Community Yom HaShoah Events 2023

This year’s Yom HaShoah service is at Coe College, Sinclair Auditorium. The Thaler Holocaust Remembrance Fund welcomes to Eastern Iowa Yom HaShoah Guest Speaker, Tova Friedman and her grandson, Noah Goodman.

Tova is one of the co-authors of The Daughter of Auschwitz: My Story of Resilience, Survival and Hope. She is one of the youngest survivors of Auschwitz. In fact, she was liberated at Auschwitz, along with last year’s speaker, Michael Bornstein. Tova and Michael did not know they lived within a half-hour of each other until fairly recently.

“After surviving the liquidation of the Jewish ghetto in Central Poland where she lived as a toddler, Tova was four when she and her parents were sent to a Nazi labour camp, and almost six when she and her mother were forced into a packed cattle truck and sent to Auschwitz II, also known as the Birkenau extermination camp, while her father was transported to Dachau.

During six months of incarceration in Birkenau, Tova witnessed atrocities that she could never forget, and experienced numerous escapes from death. She is one of a handful of Jews to have entered a gas chamber and lived to tell the tale.

As Nazi killing squads roamed Birkenau before abandoning the camp in January 1945, Tova and her mother hid among corpses. After being liberated by the Russians they made their way back to their hometown in Poland. Eventually Tova’s father tracked them down and the family was reunited.

In The Daughter of Auschwitz, Tova immortalizes what she saw, to keep the story of the Holocaust alive, at a time when it’s in danger of fading from memory. She has used those memories that have shaped her life to honour the victims. Tova and her co-author, award-winning former war reporter Malcolm Brabant, have painstakingly recreated Tova’s extraordinary story about the world’s worst-ever crime.” — publisher

I am a survivor. That comes with a survivor’s obligation to represent one and a half million Jewish children murdered by the Nazis. They cannot speak. So I must speak on their behalf.”

Tova Friedman will be speaking —

    • March 26, Coe College, Sinclair Auditorium, 1220 1st Avenue NE, Cedar Rapids,7:30 pm
    • March 27, Cornell College, Hall-Perrine Meeting Room, Thomas Commons, 600 1st Street Mt. Vernon, 6:00 pm
    • March 28, Kirkwood Community College, Ballantyne Auditorium, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, 1:00 pm
    • March 29, Mount Mercy University, Chapel of Mercy, 1330 Elmhurst Dr NE, Cedar Rapids, 11:30 am

Books will be available for purchase at the book signing following the Cornell and Kirkwood presentations.

This service is organized by the Thaler Holocaust Programming Committee and The Inter-Religious Council of Linn County. See for more information.