UUSM Hosts Holocaust Remembrance Event with Santa Monica Area Interfaith Council

Holocaust Remembrance Day 2024 SMAIC service at UUSM

UUSM hosted an interfaith affirmation of our common humanity on Monday, May 6, at 6 pm in our Sanctuary, followed by fellowship and refreshments in Forbes Hall. The event was organized by the Santa Monica Area Interfaith Council, represented by  SMAIC President Kathleen Benjamin from Agape International Spiritual Center, Vice Presidents Rabbi Shira Freidlin from the Santa Monica Synagogue, Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae from Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Monica, and Jen Philbin, Director of Missions and Youth Ministries at the Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica.

Also participating in the event were Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels from Beth Shir Shalom,  Rev. Christie Webb from Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Rev. Leon Campbell from Agape International, Randy Dobbs from the Baha’i Faith community,  Reverend Carolyn Baskin-Bell from First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Santa Monica, and other religious leaders from the wider community.

Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah, was established in 1951 by the Israeli Parliament. It occurs on the 27th of the Hebrew month of Nisan, from sundown Sunday to sundown Monday, May 5-6, in 2024. Shoah, which means “catastrophe” or “utter destruction” in Hebrew, refers to the atrocities that were committed against the Jewish people during World War II. This is a memorial day for those who died in the Shoah. The Shoah is also known as the Holocaust, from a Greek word meaning “sacrifice by fire.”

ReformJudaism.com describes the Holocaust as “the largest manifestation of antisemitism in recent history. Yom HaShoah reminds us of the horrors that Jews and other persecuted groups faced: forced labor, starvation, humiliation, and torture, which often resulted in death. It was a systematic effort to wipe out an entire population from the face of the earth.”

The US Holocaust Memorial Museum notes that Yom HaShoah is different than the United Nations’ designated International Holocaust Remembrance Day, observed annually on January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp.

Here is the public YouTube video of the UUSM service and below that, the Order of Service and a gallery of photographs from the service and gathering afterwards.

❖❖❖ Order of Service ❖❖❖