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Giving testimony

Holocaust Survivor Abby Weiner to speak at Yom HaShoah Commemoration in West Hartford

Holocaust survivor Abby Weiner, along with his daughter Gayle Temkin, both of West Hartford, will give testimony at a community-wide Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) commemoration, to be held on Sunday, April 15, 6:30 p.m. at The Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Dr., West Hartford. The commemoration, hosted by the Mandell Jewish Community Center and Voices of Hope, will begin with a reading of the names of family members who perished and the names of local survivors who have passed away. Survivors and their family members will participate in a candle procession to open the commemoration. Testimony will follow at 7:30 p.m.

A native of Romania, Weiner was 14 years old when he and his family were taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where he was separated from his mother, whom he never saw again. Weiner was eventually separated from his father and sent to the Jawiszowice subcamp. He would be reunited with his father briefly before his father died at Buchenwald in February 1945. Weiner was liberated on April 11, 1945 from Buchenwald. He later moved to England and then to America, where he served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and later entered the men’s clothing business in New York. Abby and his wife Bonnie have two children Howard Weiner and Gayle Temkin, and five grandchildren.

“We are humbled and honored to have Abby and Gayle share their stories,” says David Jacobs, the JCC’s executive director. “There are fewer Holocaust survivors alive to serve as witnesses to the horrors of that inhuman time in our history. We have created this new format of testimony in order to engage the second and third generations in ensuring that the stories continue to be told.”

In addition to the Commemoration, a second reading of names provided by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for the Days of Remembrance will take place all day on Monday, April 16 at the Mandell JCC in the Chase Family Gallery, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford.

For those interested in submitting names to be included in the readings and/or to participate in the procession, contact Sheri Gaudet, (860) 231-6351, sgaudet@mandelljcc.org.

CAP: Abby Weiner and his parents.

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