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Temple Beth Israel Holocaust remembrance to feature documentary film

The power of memory and the deep scars left by those who were lost are the central themes that are the focus of this year’s Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) commemoration at Temple Beth Israel on Wednesday, May 4 at 7 p.m. at the synagogue at 3033 N. Towne Ave., Pomona.

The centerpiece of the program will be the screening of the award-winning Israeli documentary film The Green Dumpster Mystery, written and produced by Tal Haim Yoffe.

Mr. Yoffe’s film tells the story of how one day, travelling on his motor scooter, he comes upon a discarded box of old photographs in a green dumpster and sets out to find who might have discarded them.

In a unique docu-detective style, the film proceeds to unwind a family history, beginning in Lodz, Poland, and then traveling through the Siberian Gulag, a Samarkand sugar plant, a Ha’apala ship and the battlefields of the Sinai Peninsula.

Like Daniel Mendelsohn’s bestseller The Lost and David Ofek’s film No. 17 is Anonymous, this tightly-paced tour de force vividly evokes the now-extinguished lives of an anonymous—but typical—Israeli family.

“I think there are thousands of families with not exactly the same story, but families with Holocaust survivors as grandparents and great-grandparents who’ve lost Israel Defense Forces soldiers as well. It’s a typical family, and a tragic family. Everything that could have happened to them, happened to them,” Mr. Yoffe said.

The program will also include special liturgy and readings connected with Holocaust remembrance, and there will be musical selections from Cantor Paul Buch and pianist Vernon Snyder. There will also be remarks by Rabbi Jonathan Kupetz and contributions from other members of the TBI community, including author and poet R. Gabriele Silten, a child survivor of the internment camp at Terezin (Theresianstadt).

Memorial candles will be lit to remember the six million Jewish victims of the Shoah (Hebrew for Holocaust) and the six million other victims of Nazi atrocities. Candles will also be available for participants to light at their homes.

For further information, contact the Temple office at (909) 626-1277 or via email to tbi@tbipomona.org.

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