The Rodef Shalom Cemetery is located on the Black Horse Pike in Egg Harbor Township.
“Stockton's Holocaust Resource Center, now the Sara and Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center, opened in 1990 and since then we have helped in coordinating the remembrance service,” Director of the Holocaust Resource Center Gail Rosenthal said in a prepared statement. “It gives the opportunity for Holocaust survivors and their families - children of survivors, grandchildren, sometimes great-grandchildren - to be able to memorialize those who perished who have no graves, as well as those who survived the Holocaust.”
The service is titled “The Good Deed of Remembering Family,” which is what the term Mitzvah Zecher Avot means, Stockton Board of Trustee member Leo Schoffer said. Schoffer’s mother Sara is deceased. She and his father Sam, now a resident of southern New Jersey, both survived the Holocaust.
“Originally this service was conducted by the survivors themselves who memorialized their brethren,” Schoffer said. “In recent years the service has been conducted by the Resource Center and members of the second generation who are children of survivors.
“This service is only conducted in a handful of communities. We feel that it is important because it was the survivors who helped to move Holocaust education and awareness into the forefront of our consciousness.
He noted the importance of this program and others that remember the Holocaust.
“Dr. Michael Berenbaum (historian, author and former project director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum) has written that when the last survivor is gone, ‘The Holocaust will become about the past and recede into the past’,” Schoffer said. “Thus under the leadership of Gail Rosenthal and the Resource Center, the community seeks to show its appreciation and respect to the dwindling number of survivors that remain in our community.”