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Re-dedication ceremony planned for damaged Boston Holocaust Memorial

After a man reportedly threw a brick at the memorial, shattering a glass panel, it will now be repaired and rededicated.
New England Holocaust Memorial
The New England Holocaust Memorial in downtown Boston. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

When Boston’s Holocaust Memorial was vandalized in June, Jewish community leaders spoke about how they will rebuild. On Tuesday, those leaders, Holocaust survivors and state and local officials will come together at a rededication ceremony for the memorial.

Gov. Charlie Baker and Mayor Marty Walsh will join the Combined Jewish Philanthropies and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston at the memorial in Carmen Park on Congress Street at 1 p.m. Tuesday. The public is welcomed to attend the rededication as well, organizers said.

James E. Isaac, a 21-year-old Roxbury man, was charged with throwing a rock at the memorial in the early hours of June 28, shattering a glass panel that was etched with the numbers tattooed on the arms of Jewish people during the Holocaust.

Isaac pleaded not guilty to vandalism. His attorneys said that he had a history of mental illness and is “struggling considerably,” the Boston Globe reported.

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Yet regardless of motive, the destruction of the sacred place had a strong impact on the community, others said.

The morning after the incident, Israel Arbeiter, a Holocaust survivor, spoke about when he and his wife learned that the memorial had been damaged.

“It was six in the morning that my wife came into our bedroom, she was shaking and crying. … She said, ‘They destroyed the memorial,'” he said in June.

The memorial consists of six towers to represent the six million Jews who died during the Holocaust, the six years during which the Final Solution took place and the six main death camps where the majority of European Jews were murdered, an official said.

There are 132 panes of glass in total, including the one that was shattered. At the rededication ceremony on Tuesday, a new glass panel will be unveiled.

The officials set to attend will “echo the sentiments expressed by so many last week: our community is strong, we stand together to help each other, and we reject hatred,” the event listing reads.

 
 
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