For the last 30 years, the South Hills Interfaith Ministry has conducted an interfaith Holocaust observance service. It is one of the longest running services in the country and attracts hundreds of people each year.
This year, co-chairs Elaine Wertheim and Amy Katz are putting on the service, which will be held at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, April 26, at Westminster Presbyterian Church.
The theme is, “Rescue and Loss: Saving the Voice.”
“We are doing a retrospect of some of the stories we have told in the past,” Wertheim said. “We are going to be focusing on a program in the past on Terezin, which was the concentration camp in Czech where the Jews were sent and most transported to Auschwitz. We are also going to focus on our Pittsburgh survivor community that had written their memories in ‘Flares of Memory.’”
Wertheim said that because fewer and fewer survivors remain each year, it’s important that current generations hear their stories and pass them down year after year.
“We have to realize that we must become these peoples’ voices because so many of the survivors have died over the past years,” she said.
At the service will be a Presbyterian, Methodist and a Catholic priest, as well as two rabbis. There will also be local Holocaust survivors in attendance.
“We’re are thrilled that we will be bringing some survivors from the city to the service,” Wertheim said. “They will feel the commitment from the community to get to this event.”
(Mike Zoller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)