January 27

January 27th is recognized as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, established in 2005 by the United Nations General Assembly in recognition of the date on which the concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated in 1945.

In observance of the historic significance of this date to the global community, please join our Irvington community to view these past webinars discussion the personal and international impact of these events.

A Tale of Love and Survival: My Mother’s Experiences as a Holocaust Survivor
Presented by Irvingtonian Shelley Greenspan, November 10, 2020

Video—A Tale of Love and Survival: My Mother's Experiences as a Holocaust Survivor

Direct video link:
Original program description:
Shelley is the only child of two Holocaust survivors who came from Northern Transylvania, in present-day Romania. The region was taken over by Hungary in 1940, when harsh anti-Jewish laws were imposed. But the Jewish community there survived until March of 1944, when the Germans occupied Hungary. On the eve of the Allied victory, the Jews of Northern Transylvania were concentrated into ghettos and, within several weeks’ time, were transported to Auschwitz, where the majority of them were gassed upon arrival. Shelley tells the story of her mother, Lilly, who survived two concentration camps thanks to the love and support of her older sister, Sarah, who was with her throughout the war. Shelly’s oldest daughter, Emily, also tells Lilly’s story through her presentations with 3GNY, an educational organization founded by the grandchildren of survivors to preserve the legacies and lessons of the Holocaust. Shelley and Emily had the opportunity to visit Romania in May 2019 through Tarbut Foundation Sighet to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the deportation of Jews from Transylvania. While there, they traveled to the village of Borșa to see Lilly’s childhood home, which is now a post office. Shelley’s younger daughter, Naomi, is the image of her grandmother Lilly. Shelley was born and raised in the Bronx and lived in New Jersey and Israel. She spent her professional life in international banking and is looking forward to her upcoming retirement. In retirement she plans to work on her father’s story, learn Yiddish, keep physically active through hiking, and eventually travel to Eastern Europe to learn more about her parents’ pasts. She currently resides in Irvington with her husband David. Shelley is a member of GenerationsForward, a group of second and third generation individuals sponsored by the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center of White Plains, New York.

Learning From Memorials to Slavery and the Holocaust–Part 2
Presented by Irvingtonians Linda Rousseau, Adine Usher, Tosia Neiger-McCormick, & Robert Dottin, August 22, 2020.

Video—Learning From Memorials to Slavery and the Holocaust–Part 2

This is an edited recording of a program originally presented August 22, 2020, hosted by the Irvington Public Library. This footage has been edited to include re-recorded segments due to technical issues in the original recording.

Direct video link: 
Original program summary:

“Memorials and their symbolic power have been much in the news lately. What is their significance? Why do they arouse such strong emotions? What can we learn from their construction and destruction, that could transform our thinking, our society and the world? Honest history, truly equitable education and personal commitments to antiracism, are only some of the important lessons. In this second chapter we hope to spark discussion and commitment to solving these critical issues. They have grown more urgent since the October 2019 discussion by our group, The Montgomery Four, at the Irvington Library. Linda Rousseau MS is an activist for prison reform, and a direct descendant of people who owned slaves on a plantation. Adine Usher EdD is an Educational Specialist for People with Disabilities and an African American activist. Tosia Neiger-McCormick MS LMHC is a Mental Health Counselor and educator, a human rights activist and a member of the only family known to escape intact from the Krakow Ghetto during the Holocaust. Robert Dottin, PhD is a Professor of Biology (Genetics) and a Black activist with Caribbean roots.