By: Dr. Dan Miller, Ph. D.
On Sunday October 27, Mayor De Blasio joined with New York State Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, State Attorney Genera Letitia James, Faith Based Organization Leaders To Support The Jewish Community For a National Day of Action Against Anti Semitism
The event took place at the Central Synagogue in New York City. This special program was organized to both remember the 11 lives lost at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh a year ago and provided a plan of action to fight Anti Semitism.
Also speaking were Mitchell Tanzman, AJC NY VP, Amy A.B. Bressman, President, UJA, Central Synagogue Senior Cantor Daniel Mutlu, And Rabbi Nicole Auerbach, Israel Nitzan, Deputy Council General of Israel, Michael Miller CEO of JCRC NY and Cheryl Fishbein, President JCRC .
The Central Synagogue program included a candle lighting ceremony to remember the 11 innocent lives lost at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last year.
This Interfaith service included the Jewish Prayer, Mi Sheberach (prayer for healing) sung by HaZamir: The International Jewish Teen Choir from the Central Synagogue.
Michael Miller, CEO of JRC NY and Cheryl Fishbein, President of JCRC NY moderated during the candle lighting ceremony, naming each of the candle lighters and the 11 victims for whom the memorial was planned. As each candle was lit the photos of those who perished at the Tree of Life Synagogue were projected on a large screen
“For over 2000 years Jewish communities worldwide have lit candles in memory of departed soles. The book of Michlei -Proverbs attributed to the wise King Solomon – tells us that the candle of God as a person’s soul.”said Michael Miller.
When a soul departs this world it leaves behind a tangible, spiritual, and dark void. The traditional Yarhtzeit Candle ,known in Hebrew as a “Ner Neshama”- a candle of the soul – serves to replenish this light,” added Mr. Miller.
Cheryl Fishbein, President of the Jewish Community Relations Council NY, said “As the largest and most diverse Jewish community in the United States, we are honored to have friends and allies that stand by our side especially as anti-Semitic assaults increase. And know that we too stand with you in opposing hate and hate crimes of any sort against your own communities and faiths.
“May the light brought forth from these candles in memory of the 11 people whose souls left us one year ago, help warm the souls of all people, and bring understanding, goodwill, and brotherhood to our communities throughout the world,” added Ms. Fishbein.