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April 12, 2004


LEWISBURG, Pa. — Rabbi Helga Newmark will discuss her experiences during the Holocaust on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Sunday, April 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the Trout Auditorium of Vaughan Literature Building at Bucknell University.

The talk, which is sponsored by Hillel, is free and open to the public.

Born in Germany, her family moved to Amsterdam where she knew Anne Frank. Newmark survived three concentration camps during the Holocaust before being liberated from Theresienstadt in 1945. She and her mother were the only survivors in her family.

The two moved to New York City but didn't observe Jewish holidays or go to temple because of their experiences in the concentration camps.

In a 1994 New York Times article about Rabbi Newmark, she said of the time, "… I came out of the camps hearing my mother say `There is no God.' For a long time, until I had my first child, I did not entertain the thought of God."

After marrying another Holocaust survivor, Newmark returned to the question of religion when her children were born. She explored Buddhism and Catholicism, then returned to Judaism.

She entered Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York at age 58 and, at age 67, became the first woman Holocaust survivor to be ordained a rabbi.

For more information about this event, call the Berelson Center for Jewish Life at Bucknell at 577-2273.

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