom will join with St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church (351 Main St., Ridgefield) for an interfaith ceremony.

The observance marks the anniversary of concentration camps being liberated at the close of World War II. Yom HaShoah, which is Hebrew for “Remembrance Day for the Holocaust and Heroism,” pays homage with a memorial candle lighting to the 11 million people of various faiths who were killed under the Nazi regime. The solemn commemoration takes place all over the world, and has been observed as a national holiday in Israel since 1951.

"In addition to the six million Jews who were killed, there were five million other victims — largely people of conscience — who recognized the wrongness of the Nazi regime and knew that they couldn't stay silent,” said The Rev. Whitney Altopp, of the Ridgefield Clergy Association. “We want to honor them all.”

“Recalling the Shoah (Holocaust) must be more than an exclusively Jewish practice,” said Rabbi David Reiner, of Shir Shalom. “Resolving to end hatred, and taking up the call of ‘never again,’ must be shared by all peoples in every community.”

The observance on April 7 will be led by Jewish clergy from the region. It will feature reflections by Aron Hirt-Manheimer, an editor-at-large of the Union for Reform Judaism, in New York, about Manheimer’s experiences as the child of survivors, and their experiences during the Shoah. For advance registration, contact rabbiassist@OurShirShalom.org.

The interfaith ceremony on April 8 will be livestreamed starting at 7 p.m., from St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church (353 Main St, Ridgefield). This service will air live on YouTube and Facebook. The links to the April 8 service are at ststephensridgefield.org/live-streaming-from-st-stephens/, and on the church’s calendar at ststephensridgefield.org/events.