Thursday, September 26, 2013

Radomer Yizkor at New Montefiore Cemetery, Sept. 8, 2013

This post has more than fifty photos. I often divide posts like this into parts, but there's a certain continuity here that makes me leave it as is.

If you click on a photo, it will enlarge. If you control or command (right) click, it will open in a new window or tab.

Every year for longer than I can remember, dating back to the 1950s, the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust from the Polish city of Radom and it's surrounding area gather on the Sunday morning between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur at their cemetery in Pinelawn, NY. It's a solemn period and a solemn day in the Jewish year, as Jews across the spectrum of religious observance, except for the most secularized, prepare themselves for Yom Kippur.The Radmomers meet for a Yizkor service in memory of those from Radom and for all the Jews of Europe who who were murdered and for whom there is no gravestone upon which to leave a pebble.

When I was young, children who had not lost a parent or sibling did not participate in Yizkor, and I am sure in some Jewish communities, this is still the custom. The Radomers are no longer just a group of survivors but also their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. There are no longer as many survivors - the youngest among them are now in their 80s as best I can tell, and the responsibility to remember and commemorate is a burden taken up by the generations, so we bring our children and grandchildren with us to the service, so they can meet some of their grandparents friends before they die, and let them see the stones of those who survived and died.

Here are a few photos I took that afternoon. If you search this blog, there are photos from a couple of other events. One day I shall gather all the photos I've taken at these services, and Yom Ha Shoah gatherings in the spring, and arrange them as an online memory book. But I'm a busy fellow, so I'm glad to be able to keep up with the ones I've got so far.

 After the service is over, people visit grave, talk with old, young and new friends, reminisce, plan. Sometimes, friendships can be renewed under unexpected circumstances.
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