Every year, Charleston Jewish Federation's REMEMBER Program for Holocaust Education and Genocide Awareness sponsors the issuance of Proclamations that commemorate the Holocaust and honor Holocaust victims. In very moving ceremonies, a member of the Council reads a Proclamation, followed by a candle lighting ceremony. To attend an upcoming city council meeting, view the calendar here.
On March 14, 2017 proclamations were read and memorial candles lit at the Mount Pleasant City Council meeting and the Charleston County Council meeting.
Below are the remarks that Rabbi Greg Kanter of Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim delivered at the County Council meeting. The proclamation that was read is attached.
Joining me today we have with us Holocaust survivor, Joe Engel, as well as family of Holocaust survivors who live here and raise families here in Charleston County. For us, this is not just history; this is a lesson about living today in 2017. As you noted in the proclamation, remembering the Holocaust teaches us about our moral responsibility in the present day. In the present day, people in Charleston are nervous, concerned, and some are scared. People are worried that their government is targeting the most vulnerable citizens. And while we are a long way from Nazi Germany in 1933, we can’t help wonder about the trajectory and direction that some in government wish to take us.
The proclamation is part of the antidote to the hate that is growing in America. We know that your accepting this proclamation means that Charleston County will not tolerate hate and injustice against any of our citizens and we will always promote the human dignity of Charleston’s Jews, Muslims, Christians, Baha’i, Buddhists and people of no faith at all, LGBT people, women, men and children people of all races, faiths, and all ethnic origins who make Charleston County their home.
We thank you for teaching history and its lessons to every generation of Charleston County’s residents. We thank you for your work that makes Charleston County safe in uncertain times and helps build a more secure and safe future for our children. We pray that the lessons you affirm today will resound in the halls of our public and private schools, businesses, and homes.
And we wish you God’s blessings. Amen