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Observing tragedy with artwork

Glass creations memorialize victims of the Holocaust

Samuel Schwartz, Kingston, finishes his stained-glass pattern Sunday at the Jewish Community Center in Wilkes-Barre.

CHARLOTTE BARTIZEK/FOR THE TIMES LEADER

WILKES-BARRE -- The Jewish Community Center sponsored a program on Sunday called “Putting the Pieces Back Together” as an observance of Kristallnacht, a major turning point of the Holocaust.

“Kristallnacht means ‘the Night of Broken Glass,’” said Rabbi Larry Kaplan of Temple Israel. In 1938, the German Nazi government had stepped up its crackdown on Jews and Jewish businesses

“What essentially took place were riots attacking Jewish businesses and burning temples. It was really the beginning of the end for the Jewish people in Germany.”

Event organizer Abby Kruger said, “We’re trying to observe some of the tragedies of the Holocaust. Kristallnacht was an event where there was glass shattered everywhere, and we’re symbolically putting the pieces back together to reformulate the Jewish community in a positive way.”

The JCC will be working together with renowned Jewish artist Gary Rosenthal and The Kristallnacht Project to submit a small 12-by-12-inch window composed of colorful glass shards that will become part of a much larger stained-glass collective to be displayed nationally.

The finished project will incorporate 6 million pieces of beautifully fused glass to commemorate the 6 million victims of the Holocaust.

“The children will also be creating textile tapestry windows, made up of small objects and mementos that are special or significant to them.” Kruger said. “These tapestry windows commemorate those that were shattered during Kristallnacht.”

The finished artwork will be displayed at a Holocaust memorial event in May.

For further information, call Barbara Sugarman or Gina Malsky of the JCC at 824-4646.

To see additional photos, visit www.times

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