October 11, 2023

Honoring and Remembering Our Heroes, Past and Present

Karen Auerbach Bocaletti Manager, Jewish Historical Society of Greater MetroWest NJ

A hero is defined as a figure admired for courage, achievement, and noble qualities. The Jewish Historical Society hosts an annual Veterans Day Commemoration honoring our service members, and this year will be the same and very different.

On Thursday, November 9, falling on Kristallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass), we are hosting our JHS Annual Veterans Day Commemoration and are honored to present a moderated conversation with our Greater MetroWest’s Peter Hirschmann – Kristallnacht witness, WWII veteran, and Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient. Peter is a member of the “Greatest Generation,” often referring to Americans born between 1900 and 1925 who grew up during WWI, experienced the Great Depression, and served our country during WWII. Brave men and women fought against unimaginable atrocities in the name of freedom and democracy. But we can only imagine there might have been an additional layer of “fight” for our service members who were also Jewish. After WWII and the atrocities of the Holocaust came into light, the world proclaimed, “Never again.”

Fast-forward to Saturday, October 7, 2023, when Israel experiences a terror attack by Hamas of unimaginable magnitude, the deadliest period of time for Jews since the Holocaust.

Once again, brave men and woman are being called upon to protect their country and fight against unimaginable atrocities.

We must continue to honor and remember our heroes, past and present, which we will do together at our Annual Veterans Day Commemoration, as we also remember Kristallnacht and acknowledge the bravery of all those who are standing up against evil in Israel.

Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ has been here for 100 years of history – strong, in times of crisis and peace. For 100 years, our community has come together to face the challenges that impact our Jewish community here at home and around the world.

We know this because our history, legacy, and impact are documented and preserved in our Jewish Historical Society of Greater MetroWest NJ archives.

For a century, our community has been heroic. From philanthropic funds, resources, collaboration, volunteers, conveners, to educators and advocates – the power of our community has been remarkable and one we can all be proud of.

Together, our Greater MetroWest community can have an immediate and important impact through our UJA Annual Campaign and our Emergency Fund for Israel, allocating directly to our partners on the ground to provide the needs to the victims who are suffering.

Like we have done for 100 years, we come together, we meet the needs, we support one another near and far, and we remember the journey and legacy of our community.

For up-to-date information and ways to help, please visit our Israel at War Community Resources page.