Emerging from Passover only to face the Shoah
Washington Jewish Week
Okay, so we retold the story of our Exodus and now find
ourselves in the final days of Passover.
We turn the corner and what is facing us on the calendar,
Yom Hashoah. The seder retells the story of our freedom. And now we look at the
days when we tell stories of our darkest times in modern history, the
What worries me is the rhetoric I hear and read across the
social network from Iran to Venezuela in
places of power and on college campuses to hateful websites.
The sickness and profanity of Holocaust revisionism can be
dialed up on one's local search engine. These deniers are people who would
dispute the righteous Six Million lost to us less than 75 years ago. Now we
have our precious survivors who are aging and are sadly a dying generation.
On April 22, the Jewish Community Relations Council of
Greater Washington will host community Yom HaShoah commemorations in Maryland and in Northern Virginia.
Ohr Kodesh of Chevy Chase will host the Maryland
event while Gesher Jewish Day School will be the Northern
We quickly - and rightly so - respond en masse to the
horrors of genocide in Darfur. Yet, at times I
feel our very own community and perhaps our younger generations don't know
enough about the Holocaust.
Not that they would lose an argument to a Holocaust denier.
But I wish they and their parents would take more of an opportunity to
understand what actually happened.
Gatherings such as those at Ohr Kodesh and Gesher are
important. If you choose not to teach or share this chapter in our people's
history with your children, remember one fact. Those who dispute the Holocaust
are teaching their children that the Holocaust was a "hoax," or in
some way a Jewish conspiracy.
I know, shake your head, roll your eyes, who could be that
stupid to believe such a thing.
Believe it. Remember that search engine, check it out for
yourselves. From April 19 to May 21, the Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery at the
Washington DC Jewish Community Center will "take" you and show you
the legacy of those lost in an important photographic exhibition.
Called Traces of Memory, the exhibit pieces together the
history of day-to-day Jewish life and culture in Polish Galicia, a region in
Eastern Europe that straddles present-day Poland
and the Ukraine.
The photographic study will provoke visitors to reflect on
how and why the world could lose a community.
Over a 12-year-period the late British photojournalist Chris
Schwarz and professor Jonathan Weber, UNESCO Chair of Jewish and Interfaith
Studies form the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, collaborated,
gathering photographs and texts that offer a closer look at a once living
Jewish community that was wiped off the face of the earth.
The exhibition opens on April 19 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. It is
divided into five sections, corresponding to different approaches to the
The sections are called "Jewish Life in Ruins,"
"Jewish Culture as it Once Was," "Sites of Massacre and
Destruction," "How the Past is Being Remembered," and
"People Making Memory Today."
The Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery is partnering with the Polish
Embassy and the Taube Foundation to bring the exhibit here to D.C.
This time of year as we remember our sweet freedom and we
pass that story at our seder tables to our younger generations, it is time that
we take the same amount of care and sense of generational responsibility to do
the same with the Holocaust.
The DCJCC and the JCRC are giving us ample opportunity.