Rhode Islanders gathered at the Holocaust Memorial on the River Walk in Providence twice in just six days to recognize another milestone in the establishment of the memorial. The names of Holocaust survivors who settled in Rhode Island have been engraved on stones surrounding the memorial pathway.
On Aug. 28, a ceremony was held to honor the survivors and unveil the names. Some 150 people heard remarks by Herb Stern, chair of the committee, Adam Greenman, president and CEO of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, and Gov. Gina Raimondo. They spoke about the importance of the memorial, remembering the Holocaust and education. Rhode Island is now the eighth state to require Holocaust and genocide education. The crowd also heard the stories of survivors and survivors’ children, who spoke about their journeys to Rhode Island and the welcome they received.
Then, on Sept. 3 during a full lighting of WaterFire, there was a community gathering at the memorial with a procession to light the luminarias that line the path during each WaterFire.
The brief but moving ceremony was viewed by a crowd that then lined up to walk down the path and place a stone on the Life Stone at the end. More than an hour later, people were still joining the long line to walk past the Life Stone.
For a list of known survivors’ names, go to jvhri.org. If you have a name you’d like to add to the list, contact Michelle Cicchitelli at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FRAN OSTENDORF (email@example.com) is the editor of The Jewish Voice.