N.Y. Church to Be First to Dedicate Memorial to Victims of the Holocaust

An interfaith “Service of Remembrance” of the Holocaust which took six million Jewish lives will be conducted at the Cathedral church of St. John The Divine Tuesday evening, May 30.

Announcing the event, the Very Reverend James Parks Morton, Dean of the Cathedral, said that hundreds of New Yorkers of all faiths are expected to attend and participate in the proceedings which will include the formal dedication and installation of a memorial to those slaughtered by the Nazis.

According to Morton, the memorial–a bronze life-sized sculpture by Elliot Offner of a prone skeletal figure of a death camp inmate agonizingly reaching skyward–is believed to be the first Holocaust memorial to be installed in a Christian house of worship.

REMINDER OF THE TRAGEDY

Morton said that it will be prominently displayed in the crossing under the dome of the Cathedral, the seat of the New York Episcopal Diocese, as “a reminder to congregants and thousands of visitors from every part of the world, of the tragic consequence of religious and racial bigotry.”

Jointly sponsored by the Cathedral, the Diocesan Committee on Jewish Relations and the New York Regional Board of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, the Holocaust observance will commence with a kosher dinner for leaders and guests of the sponsoring group at Synod House an the church grounds.

Dr. Henry Feingold, professor of history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and Baruch College, will present a paper on “The Significance of the Holocaust for Us Today.” A Christian response will be given by Dr. Cynthia Wedel, chairperson of the National Advisory committee on Jewish Relations for the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopate. The “Service of Remembrance” will be held in the Cathedral proper following the dinner. A highlight will be the lighting of six memorial candles.

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