International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Jan. 27

The United Nations General Assembly designated January 27 — the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau — as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the victims of the Nazi era and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides.

screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-8-19-47-pmThe United Nations Department of Public Information published a Holocaust Remembrance Calendar of Events entitled “Holocaust Remembrance: Educating for a Better Future” that included various educational events which spanned the past week.

On Sunday, January 29 at 3:00pm, the Jewish Museum Living Memorial to the Holocaust (http://www.mjhnyc.org/) in NYC will host a reading of “Night”, written the venerated Eli Wiesel, who departed this past year.  Together with the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, the Museum of Jewish Heritage will host friends of Eli Wiesel and community leaders who will read the full text aloud for the audience present at the Museum, and people from around the world will be able to watch the event online.

This year, as every year, I light candles for the family of my mother, her parents and six siblings, who perished, and my father’s family, his parents and four sisters, who perished. Each year as I light the candles I am more in awe of the survivors’ ability to live and love after the unthinkable losses and suffering they have endured.

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My parents chose to go to then Palestine and arrived there just as the War of Independence broke out. I do not understand how they had the courage to go to a place where so few Jewish people, without an organized military army, were threatened by the armies of several nations. They raised their family in Israel, built a successful business and, like many other survivors, were able to provide my siblings and me a very comfortable life. However, today on CNN, we read (see http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/27/us/holocaust-survivor-poverty/index.html) that a third of the survivors currently living in the USA are existing in poverty. We, the children of survivors, cannot stand aside reading this heartbreaking statistic. Remembering means also helping those who are still among us, in every way, as small as we can afford, to feel part of us, to feel that we care, to feel that we embrace them today, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and on all of their remaining days.

If you planned to buy something that you don’t really need, or go out to yet another dinner like you often do, donate the money to Self Help or the Blue Card to help Holocaust survivors in need. I will.

          Irit Felsen

 

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2 Responses to International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Jan. 27

  1. Roseann Slomowitz says:

    Thank you Irit for this gentle reminder, both self help and blue card do such important work. My father lived in Queens NY and self help was wonderful to my dad.

  2. Roseann Slomowitz says:

    I meant to add, when my dad died we requested donations be made to these organizations. It is such a good idea because many of the major illnesses that they succumb to have lots of money for research etc. but providing money for food, shelter, emotional out reach is so so important there is very little funding there. for those left, let’s help them live with the dignity they deserve.

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