Rabbi Polak Holocaust Memoir Reading and Book Signing

Top Pick May 8, 2019 North Chelmsford Free
Rabbi Joseph Polak (Courtesy photo)
Rabbi Joseph Polak (Courtesy photo)

Rabbi Joseph Polak, author of the acclaimed memoir “After the Holocaust the Bells Still Ring,” will present a unique and dramatic reading from his memoir, with a book signing to follow.

A toddler survivor of two concentration camps, together with his mother, Rabbi Polak, who is chief justice of the Rabbinic Court (Bet Din) of Massachusetts, will read from the chapter “Tanya” (written as a play with three characters) in this memoir, which was a 2015 winner of the National Jewish Book Award, and is now scheduled to be published in Hebrew translation by Yad Vashem.

Rabbi Polak is also an adjunct assistant professor of health law, ethics and human rights at Boston University School of Public Health and rabbi emeritus of the Boston University Hillel House.

A fascinating recounting of a mother and child who miraculously survived two camps (Westerbork, a transit camp in the Netherlands, and Bergen-Belsen in Germany), this extraordinary book includes a stirring forward by Elie Wiesel, Rabbi Polak’s intimate friend. As summarized at goodreads.com: This memoir goes on to describe “how after the war Polak and his mother battle demons of the past, societal rejection, disbelief, and invalidation as they struggle to reenter the world of the living. … It is the story of the child who decides, upon growing up, that the only career that makes sense for him in light of these years of horror is to become someone sensitive to the deepest flaws of humanity, a teacher of God’s role in history amidst the traditions that attempt to understand it, and to become a rabbi.”

As virtually all Holocaust survivors alive today were children at the time of the horrors, “We feel a need to tell, to share our stories,” says Rabbi Polak. “We are the last witnesses to what happened. We were there.”

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Fact Sheet
Wednesday, May 8, 2019, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Congregation Shalom
87 Richardson Rd
North Chelmsford, MA 01863

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