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Annual Yom Ha'Shoah Event to be Held May 2


Rick Richman will speak at the 35th annual Yom Ha’Shoah Holocaust Remembrance Day Program.

An address by Rick Richman, who has written about an effort early in World War II to form a Jewish army to battle Hitler, will highlight the 35th annual Yom Ha’Shoah Holocaust Remembrance Day Program at Cedars-Sinai.

The event, scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. on May 2 in Harvey Morse Auditorium, also will feature music and prayers of mourning.

The talk by Richman, a lawyer as well as an author, is titled History, Alternative History and The Holocaust: The 1940 Campaign for a Jewish Army to Fight Hitler. The subject is related to his 2018 book Racing Against History. It detailed missions to America by three leaders who represented left, right and center political strands within Zionism—David Ben-Gurion, Vladimir Jabotinsky and Chaim Weizmann—to seek support for a Jewish army to fight Hitler.

Some of the inspiration for the proposed fighting force, which never was formed, came from the experience of the Jewish Legion, which battled alongside the British in World War I to defeat the Ottoman Empire. Along with highlighting the efforts by the Zionist leaders, the book sheds light on divisions within the Jewish community shortly before the Holocaust began.

Richman, a member of the board of directors of the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, also has written for Commentary, Jewish Journal, The Jewish Press, Jewish Review of Books, Mosaic Magazine and the New York Post.

Also being featured are Cantor Netanel Baram, a lyric tenor who has been a soloist with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra and Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra; Cellist Beth Park, who has performed as a soloist across the U.S. and Europe, and who currently serves on the music faculty of Sierra Canyon School; and violinist Yi-Huan Zhao, who currently is the concertmaster of Santa Cecilia Orchestra.

The invocation will be by Cedars-Sinai Senior Rabbi Jason Weiner, BCC, and there will be a candle-lighting ceremony led by Joel M. Geiderman, MD, who is chair of the Holocaust Remembrance Day Program and a vice chair emeritus of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Attendees will be welcomed with remarks by Marc H. Rapaport, chair of the Cedars-Sinai board of directors.