Son of concentration camp survivor
to speak at Congregation Beth Israel
NEW LEADER Dr. Marc Fisher stands in front of Congregation (Temple) Beth Israel, where the son of a concentration camp survivor will speak on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Fisher, who assumed duties as president of the congregation in January, said the
presentation is part of the temple's outreach ministry to the community. PHOTO BY PAULA MERRITT / THE MERIDIAN STAR
By Ida Brown / religion editor
May 1, 2004
The son of a World War II concentration camp survivor will share his father's story with a Meridian audience as part of a regional tour.
Rabbi Peter H. Grumbacher of Congregation Beth Emeth in Wilmington, Del., is traveling the country telling the story of his father's unique World War II experiences and journey from a concentration camp to the United States Army. He will speak Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Congregation (Temple) Beth Israel, 5718 14th Place.
Grumbacher's father was arrested on Kristalnacht, the "Night of Shattered Glass," Nov. 9 and 10, 1938, and interred in the Dachau concentration camp. Through a miracle of sorts, he walked out of Dachau and came to this country less than two months later. In 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and returned to Europe, where he served heroically, receiving numerous medals and national recognition.
In his desire to share this story during his travels, Grumbacher encourages people of all faiths and ages to attend his program. He has spoken on the subject numerous times to Christians and Jews, young and old, in public and private schools, as well as on college campuses.
Meridian is one of several stops which also include Tupelo, Jackson and Huntsville, Ala., Grumbacher will make as part of a 10-day tour of areas in the Southeast.
Born in New York City, Grumbacher graduated from Hunter College and, in 1972, was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion with a master of arts degree in Hebrew Letters. He has served on many boards in the Wilmington community, including chairman of the State Human Relations Commission, chairman of the Delaware Interfaith Coalition of Aging, and senior co-chairman of the National Conference of Christian and Jews, now the National Conference for Community and Justice.
In 1989, Grumbacher received the Community Builder Award of the NCCJ, and in the late 1990s was the recipient of the annual award of the Jewish National Fund and the Gerald E. Kandler Award of the American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware.
Fisher, who assumed duties as president of the local temple in January, said Grumbacher's appearance is one way he hopes to revive the church.