JCC Holocaust Memorial Garden and Courtyard

IMG 4239Dedicated on April 25, 1982, the JCC Holocaust Memorial Garden and Courtyard was created by Rochester-area Holocaust survivors to remember the more than 2,800 members of their families who perished in the Holocaust. It features a memorial menorah, designed by sculptor David Klass. The colors, gold and red, commemorate the lives and deaths of the survivors' martyred family. The barbed wire reminds us of death and destruction, while the flames rising from the branches affirm the Jewish people's commitment to life.The Garden and Courtyard features beautiful flowers and shrubbery, as well as raised bed herb gardens. There are benches and tables with chairs, and open space for all to enjoy. Each fall the Garden and Courtyard is home to our JCC Sukkah, and in the spring it is a focal point of the Rochester area's annual Yom HaShoah ceremony and commemoration.

IMG 4242On April 12, 2015 three new panels were added to the Courtyard (see above photo), honoring the many Holocaust Survivors who lived in the Rochester community, and the lives they built here.  Just as many of them were instrumental in creating the original Garden in 1982 to honor the loved ones they had lost, so too do they deserve a special place of honor and reverance in our community.

The Garden and Courtyard is open year round and free for all to enjoy. Please stop by and enjoy the beauty and peace of this special commemorative space.


On October 29, 2017 the JCC and the Jewish Federation jointly launched dedicated a kiosk, permanently located in the lobby facing the Holocaust Memorial Garden and Courtyard, featuring the testimonies of over 100 Rochester-area Survivors, told in their own words.  This content is also available online for all to see and learn from:

We are always looking for additional information about Rochester-area Survivors.  If you know of any Survivors who originally settled in the Rochester area, or whose children later did, please contact Bonnie Abrams, the Director of the Center for Holocaust Awareness and Information (CHAI) at the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, at 585-461-0490 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .