January 18, 2024 at 7:05 a.m.

My personal relationship with the Bishop

BISHOP EDWARD B. SCHARFENBERGER (l.) talks with Dr. Michael Lozman during the Day of Remembrance on April 28, 2022, at the future site of the Capital District Jewish Holocaust Memorial off Troy Schenectady Road in Niskayuna. (Evangelist file photo)
BISHOP EDWARD B. SCHARFENBERGER (l.) talks with Dr. Michael Lozman during the Day of Remembrance on April 28, 2022, at the future site of the Capital District Jewish Holocaust Memorial off Troy Schenectady Road in Niskayuna. (Evangelist file photo)

By Dr. Michael Lozman | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Several years ago, I approached Bishop Scharfenberger about an idea I had to construct a Holocaust memorial in the Albany area. It has been almost 80 years since the Nazis and their collaborators murdered over six million Jews in Eastern Europe, and with antisemitism on the rise along with a plague of hatred and prejudice becoming more prevalent, I thought it essential for Albany, the capital of New York State, to have a Holocaust memorial that addressed these issues in a meaningful way. By doing so we would be making a statement that we are both memorializing those killed and also educating against the evils that allowed hatred to flourish and metastasize. Bringing the past forward requires us to remember and learn the dangers of complacency, of looking the other way, of waiting to act.

Faced with the Herculean task of creating a new major structure and bringing this vision to reality, I made an appointment with Bishop Scharfenberger to discuss our joining together in strength and conviction, not knowing how I would be received. To be honest, being Jewish I was in new territory, never having visited the Albany Diocese, discussed issues with a bishop, or attempted to develop a working relationship with leadership of another religion. Although I have spent almost 20 years taking college students (usually half the student group was not Jewish) to Eastern Europe to restore Jewish cemeteries that suffered devastation and ruin, and having traveled extensively, I was always comfortable with political and religious leadership, but this was different.

I wanted to create a working partnership for the specific purpose of building a Holocaust memorial. This was a first and it was history in the making.

It has been five years since our first meeting and I can unequivocally say that after numerous meetings with the Bishop, I have never met anyone like him. He is a blessed person that glows with sincere warmth and caring. His insight, intelligence and understanding is truly exceptional and our entire community is fortunate to have him at the helm. He is a friend, a teacher and a deeply religious person who softly guides his listener to a more meaningful life.

At our meetings it was clearly obvious that the Bishop was strongly supportive in helping us get our project under way. He offered the property (in Niskayuna) to build upon, joined us at the Planning Board and Town Board meetings, attended other related public functions, and as the years progressed remained an encouraging inspiration. He often said that “we are doing God’s work.”

I have recently been appointed by President Biden to be a member of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, allowing me to continue to work on a more global scale.

Since I am also a full-time orthodontist, I have transferred my position as president of the Capital District Jewish Holocaust Memorial to Dan Dembling, our memorial architect, to carry us through the education and fund development stage so that this project can begin construction.

I’m sure that his leadership will help us succeed.

I want to thank all of you for your support and encouragement. During my term as president of the memorial project working with many from the Catholic and other non-Jewish communities has broadened the meaning of “family.”

We share so much that by working together I know we will bring light to the world.

Dr. Michael Lozman can be reached at [email protected]. To donate to the Capital District Jewish Holocaust Memorial, go to www.cdjhm.org.


Comments:

You must login to comment.

250 X 250 AD
250 X 250 AD

Events

February

SU
MO
TU
WE
TH
FR
SA
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
25
26
27
28
29
1
2
SUN
MON
TUE
WED
THU
FRI
SAT
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
28 29 30 31 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 1 2

To Submit an Event Sign in first

Today's Events

No calendar events have been scheduled for today.

250 X 250 AD