PHILIPSTOWN REFORM SYNAGOGUE HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE
SATURDAY, APRIL 4, 2020 NOON TO 4PM DESMOND FISH LIBRARY, GARRISON, NY
WWI ASSYRIAN GENOCIDE TOPIC OF HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE PROGRAM
In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Kathy Yacoe, as a member of the Philipstown Reform Synagogue will give a presentation about the Assyrian genocide of World War I, known as Seyfo, or Year of the Sword. The talk and slide show will be held at the Desmond Fish Library, Saturday, April 4th
from Noon to 4PM. There will also be a spread of Middle Eastern delectables.
The afternoon will explore the history and religious perspective of Assyrians and events leading up to the WWI Genocide. As Ms. Yacoe describes, “Assyrians are an indigenous people of the Middle East and are descendants of the ancient Assyrians. They are some of the earliest Christians and, as a religious and ethnic minority, have been subject to repeated and continuing persecution.”
Tragically, that Genocide has continued today with the Syrian Civil War and ISIS. Between the years of 2003 and 2018, the Assyrian population in its ancestral homeland of Mesopotamia, where it has existed for over 6,000 years, dropped from 1,500,000 to under 250,000 people. “The crimes against humanity committed by ISIS against Assyrians have not only resulted in the killing and displacement of disturbing numbers of innocent people, but have also had the consequences of the enslavement and rape of countless of women and children, and the destruction of ancient churches, artifacts, and cities that were bastions of the Assyrian cultural heritage. Today,with the withdrawal of American troops, many Assyrian villages are again under attack.”
In August, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Resolution 296, recognizing the genocide of Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks by the Ottoman Empire during World War I. During this period, 750,000 Assyrians, 1.5 million Armenians and 1 million Greeks were killed. In December, the Senate
passed a similar resolution. New York State passed a resolution recognizing Assyrian Memorial Day, which is celebrated on August 7th.”
In 2017 Kathy Yacoe received a Yonkers Arts Initiative Grant from Arts Westchester to work with the Assyrian Community of Yonkers to produce an exhibit of text, video, photographs and art work documenting the genocide, subsequent diaspora and establishment of the Assyrian community in
Yonkers. The exhibit was held at the Blue Door Gallery and Philipse Manor Hall.
Ms. Yacoe holds an MFA degree and, in additional to exhibiting her art work, has taught art for many years, and is currently a teaching artist for ArtsWestchester. The program will be followed by discussions and then prayers for the victims of all Holocausts and Genocides over history.
Contact: Adele Stern
Philipstown Reform Synagogue
tel: (212) 923-4556