President Obama in his Yom HaShoah message recalled his recommitment in Israel last month to combating anti-Semitism and intolerance.
One by one, the e-mails from the White House arrived in inboxes across Washington on April 23, each highlighting a unique initiative toward a different corner of the globe: Syria. Iran. Uganda.
As the Germans marched toward the tiny French hamlet of Autrans, 10-year-old Eva Perlman (nee Gutmann) watched as an obviously frightened 17-year-old boy fled from a sawmill into the woods. The Germans shot him on sight.
It was 1942, and the boy wasn’t even Jewish, Perlman says.
Your hearty laughs were rare, but you could always make me laugh.You gave me happiness even when you were deprived of it.
Condolence visits are part of a rabbi's life, but no one ever taught us how to make nine visits in a 48-hour period. We arrived in Israel on the morning of Tuesday, March 11, and left Israel the following night. Our mission, representing the Rabbinical Council of America, was to express solidarity with the families of the victims of the terror attack at yeshivat Mercaz Harav, comfort the injured in the hospitals and visit the yeshiva.
Over the last several years, in anticipation of the voyage's 60th anniversary, survivors of the Exodus have been asked to share their stories in an effort to solidify Exodus' place in history, before all that is left are the fictionalized and romanticized versions of the 1958 Leon Uris novel or the 1960 Otto Preminger film (and even those are already being forgotten). Among the recent projects are "Exodus 1947," a 1997 documentary film by Venice resident Elizabeth Rodgers, and a new release of journalist Ruth Gruber's account of the voyage, "Exodus 1947: The Ship that Launched a Nation" (October 2007, Union Square Press).
Remembrance of a mother's last day.
So when I see hundreds of millions of dollars being poured into Holocaust memorials and Holocaust remembrance, I see an unspeakable tragedy for my people, yes, but I also see a missed opportunity. I see this enormous effort to tell us how Jews die, but so little effort to tell us how Jews live -- more specifically, to tell us what is so extraordinary about this Judaism that those 6 million Jews died for.
I was born in Tel Aviv, in 1936, and, quite naturally, my feelings toward Israel are suffused with the love, pride, memories, music and aromas that nourish and sustain all natives of any country. Yet, remarkably, as the years pass, I discover that these same feelings towards Israel are echoed by people everywhere, including many who have never set foot in that country.
Finally, I'm grateful to the Almighty for having given me such a remarkable mother who, by example, taught her many offspring about the beauty of Judaism, how to lead meaningful lives and how important it is to do chesed for others. May her memory be a blessing.
Excerpts from a speech by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at Yom Hashoah Ve'Hagvurah Community Wide Holocaust Remembrance Day at Pan Pacific Park.
The counter-intuitiveness of teaching children about the Holocaust is a harsh truth for parents of the new millennium, who believe in organic parenting, in going with the child's flow. But, of course, there isn't anything natural about the Holocaust, and so how we pass it on to the next generation can't be natural.
Now Long Beach Opera, a company known for its daring repertory and unconventional interpretations, is presenting the West Coast premiere of "The Diary of Anne Frank," with three performances, from April 17 to 21 at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and at Lincoln Park in Long Beach. (Congregation Kol Ami in West Hollywood will also present a semistaged performance on Yom HaShoah, April 15.)
"Write and record," historian Simon Dubnow urged his fellow Jews, as he was taken to his death in Riga. Over the decades since Dubnow's murder in 1941, many have taken his words to heart, and scholars, survivors, novelists, poets, members of the second and third generations continue to publish new work on the Holocaust. This season, in time for the commemoration of Yom HaShoah, there are impressive historical works, memoirs of lost childhoods, personal testimonies and artful works of fiction; many written by those who feel an obligation to those whose voices were stilled.
The responsibility for transmitting the survivors' legacy of remembrance into the future must now increasingly shift to us -- their children and grandchildren.
Like many synagogue guest speakers, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began his address to the members of Temple Israel of Hollywood on Friday, Feb. 26, 1965, with a pitch.
Teddy Kollek, the longtime Jerusalem mayor who died this week at the age of 95, is being remembered as the most prolific builder of the city since King Herod.
Rain and clouds greeted Southern California's annual Holocaust Remembrance Day, while sunshine welcomed a gathering of World War II veterans and the Shoah survivors whom they liberated from concentration camps.
Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah, fell this year on Thursday, May 5. Did your school honor the day? Quartz Hill High School, in the Antelope Valley, honors the Holocaust every year by putting on a competition for the best creative work.
Each year, the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau by Soviet forces is marked on Jan. 27, but this year, the 60th anniversary has given Poland, site of the most infamous Nazi death camps, a special opportunity for remembrance and reflection.
The anniversary ceremonies, which will be held at the memorial site in Birkenau, will draw an assortment of international dignitaries and leaders. Among those slated to attend are Israeli President Moshe Katsav, Ukrainian President-elect Viktor Yuschenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The paucity of Jews serving on front lines may explain the dwindling numbers of members belonging to Jewish war veteran organizations.
For The Kids
"I have all these weird mixed feelings about my new play," Neil Goldman said.
As the grandson of Holocaust survivors, he wrote "A Candle for the Last," about the last living survivor, to do his part for Holocaust remembrance.
"But at the same time, there's the 'by Neil Goldman' aspect to it," Goldman, a staff writer for NBC's "Scrubs," said, sheepishly.
"Here I am doing a newspaper interview," he said. "Meanwhile, my grandmother is proud I've written a play, and she thinks Steven Spielberg should come see it. But did I subconsciously write it for that reason?"
>"The secret of redemption is remembrance," as a sign announces in Israel's Yad Vashem, an institution dedicated to remembering the Holocaust.
Passover is a holiday of remembrance, a time to recall and retell the story of the deliverance of the Jewish people from generations of Egyptian bondage. But there is also a different kind of remembering that takes place each Passover, in which memory is personal, not scripted. We spontaneously recall, often vividly, the many different seders we have attended over the years, both as a child and as an adult.Â
Flags flew at half-staff. People on the street made a stronger-than-usual effort to meet each others' eyes, acknowledging the sadness of the day.
This Sunday marks the eighth year that the Los Angeles Holocaust Monument in Pan Pacific Park will serve as the local centerpiece of the annual Worldwide Holocaust Memorial Day, in memory of the 6 million Jews who were murdered in Europe at the hands of the Nazi regime. Hosted this year by the Los Angeles Holocaust Memorial Monument Fund, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and Second Generation, the Yom HaShoah gathering is expected to attract more than 2,500 people.
On this bright September afternoon, Zion Square, at the bottom of Jerusalem's downtown Ben Yehuda outdoor mall, is the usual confusion of pedestrian traffic -- shoppers, students, soldiers, tourists, all hurrying about their business in every direction. A few minutes after 1 p.m., a small group of men and women joins the throng, bringing a little flock of children and strollers into the middle of the square. One of the men somewhat uncertainly unrolls a hand-lettered sign that says, in Hebrew, "Prayer Vigil," and the group stands in a tight circle, reading psalms from prayer books in low voices.
Once upon a time, we celebrated holidays and honored men and women and moments from our past as though they were charged with meaning. Armistice Day, Independence Day, Lincoln's birthday.
Actors Leo Penn and Eileen Ryan are husband and wife and the starsof Graham Reid's "Remembrance" at the Odyssey Theatre. And their son,Sean, the movie star and director, has put up much of the money to bring them together onstage for the first time in 40 years.