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2017-12-15 digital edition

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


 

December 15, 2017  RSS feed
Culture

Text: T T T

6th annual International Holocaust Remembrance Day set for Jan. 21

Diplomatic officials representing 40 nations will once again hold ceremonies in Tampa to honor the memory of the millions of lives lost in the Holocaust – a tradition that Vincent Genovese has upheld for the past five years.

The event will take place on Sunday, Jan. 21 at 3 p.m. at the Italian Club, 1731 E. Seventh Ave., Ybor City.

The program is free, but reservations are required by contacting vgenovese@IDCFL.ORG. Registration at the Italian Club begins at 2 p.m.

Featured speaker will be Holocaust survivor Betty Grebenschikoff, author of the memoir Once my Name Was Sara, a Story of Hope and Survival. The memoir details her family’s flight from Nazi Germany just days before her father’s anticipated arrest by the Gestapo, and her later life growing up in Shanghai, China, the city that became her home. At the time of their flight, Shanghai offered the only port open to European Jews without visas or passports.

In recognition of China’s humanitarian gesture to allow more that 20,000 Jewish refugees to enter the country during Nazi era, the Ambassador Consul General of China, Li Qiangmin, based in Houston, is schedule to attend to receive an award.

Annette Klein, Consul General of Germany, will deliver opening remarks. Other speakers will be the Lior Haiat, Consul General of Israel; Steven Bernstein, chairman of Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce; Ambassador Barbara Stephenson, president of American Foreign Service Association.

Also in attendance will be governmental, military and religious leaders of many faiths and five other survivors of the Nazi horror, escorted by Consuls General of Germany, Canada, France, Greece, and the UK.The survivors will light candles in the presence of the Tampa Central Command Honor Guard and the European Guard representing Italy, France, Germany and the UK, in honor of the six million Jews who lost their lives. Rabbi Barbara Aiello of Sarasota will officiate at the candle lighting and Rabbi Carla Freedman of Sun City Center will lead the mourner’s kaddish.

Members of the Tampa Bay Area Cantorial Association will also perform.

Jan. 27, 1945 marks the Liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, where 1 million Jews were murdered by the Nazis. In November

2005, the United Nations General Assembly resolved that Jan. 27 should be observed as a day to honor the memory of Holocaust victims and encourage the development of education programs about Holocaust history to help prevent further acts of genocide.

Genovese has been organizing such an observance for the past five years but the event for 2018 was for a while in jeopardy when a rift developed between him and the leader of the Tampa Bay Consular Corps, under whose banner the event was previously held. Subsequently, Genovese formed the International Diplomatic Corps of Florida (IDCFK) and became its executive director. In that capacity he lined up the diplomats and consuls representing 40 countries to attend the event.

IDCFL is a non-profit organization with a mission to host annually the International Holocaust Remembrance Day and offer scholarships to university/college and high schools students to instill the memory of the Holocaust tragedy in the minds of future generations in order to combat anti-Semitism. To fund the annual commemoration and holocaust scholarships, IDCFL welcomes donations, contributions and grants to be sent to IDCFL, 7217 Gulf Blvd. Suite 14- 145, St. Petersburg, Fl 33706.


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