Our 2023 Holocaust Commemoration Ceremony took place in Bardejov, Slovakia on July 4th. This year’s theme was Heroism and Resistance During World War II.
We were pleased to welcome descendants from the USA, Canada, and Israel who arrived especially for this event. We also welcomed a group of students from the Emil A. and Jenny Fish Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies at Yeshiva University in New York.
We were honored to welcome representatives from the Slovak Jewish Communities from Prešov and Košice , church dignitaries from Catholic, Protestant, and Russian Orthodox Churches in Bardejov, City officials, members of Bardejov’s parliament, and local residents of Bardejov.
The ceremony began with the poem “Resistance” By Haim Gouri and Monia Avrahmi, recited in Hebrew, English, and Slovak. It was followed by the lighting of the memorial candles in front of the memorial name tablets, and the prayers of Kaddish and El Maleh Rachamim.
Students from the local high-school Leonard Stöckel Gymnasium participated in readings about various aspects of our theme, Heroism and Resistance During World War II. Two songs were performed in Hebrew by high school students Bronislava Mlynarovičová and pianist Kristián Jančošek, and a short video about the partisans was displayed.
We heard speeches from our founder, Mr. Emil A. Fish and from Vice Mayor of Bardejov Mr. Peter Petruš. We also watched video speeches from H.E. Gautam A. Rana, US Ambassador to Slovakia, and H.E. Eitan Levon, Israel Ambassador to Slovakia.
Following the speeches, participants of our annual Essay and Art Contests were invited to the stage to receive awards and certificates of recognition from Mr. Fish and Mrs. Jana Lešková from Leonard Stöckel high school, who was also recognized for her cooperation with BJPC.
After the ceremony in the Memorial, guests were invited to a reception in the suburbia yard, after which they gathered in the Old Synagogue for our evening program.
The evening concluded with a speech by architect Giora Solar followed by a lively performance by the band ĽH Stana Baláža from Raslavice.
FULL EVENT VIDEO:
VIDEO COVERAGE BY LOCAL BARDEJOV TV STATION, BTV