I am a daughter of Holocaust survivors and have grown up with the ramifications of antisemitism. I have lectured and taught about the Holocaust to kids of all ages for the past 30 years. I have always said that when you see injustice or any act of hatred toward any minority it is essential to take a stand. If not, you are as guilty as the person committing the act. You are a bystander.
I have watched the news and read articles centering on antisemitism around the world. In 2019, the ADL reported the highest number of antisemitic incidents on record in forty years. Furthermore, since 2016 acts of antisemitism have increased by 66% (from 1267 in 2016, to 2107 in 2019). Unfortunately, the recent global pandemic, along with the global economy taking a downturn, will likely make matters worse. When bigotry runs free the Jews are likely to be among the victims. In the dark corners of the internet Jews are blamed for the pandemic, as they were blamed for the Black Death in the fourteenth century. My mother said 55 years ago, “never get too comfortable in any country because the unimaginable can always happen”
Recently, in August 2020, the Charleston Holocaust Memorial was desecrated. This act of hatred has inspired me to reach out to our community. I challenge anyone in the Charleston community to speak out against antisemitism, hatred and bigotry of all kind. As the co-chair of the Charleston Jewish Federation’s Remember Program, I urge you to use whatever communication method you have available to you to publicly make others aware and inspire them to stand up to all forms of hate.
Because of my passion for Holocaust education, and the values that my mother instilled in me, I volunteer as co-chair of the Charleston Jewish Federation’s Remember Program. The Mission of the REMEMBER Program for Holocaust and Genocide Awareness is to:
- Educate about the horrors of the Holocaust
- Promote the concept of mutual respect for all peoples
- Create goodwill and build community amongst all ethnicities in Charleston
- Inspire people to take a stand against antisemitism, bias and all forms of hate
The REMEMBER Program fulfills this mission by:
- Caring for our local living survivors through Charleston Jewish Family Services locally and nationally through the Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care, a national initiative that expands person-centered, trauma-informed (PCTI) supportive services for Holocaust survivors.
- Providing educational resources to Charleston area teachers, including workshops and the Arts and Literature Competition, the Daffodil Project. Bringing survivors and children of survivors to schools and communities to share their stories.
- Issuing Proclamations to remember the Holocaust at city and county council meetings across the Lowcountry.
- Supporting community-wide events including the annual Yom HaShoah Holocaust Remembrance Program.
- Supporting local agencies engaged in Holocaust Education
- Maintenance and oversight of the Charleston Holocaust Memorial
If you are also passionate about this, I encourage you to get involved or make a monetary contribution to the Charleston Jewish Federation’s Remember Program so that we may continue this work for generations to come.
I leave you with these finals words from Edmund Burke (Irish statesman and philosopher), “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.,” and heed the warnings of my mother, a Holocaust survivor.
Charleston Jewish Federation’s Remember Program for Holocaust Education and Genocide Awareness