Six “Buffalo Upstanders,” as the organizers of the event called them, were honored for their work on behalf of newcomers and those subject to prejudice and persecution.
Each came to Temple Beth Tzedek in Amherst to light one of six memorial candles, symbolizing the 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis before and during World War II.
Rachel Kranitz McPhee, chairwoman and mistress of ceremonies, said that in the past, Holocaust survivors lit the candles.
“This is a first for us. Unfortunately, we are losing a lot of the survivors,” McPhee said.
When she asked for survivors and second- and third-generation survivors to rise at the start of the ceremony, about 30 people stood up; but almost all of them were descendants of those who went through the Holocaust.