At an intimate private ceremony on Sunday November 5, Nashville’s Holocaust Memorial unveiled new inscriptions on its Pillars of Remembrance. Eight families remembered loved ones who perished in the Holocaust, or those who survived and subsequently lived in the Nashville area. Rabbis Shana Mackler of Temple Ohabai Shalom and Rabbi Joshua Kullock of West End Synagogue led the ceremony, which included El Malei Rachamim (the prayer said at funerals and Yizkor services) and the Mourner’s Kaddish.
In opening remarks, Holocaust Memorial Chair Felicia Anchor said, “All of us here grew up in homes where shadows lurked. In our homes, many tears were shed for family members we would never know. And family we would never have. Why were they murdered? One word: Jew. Today we say to their souls, ‘You are not forgotten. You are remembered in our hearts, and now you are remembered with love, honor, and dignity on these memorial walls’.”
Each family member present told the story behind their inscription. As reflected in the variety of the inscriptions themselves, each story is unique. One family was adding their mother’s name, who survived and lived in Nashville, to the rest of the names of family members who perished. Several were people who moved to Nashville after the Memorial was created in 2006. The ceremony concluded with the hopeful “A Prayer for the World” by Rabbi Harold S. Kushner (z”l) which begins: “Let the rain come and wash away/ The ancient grudges, the bitter hatreds/ Held and nurtured over generations.”
Nashville’s Holocaust Memorial is a sculpture garden on the grounds of the Gordon Jewish Community Center in Bellevue, TN. Self-guided tours can be taken during daylight hours. To arrange a docent-led tour email NashvilleHolocaustMemorial@gmail.com.
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