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Vancouver School of Theology

Kristallnacht Commemoration Service Nov. 7th

On Wednesday, November 7 at 12 noon in the Chapel of the Epiphany (6030 Chancellor Blvd. on the UBC Campus) Vancouver School of Theology and Iona Pacific Inter-religious Centre will commemorate Kristallnacht, “Night of Broken Glass.” During the night of November 9-10, 1938, hundreds of synagogues, Jewish schools, cemeteries, and workplaces were attacked in organized “riots” throughout Germany and Austria. 267 synagogues, many of which had stood for centuries, were destroyed by fire. Firefighters had been ordered by government officials to let them burn. 30,000 Jews were rounded up in the days that followed, and the German Jewish community was fined for the damage done by organized thugs who smashed the windows in well over seven thousand storefronts.

In remembrance of this event, a one hour commemoration will be held in VST’s Chapel of the Epiphany. The program will feature an address delivered by a survivor of the Holocaust, who was hidden as a child in Poland: Lillian Borak Nemetz. Ms. Nemetz is an award-winning author of children’s literature who earned an M.A. at UBC, where she currently teaches in the Writing Centre. Following her remarks, children’s musical composer and cantorial soloist Paula Rosen will sing. Rabbi Philip Bregman of Temple Sholom, who also is president of the Rabbinical Association of Vancouver, will kindle a memorial candle. The program will conclude with a flute and harp duet by two VST students. VST is particularly grateful to the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre for arranging the visit by Lillian Borak Nemetz. For more information please contact shannonl@vst.edu or info@ionapacific.ca.