Holocaust Remembrance Service planned at Fairfield University


A Holocaust Remembrance Service will be held at Fairfield University's Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola on Monday, April 28, at 5 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies at Fairfield University, Campus Ministry and KADIMA, the university's undergraduate Jewish student organization.

Rabbi Michael Cahana, senior rabbi of Temple Israel in New Rochelle, N.Y., will be the guest speaker. His talk, "Second Generation: The Problems and Responsibilities of Being a Child of a Survivor," will be part of a brief service led by various university students, faculty and staff.

Rabbi Cahana took his post at Temple Israel in 2000, after serving congregations in Providence, R.I.; Kalamazoo, Mich.; and Kitchner, Ontario. He has also served as Director of Judaic Programming for the Jewish Community Center of Toledo and he is chair of the Central Conference of American Rabbis Ad Hoc Committee on Physician Assisted Suicide.

In 1999, Rabbi Cahana and his family were featured in the critically acclaimed film "The Last Days," which tells the true stories of five Hungarian survivors of the Holocaust. His mother, Holocaust artist Alice Lok Cahana, was one of the five. During filmmaking, the Cahana family traveled back to the concentration camps Bergen-Belsen and Auschwitz, where Mrs. Cahana poignantly demonstrated to her son how the inmates secretly celebrated Shabbat in the latrines.

Produced by Steven Spielberg's Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, "The Last Days" won the 1999 Academy Award for Best Documentary.

With his wife, Cantor Ida Rae Cahana, Rabbi Cahana has created a musical and prose performance piece called "Through My Mother's Eyes," which tells his mother's story in her own words accompanied by Yiddish and Hebrew music of the period.

Born in Houston, Rabbi Cahana comes from a long rabbinical tradition that includes his father and brother. After a career in theater, he studied architectural lighting at Parsons School of Design in New York, earning a master of fine arts degree in the field. After several years at a Mahattan design firm, he began studies at Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion and was ordained in 1994.

The Holocaust Remembrance Service and lecture are free and open to the public, however registration is requested. To register, call the Judaic Studies center at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2066.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 11, 2003

Vol. 35, No. 252