Annual Yom HaShoah Commemoration Addresses Theme of Jewish Resistance

Our Federation and the Kean University Holocaust Resource Center will host our Annual Yom HaShoah Commemoration, this year addressing the topic of the Jewish Resistance, on Wednesday, April 11 at 6:45 p.m.

“From nothing but a ragtag collection of disheveled, malnourished, displaced, sick and mentally beaten up people, they became the largest armed rescue of Jews by Jews in all of World War II.” This quote refers to the Bielski Partisans, led by three Polish Jewish brothers who escaped the ghetto, hid in the forest, and sheltered more than 1,200 Jews from the Nazis.

Featured speaker Robert Bielsky is the youngest son of the legendary partisan commander Tuvia Bielski (portrayed by Daniel Craig in the 2009 film Defiance). He lectures throughout the world about the heroics of his father and uncles, and about their successful mission that saved so many Jewish lives during the Holocaust, whose descendants today number in the tens of thousands. Robert is active in many Jewish organizations. He is a member of the Associates Board of the Museum of Jewish Heritage, a living memorial to the Holocaust and is past president of the Holocaust Memorial Committee of Brooklyn.

In addition to the distinguished speaker, the program will also include performances by two children’s choirs – the choir from PS12 in Elizabeth, led by Dr. Anna Kroik, and the choir from the Jewish Education Center (JEC) in Elizabeth, led by Chana Salamon; a candle lighting service honoring survivors, descendants, liberators, righteous rescuers, educators, and those who believe in the importance of remembering the Holocaust; a musical performance by the violinist Lea Karpman, the daughter of Holocaust survivors; and a heart-felt rendition of the “Partisan Hymn” performed by a local men’s chorus.  

The event takes place at Kean University’s Wilkins Theatre for the Performing Arts, 1000 Morris Ave. in Union. It is free and open to the public, though registration is strongly encouraged. To register online visit

For more information contact Jamie Carus at (973) 929-3194 or