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Chicago Communities Remembers The Holocaust

RSVP 2024

Chicago Communities Remember the Holocaust is a collaboration among various Jewish organizations in the Chicagoland area, including KAM Isaiah Israel. KAMII member Ruth Bloom serves as the convener for this group. The group seeks to educate our community about one of our darkest moments in history and its current relevance, while honoring the memory of the millions lost in the Holocaust (Shoah). Besides planning the annual Yom haShoah commemoration in April, the group is working on 1 or 2 related events during the year, including one that will partner with HIAS to raise awareness around immigrant issues past and present. 

For more information about getting involved with or supporting future programs by Chicago Remembers the Holocaust email


Annual Yom haShoah commemoration:

Sunday, May 5, 2024

View the program and acknoledgements here.

See below for previous events.

2021 Commemoration 

Naming, Honoring and Remembering: Our Communities Remembers the Holocaust

Sponsored by Chicago Remembers the Holocaust, this annual commemoration of those lost in the Holocaust brings together our whole community for an evening of poetry, memory, and song. The entire event will be Live-Streamed and a recording will be made available after the initial broadcast.

Watch a recording of the program here.

See the full agenda here.

2021 Supporting Organizations: Akiba-Schechter Jewish Day School, Congregation Rodfei Zedek, KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation, Newberger Hillel Center at the University of Chicago, University High School Jewish Student Association


2022 Program: History as Story/Story as History. We Remember!

View the Recording of this Program.

Learning Opportunities

The Story of Refugees in Chicago: Then and Now

This learning opportunity was co-sponsored by Chicago Communities Remember the Holocaust and the KAM Isaiah Israel Social Justice committee. This moving conversation conversation about refugee resettlement in America was moderated by Susan Gzesh, and featured Regina Umanskiy who shared the story of her journey from the Moscow to Chicago.

Watch a recording of the program here.


US Law and the Experience of Jewish Refugees: 1920s to the Present

An engaging educational opportunity about US laws and regulations that impacted Jewish immigration and continue to impact refugees to this day. Ruth Bloom (KAM Isaiah Israel) and Fred Wellisch (Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation) share their families' personal histories and documents, while immigration scholar Susan Gzesh (KAM Isaiah Israel) explains how laws in the US affected the experience of Jewish refugees from the 1920s through the present day.

Watch a Recording of this Session

View the PowerPoint for this Session


Virtual Munch and Learn: The Importance of Rescuing Evidence 

Susan Goldstein Snyder, Curator from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, shared materials that document the prewar, wartime, and immediate postwar experience of all victims of Nazi persecution from both the Museum Archive and the International Tracing Service.

Download a Recording of this Session

Additional Resources

For All of Us

Dedicated to the memory of Holocaust rescuers, this site is as much about the rescued as the rescuers. It gives the viewer a chance to reflect on past and present. How were people able to save others in the midst of a crisis? What avenues of communication did/do we have available to reach the most vulnerable? How can we resist?

For older students and adults

The Unsilence sites include a variety of interactive experiences that reflect the experiences of individuals, families, friends, and educators. The ones that we recommend are entitled, "Secrets," “Sons”, "Hidden Pages", and "In Other People's Hands". Each offers a different experience through the eyes of different types of people. One includes a photo display of Roma.

For Passover


Tell me: how is this night different
From all other nights?
How, tell me, is this Passover
Different from other Passovers?
Light the lamp, open the door wide
So the pilgrim can come in,
Gentile or Jew;
Under the rags perhaps the prophet is concealed.
Let him enter and sit down with us;
Let him listen, drink, sing and celebrate Passover;
Let him consume the bread of affliction,
The Paschal Lamb, sweet mortar and bitter herbs.
This is the night of differences
In which you lean your elbow on the table,
Since the forbidden becomes prescribed,
Evil is translated into good.

We will spend the night recounting
Far-off events full of wonder,
And because of all the wine
The mountains will skip like rams.
Tonight they exchange questions:
The wise, the godless, the simple-minded and the child.
And time reverses its course,
Today flowing back into yesterday,
Like a river enclosed at its mouth.
Each of us has been a slave in Egypt,
Soaked straw and clay with sweat,
And crossed the sea dry-footed.
You too, stranger.
This year in fear and shame,
Next year in virtue and in justice.


-Primo Levi, April 9, 1982

(excerpted from The Schocken Passover Haggadah. Edited by Nahum N. Glatzer. Schocken Books, NY, 1996)

Source link:

Supporting Organizations:

Akiba-Schechter Jewish Day School

Congregation Rodfei Zedek

KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation

Newberger Hillel Center at the University of Chicago

University High School Jewish Student Association

Sat, June 22 2024 16 Sivan 5784