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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)March 19, 2012

(MAHWAH, NJ) – The Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies of Ramapo College and Temple Beth Haverim Shir Shalom will hold a Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance) commemoration on Wednesday, April 18.  It will commence at 7 p.m. and take place at Beth Haverim Shir Shalom at 280 Ramapo Valley Road (Route 202), Mahwah, NJ 07430.

The commemoration will feature Benjamin Levin who was a member of a Jewish partisan brigade that joined the Red Army in liberating Vilna, the “Jerusalem of Lithuania,” from Nazi oppression.  Once 500 strong, combat reduced its size to a handful of fighters.

Levin joined the Irgun with Menachem Begin and assisted the smuggling of Jews and arms into Palestine.  In that capacity, he was on the cargo vessel Altadena, when a confrontation ensued after Begin refused to halt his operation that separately supplied the Irgun.  The provisional Israeli government under David Ben-Gurion ordered the ship taken by force.  Shelling began when the ship was about 100 yards off the coast of Tel Aviv.  Setting aside the controversy over the affair, there were casualties on both sides, including a number of Auschwitz survivors on the ship.  One of the last crew members to leave the ship was Benjamin Levin.

The evening also will include a commemorative service conducted by Rabbi Joel Mosbacher program of chorale music performed by the adult choir of Temple Beth Haverim Shir Shalom, under Cantor David Perper and the choir the Ramapo Chorale and CantaNOVA, under the direction of Lisa Lutter, associate professor of choral music at the College.

For more information, please contact Michael Riff at 201-684- 7409.


Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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