4/8/18 – SD Business Journal: Holocaust Memorial in Bauska Wins Award
Yehudi Gaffen, CEO of San Diego-based Gafcon Inc., announced that after more than 15 years in the making, the Memorial Synagogue Garden in Bauska, Latvia, was opened and dedicated last fall. This month, the memorial garden has now been recognized with a “Latvian Construction of the Year Award” in the public outdoor space category. The Building, Design and Construction Council and the publications: “Latvian Construction” and “Latvian Architecture” present this national award with a decision made by an awards panel which includes members of state institutions, non-governmental organizations and design and development professionals.
Gaffen led the fundraising and development process, along with his sister Beverly Gaffen Altman and Jehuda Feitelson, a former Bauska resident, concentration camp survivor and a retired doctor of chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Bauska is a town in southern Latvia where Gaffen’s family’s roots stretch back to the 1750s. In 1941, 830 Bauska Jews, including Yehudi’s grandparents and great-grandparents, were marched to the woods and shot by Nazi forces and local collaborators.
“My ancestors lived in Latvia for many centuries and my lineage traces directly back to the people murdered in Bauska during Nazi occupation,” Gaffen said. “Working on this memorial with the people of Bauska has been an honor unlike any other project in my career and a deeply personal memory that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”
The memorial garden was conceived as a monument in celebration of the Jewish community that once lived and thrived in the town.