On Memory and Building for the Future

This week, Jewish communities worldwide observed Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. We set aside this sacred time and space to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, honor and care for the survivors, and pay tribute to those who demonstrated courage and resilience in the face of extreme horror, because even amidst the pressing issues of today, recalling our past and taking responsibility for our present is a crucial part of who we are.

That’s also why our community is committed to caring for survivors in Greater Washington, in Israel, and around the world year-round. Together with our partners, including the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), JSSA, JDC, and The Jewish Agency for Israel, we ensure that survivors have access to the services needed to live with dignity and independence. Moreover, with antisemitism on the rise in our country and around the world, Holocaust commemoration and education are more important than ever before. Far too many people have never learned about the Holocaust or consider it an irrelevant historical occurrence.

As part of this commemoration and remembrance, we must also grapple with a crucial question: what lessons do we take from the Holocaust as we define our collective responsibility to future generations? 

The lessons of our collective history are both deeply particular and universal. Today, there are many ways we can unite in remembering and building for the future. I encourage you to:

  • Join the JCRC’s annual Yom HaShoah Commemoration online this Sunday, May 1st at 1:00 PM, featuring Holocaust survivor Josie Traum as keynote speaker.
  • Amplify Holocaust survivor stories on social media. This year, in honor of Yom HaShoah, Federation and local organization 3GDC came together to carry on survivors’ legacies through their grandchildren. Follow @JewishFederationGW on Instagram to watch and share videos produced by 3GDC members.
  • Help us continue caring for victims of the war in Ukraine, including Holocaust survivors who are suffering once again.

I am, as always, deeply grateful to be part of Jewish Greater Washington, where we have so many opportunities to learn and grow together. Thank you for continuing to connect with and care for one another. Thank you for ensuring that our community is a place where each of us can live full, meaningful Jewish lives, together. 

Shabbat Shalom,

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