Nearly 70 years after the liberation of the World War II Dachau death camp, the ashes of some of its victims will be interred in the Durham Hebrew Cemetery in a service at 11 a.m. Sunday.
Until now the ashes had been hidden away in a drawer at Joseph Corsbie’s trailer home in Dobson, a small town in Surry County.
Joseph’s father, Walter, told his son about the ashes as he lay dying in 1986, dredging up painful memories of his post-liberation tour of Dachau as a young American soldier. Joseph became the caretaker of the ashes until concerns about his own mortality led him to reveal their existence and enlist the help of his cousins.
Mirinda Kossoff of Durham, his cousin, contacted Sharon Halperin, the daughter of Holocaust survivors and co-founder and director of the Holocaust Speakers Bureau. Kossoff met with Halperin and gave her the ashcake.
Halperin’s husband, Dr. Edward C. Halperin, chancellor of New York Medical College, then submitted the ashes to the New York City medical examiner’s office, where they were tested and found to be human cremains.
In keeping with Joseph Corsbie’s wishes and with Halperin’s help, Rabbi Jen Feldman of Kehillah Synagogue in Chapel Hill and Rabbi Daniel Greyber of Beth El Synagogue in Durham, the ashes will be buried in the Jewish cemetery.
The Dachau concentration camp was liberated by U.S. soldiers on April 29, 1945. It was the first concentration camp American troops had seen. Witnessing the barbarity of Nazism through the eyes of U.S. soldiers and journalists seared the American conscience.
The public is invited to the service. Those who wish to donate toward a monument and perpetual care of the grave site may do so by sending a check made payable to Beth El Synagogue. Write in the memo line: Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund.
The Durham Hebrew Cemetery is located across the street from 1105 Morehead Ave. in Durham.
‘Praise and Pizza’
The theme is “Easter: The Resurrection and What it Means to Christians.” The event will begin with a praise service, including music, prayer and the video “He Lives: Easter Song.”
The evening will end with fellowship time and a pizza dinner. The event is free and all are invited.
Zen Center talks
Dairyu Michael Wenger will give two public talks at the Chapel Hill Zen Center, one at 10:30 a.m. Sunday and a second at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday.
Wenger trained and practiced for many years at the San Francisco Zen Center where he was ordained as a Zen Buddhist priest. He is now Guiding Teacher of Dragon’s Leap Meditation Center where he emphasizes Zen meditation, brush painting and Dharma classes. Courage, compassion and creativity are his touchstones.
There is no charge and all are welcome.
The Zen Center is located at 5322 N.C. 86 between Chapel Hill and Hillsborough.
The newly formed North Carolina Pastors Network and its affiliate organization, the American Pastors Network, have announced a statewide initiative to inform North Carolina pastors of their mission and vision as it relates to critical issues facing the state and nation.
The three-day initiative will take place from May 27-29 and includes eight regional meetings at churches across the state. The one in this area is at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 29, at Crossroads Fellowship, 2721 E. Millbrook Road in Raleigh.
“Our prayer is that the network we are building through NCPN will bring together biblical faithful pastors who will courageously speak truth on biblical, social and policy issues to encourage believers across the state to step out and impact the culture for Christ,” says a press release from the organization.
The N.C. Pastors Network is led by president Dave Kistler, executive director Kenneth I. Carrico and secretary Betty Cotton. The American Pastors Network is led by president Sam Rohrer and executive director Gary Dull.
‘Dead Man Walking’
The Eno River Players will present a staged reading of “Dead Man Walking” at the Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist on Sunday, June 22.
The 11 a.m. worship service that day will be based on the 1993 book by sister Helen Prejean about her work as a chaplain on death row at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.
Susan Sarandon won the 1996 Academy Award for Best Actress for the film version of the book. Prejean continues her campaign against the death penalty from the Death Penalty Discourse Network in New Orleans.
The Eno Players also have performed the work at the Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Durham and two other local congregations as part of their effort to end the death penalty.
The event is free and open to the public.
Contact Flo Johnston at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 910-361-4135.