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Lustbader/Babcock Holocaust Library

The Lustbader/Babcock Holocaust Memorial Library is devoted to remembering those who endured the horrific events of the Holocaust, as well as honoring those who chose not to close their eyes to reality. It was created from the bond between two families whose lives were changed forever by the Holocaust.

David Lustbader, son of Holocaust survivors Ingrid and Carl Lustbader, and Joanne Babcock Howard, daughter of Robert and Jane Babcock, both had stories of how their parents’ lives were forever influenced by the Holocaust. Their memories brought to light how Canton and Temple Beth Abraham were part of the unexpected connection between the two families. The library was dedicated in 2011 before the synagogue merged with the Randolph Temple Beth Am and became B’nai Tikvah.

Joanne Babcock Howard conveyed how she and David discovered that their parents’ lives were intertwined, “… a business acquaintance evolving to friendship, brief theology conversations, deeply compassionate listening, uncovering incredible coincidence, and hearing long-guarded secrets.” David Lustbader explained, “When I invited her (Joanne) to our son’s Bar Mitzvah, almost five years ago, she casually mentioned that her father used to work at a Temple Beth Abraham as the Sabbath helper.”

During World War II, Joanne’s mother met smuggled refugee children at the docks of Cambridge, MA, wearing a pearl necklace that identified her as a safe contact. She was part of the Unitarian church in the south shore. When her mother passed away, Joanne wanted some way to honor the work her mother had done. Realizing that it was the same Temple Beth Abraham where her father had worked, the Babcock and Lustbader families decided to create the Lustbader/Babcock Holocaust Memorial Library. Joanne sewed a cover with a Star of David embellished with the pearls. The Torah cover now holds a place of honor in the center of the Holocaust collection of the B’nai Tikvah Library. The collection includes books, photos and family memorabilia.

Israel Geller (z’l) was our resident Holocaust Survivor at Temple Beth Abraham here in Canton. His wife, Marilyn often is seen at Shabbat services. Izzy was from Poland and he was imprisoned in 5 concentration camps including, Auschwitz. He spoke at many schools and public events to share his story. He was always full of life and will be remembered for his positive energy. An Izzy Geller Education Series was created as part of the Holocaust Library to develop programs for both adults and religious school students.


The Lustbader/ Babcock Holocaust Memorial Library is part of the B’nai Tikvah library which is currently has over 1100 books newly catalogued, 125 are about the Holocaust. The Lustbader/Babcock Holocaust Memorial Library will serve as an open venue for inter-faith Holocaust education.


Wed, May 22 2024 14 Iyyar 5784