Stories of scrolls focus of Yom Hashoah Observance

Scrolls of Survival is the theme of the Dayton Area Yom Hashoah Observance: A Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust, on Sunday, May 1 at 7 p.m. at Beth Jacob Synagogue, 7020 N. Main St. in Harrison Township. Rabbis and members of Dayton’s four synagogues will share the stories of their Shoah Torahs.

The guest speaker for the observance is Dr. Henry Fenichel, University of Cincinnati professor of physics emeritus. Fenichel was born in the Netherlands. In 1944, at the age of 6, he and his mother were discovered hiding in a convalescent home and were transported to the Westerbork Detention Camp.

Dr. Henry Fenichel

In a rare prisoner exchange, he and his mother were among 220 Jews who traveled from Bergen-Belsen and eventually arrived in Palestine. In 2006, Fenichel’s miniature Torah traveled to space aboard the Atlantis Space Shuttle in memory of Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut.

Ramon and the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia died on Feb. 1, 2003 when the shuttle broke apart during reentry. On Columbia, Ramon brought with him a small Torah scroll that prisoners had used in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

During the observance, the student winners of the annual Holocaust Writing Contest and Max May Memorial Holocaust Art Contest will be recognized. Works from the art contest will be on display beginning at 6 p.m.

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