Rejoice and Remember: Kupferberg Holocaust Center Celebrates the Greek Jews

Published: June 14, 2012

Under a double rainbow in a twilight sky, guests gathered at the Kupferberg Holocaust Center to celebrate the music, dance, and language of what was once the Jewish community of Greece.

The June 7 event recognized Pearl Halegua and her family for their generous support of the Center through the years. Ms. Halequa is Director on the QCC Fund Board, Chair of the KHRCA/NEH Endowment Campaign, and Chair of QCC’s Barnes & Noble Impact Team.

The occasion featured Lost Voices: Greek Jews and the Holocaust, a collection of photographs that focuses on how the Shoah affected the Jews of Greece, the oldest Jewish community in Europe, going back to the third century.

Isaac HaleguaMs. Halegua’s cousin, Isaac, pointed to a 1937 group photograph that included his father who was a member of the Maccabees, a Jewish Boy Scout troupe in Salonika, Greece.

Lena Goren, a survivor, described the experience of losing many of her relatives in Greece after they were deported to Auschwitz.

In her opening remarks, Dr. Diane B. Call, Interim President of Queensborough Community College, thanked Pearl for “helping us to recognize the lessons of the Holocaust so that the survivors will always be remembered.”

“What happened to the Jews in Greece is a gaping hole in the history of the Holocaust,” said Dr. Arthur Flug, Executive Director of The Kupferberg Holocaust Center. “When we first displayed the exhibit last spring, visitors were shocked.”

Dr. Flug introduced several student interns who spoke passionately about the survivors they interviewed.

KHRCA Greek Jews Bellydancer“When I met and interviewed survivor Margaret Goldberger, I understood the Holocaust as a vivid historical event—human suffering of this magnitude is almost unimaginable,” said Karishma Mia, who will attend Barnard College in the fall of 2012.

“Our interns have been transformed from students of history to activists,” added Dr. Flug.

The evening concluded with musical entertainment by Pharaoh’s Daughter and a belly dance performance.

WATCH the full video here.

For more information contact:
The Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center
(718) 281-5770