Memorial & Commemoration

The Kol Israel Memorial & Commemoration Committee has been established to preserve, protect and enhance the Holocaust Monument at Zion Memorial Park in Bedford Heights, Ohio. The monument was one of the first constructed in the United States. Buried at the base of the monument are ashes and artifacts of Jewish martyrs killed by the Nazis from three concentration camps. Engraved on surrounding walls are the names of family members who perished during the Holocaust, as well as the names of departed Survivors.

The monument was dedicated on May 28, 1961 and is the site of an annual memorial service, held each year on the Sunday between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Co- Sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, the event serves as an opportunity for families to say the Mourner’s Kaddish for departed Holocaust victims who did not receive a proper burial or do not have a known grave, as well as departed Survivors.  It is a well- attended community event.

The Memorial Committee also organizes, along with the Federation, the annual community-wide Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) Commemoration held each spring between Passover and Israel Independence Day. Both programs include a moving candle-lighting ceremony honoring six Holocaust Survivors, liberators and righteous among the nations; moving stories of destruction and liberation from Survivors; remarks from religious and community leaders; psalms and songs; and special prayers for the departed. We are currently in the process of seeking recognition of the monument as a National Historic Site, and are working with the City of Bedford Heights, the Bedford Historical Society and the Ohio Historical Society to erect a historical site marker there.

We welcome any volunteers to assist in our programming and seek ongoing financial support to maintain the legacy of the monument. Names of loved ones lost during the Holocaust, or of departed Survivors can still be engraved on the monument for a nominal cost. For further information on monument engraving, contact Kol Israel.