Students and teachers commemorated Yom HaShoah on Thursday morning with a meaningful and interactive program. The morning began with our participating Names, Not Numbers seniors lining the school halls with burning candles. The program opened with T’hilim, led by Ms. Leah Moskovich, followed by the lighting of six yahrzeit candles, symbolizing the six million lives lost in the Shoah. Each candle was introduced and lit by someone in the Central community who has a personal connection to someone who perished in the Holocaust.

The program continued with words of reflection from seniors Leah Frankel and Sophia Koffsky on their experience participating in the Names, Not Numbers program, run by Mrs. Tova Rosenberg. They reflected on what it was like interviewing and meeting a Holocaust survivor.

With this introduction, we watched the interview of Rebbetzin Chaya Wilkin Small, a graduate from the first graduating class of Central, who escaped Poland to Shanghai, China, and was liberated in 1945. Rebbetzin Small’s story is one of courage, emunah, commitment to Judaism, and kindness of others.

Our program concluded with words of Torah given by Rabbi Joshua Strulowitz. Following this powerful program, our senior class had a special session on emunah, led by Ms. Bracha Rutner and Rabbi Joshua Strulowitz. Students had the opportunity during the remainder of the day to view the “Sparks of Light: To Be a Woman in the Holocaust,” set up in the lobby by Mrs. Hadassah Frankel. This traveling exhibition from Yad Vashem enabled our students to reflect on different elements of the female experience throughout the Holocaust.