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Kol Israel - 2018 Fall Memorial

Kol Israel.jpg

Sponsored by the Kol Israel Foundation, an organization for Holocaust survivor families, and the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, a Memorial was held on Sunday, September 16, 2018. This memorial was animated by an unforgettable and powerful theme that stated, “In memory of the six million innocent Jewish men, women, and children who perished by the hands of the Nazis. Though their bodies have perished, their souls and their spirit will forever remain immortal”.

As stated by the Kol Israel Foundation Memorial Emeritus Committee Co-Chairs, Mr. Avi Goldman, Mr. Mark Frank, and Mr. Simon Fixler, “the Kol Israel Memorial was established to preserve, protect and enhance the Holocaust Memorial at Zion Cemetery in Bedford Heights, Ohio. This sacred Monument, erected by our founders in memory of the 6 million who perished in the Holocaust, was dedicated in 1961. Ashes of victims from three concentration camps are buried beneath it. The names of deceased family members are engraved on the surrounding wall. For 56 years this has been the site of our annual Memorial Service, held between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. We have recently  attained recognition by the Ohio History Connection in Columbus and are pursuing National Historic Landmark Status for the Monument , which is believed to be the first free standing Holocaust Memorial in the country. Our Memorial Committee also plays a pivotal role in the annual Yom Hashoah Commemoration. We present a poignant candle lighting ceremony honoring Holocaust survivors, liberators, and the Righteous Among the Nations”.

 Holocaust Survivors at Kol Israel

Holocaust Survivors at Kol Israel

Vice President of the Kol Israel Foundation, and one of the Co-Chairpersons of the event, Mr. Avi Goldman started his remarks by noticing that, “never again we should forget, and how can I do injustice to my mother, he added”. Mr. Goldman and other speakers continued to pay tribute to Dr. Leatrice B. Rabinsky, emphasizing the importance of not forgetting survivors and victims of the Holocaust, and quoting a lead headline that states, “Forgetfulness leads to exile, while remembrance is the secret of redemption.” Baal Shem Tov, 18th C. Master of the Good name. Dr. Rabinsky was described as a staunch supporter and active member of Kol Israel, serving as Chairperson of the Yom Hasoah programs. She felt very strongly about the importance of the Second Generation Kol Israel organization. A pioneer in Holocaust education, Dr. Rabinsky once stated that she had an overwhelming desire to “keep alive the memory of those who were murdered, to enable the survivors to tell their stories with dignity and respect, to ensure a world of tolerance and sanity so that our grandchildren will create memories of lives of human dignity, tolerance and kindness for all mankind”.   

Mr. Simon Fixler, a member of the board of Kol Israel, and former President of the organization summed up the idea behind this very important event by his article titled “Morry Malcmacher, Your dream came True”: “On Sunday, February 15, 1959, a small group of Cleveland survivors met at the home of Mike Frum to form an organization to represent the Holocaust survivors in Cleveland.  The organization was called “Kol Israel” – meaning, “All of Israel.”  Kol Israel unites the men and women who had survived the horrors of the Holocaust. On June, 1960 the leaders of Kol Israel acted upon a suggestion made by Morry Malcmacher to build a monument in memory of the six million victims of the Holocaust.  They decided to first ask Taylor Road Synagogue if the monument could be built on land at Mt. Olive Cemetery, but they decided to wait.  Simon Fixler was asked to form a special committee that included himself, Joe Boxenbaum, Joe Greenspan, Alber Levin, Sidney Simon, Abe Rabins and Leonard Ratner.  The committee asked Joe Bramson for land in Zion Memorial Park, and he agreed to let them build the monument on an area that was reserved for 250 grave sites. Joe Greenspan and Sidney Simon did the excavation free of charge, and the monument was built by Kotecki Family Memorial. On May 28, 1961, the monument was unveiled at the Zion Memorial Park in Bedford Heights, Ohio”.


By, George Koussa

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