Yom Hashoah at Slifka

Yom Hashoah – Monday April 17-18

Join us in commemorating Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) tonight at 8:00pm. We will be meeting in the Slifka Lobby, lighting candles, and then walking over to The Women’s Table for a short ceremony.


Here is a short reflection to ponder from Springboard Fellow and Engagement Coordinator Aviva Green.

When I think of this day, the image that comes to me is a library only half full with books. There are shelves packed with volumes, with pages worn with use, dogeared corners and words and sentences underlined. Others are more sparse, with large and spacious gaps between books.

These are the stories of the Holocaust. Some are full of source material and others not. The emptiness in the library, the dusty, cobwebbed gaps in the bookshelf, are the silences. For countless stories there are no papers to sift through, no photos to frame, nothing to make them known to us in the voice to which they belong. It is an impossible archival task. It becomes easy to let these silences become a vacuum, to let them draw you into a dark crevasse, to let them be truly void, and worse, abandoned. 

But if you listen close enough, these silences vibrate. They hum with faint sounds muffled by a violent erasure. They are tuned to a certain key. The silences are thick and viscous, as if you were to scoop some of it out, it would pour like honey, dripping with the sticky residue of narratives refusing to be forgotten. 

For the people for whom we have no tangible record, those who are represented by these silences, we imagine. Not by fabricating their stories, but by thinking expansively. We use our creative and collective power to listen to that certain key. We grieve the loss of a tangible record while creating a whole new one. To turn nothingness into beautiful and haunting renderings of a past that is deeply connected to the present. We turn to poetry, art, music to pick up where the gaps in the bookshelf left off. Through adding these pieces to the bookshelf, we make sure their stories stay alive, remembered, and retold.