Jewish Community Relations Council remembers Holocaust, plans tribute to international scholar


The Jewish Community Relations Council presented its annual Holocaust Remembrance program on Thursday and plans its annual Shoah Memorial Ceremony for Sunday.

This year’s local theme, “Anti-Semitism in All its Forms,” explores the increased instances of anti-Semitism worldwide and how Holocaust denial contributes to this increase. This year’s theme grapples with the role anti-Semitism played in the Holocaust.

The 25th annual Community Holocaust Commemoration in the Mahoning County Courthouse featured a presentation by Jesse McClain, the Jewish Federation’s Holocaust educational specialist, on the transformation of the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown’s library into a new Holocaust resource center. Following extensive renovations, the resource center will serve as an exhibit space as well as a multi-media resource for Holocaust and other Judaic holdings.

The presentation of a proclamation by Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown, as well as a memorial candle lighting ceremony to honor the 6 million who died, were part of the event. 

On Sunday, the Shoah Memorial Ceremony will at 4 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, 505 Gypsy Lane. It will pay tribute to Dr. Saul Friedman, who died in 2013, with a keynote presentation by his son, Dr. Jonathan Friedman. Dr. Saul Friedman served as a professor of history at Youngstown State University from 1969 until his retirement in 2006. He was an internationally recognized Holocaust expert who published numerous award-winning books and documentary films.

A recipient of many honors and awards, Dr. Friedman’s career highlight came in 2000 when he received an endowment from the Clayman family to establish a Judaic Studies program at Youngstown State University. 

In addition, the program will include the unveiling of the Saul Friedman Collection, a compilation of Dr. Friedman’s papers, notes, research materials, and survivor testimonies that his family donated to the federation; the official opening of the new JCC Holocaust Resource Center and Library; musical presentations; a candle lighting ceremony; and participation by children and grandchildren of survivors.  

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