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Cantor Rebecca Garfein

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November 9, 1997, I arrived in Berlin, Germany just in time to experience the Kristallnacht memorial service with the Berlin Jewish Community. I had been invited to Berlin to participate in the Judische Kulturtage, the Berlin Jewish Cultural Festival, as the first female cantor to give a solo concert in the very city my Opa had escaped in 1938.

Kristallnacht, which literally means “the night of broken glass,” occurred on the night of November 9, 1938; this date marked the beginning of the Holocaust. On Kristallnacht, Jewish homes, synagogues, and businesses were destroyed by the...

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